Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Judgmentless Gospel-W. Tatum

    This counterfeit is the judgmentless gospel, which is characterized by a God whose love outweighs His need for justice and the glossing over of eternal condemnation. It emphasizes Jesus’ love and how we are to love others and that we are headed towards an age of renewal. The pastor reminds the listener to be careful of lasting judgments, for Jesus contradicted religious expectations during his life by accepting the poor and modest, rather than the elite. He explains Jesus did not speak in explicit terms regarding who will be included in the coming age, but rather proclaimed he would renew all things, not just good Christians. Furthermore, the term “Hell” is only mentioned twenty times in the Bible, and Jesus often meant a literal town rather than an eternal destination. The pastor claims that throughout the Bible, God seeks repentance with His creation. There cannot be a point when this hope ends if the cross and resurrection took care of sin. Therefore, we must allow room for the “wide expansive love of God.”
    In a postmodern society especially bent on tolerance and inclusion, the judgmentless gospel presentation is particularly appealing. Unfortunately, it severs God in half, removes accountability, and manipulates biblical content. Still, the pastor is correct in saying that we should avoid making lasting judgments against others. Romans 2:1 states that when we judge others, we are, in fact, condemning ourselves. Only a blameless God has the right to condemn, and believers should avoid pounding their pretentious gavels in other’s faces. Nevertheless, humanity cries out for justice, yet it cannot occur without judgment. Those who wish to ignore God’s need to judge also ignore His perfect nature. Our sin prevents us from entering God’s holy presence. Judgment was necessary for reunion with God. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was motivated entirely by love and conquered the Hell we all deserved. The cross is the ultimate confirmation for why God’s love and judgment could not be separated. John 9:39 says that God’s judgment was enacted so that the blind could see. Therefore, we should not revile judgment but be grateful that its fulfillment in Christ allows reconciliation with our Maker.
    In conclusion, the temptation to ignore the essential aspects of the Gospel can result in disillusionment about God and disappointment in our relationship with Him. God’s Word is often contrary to Westernized culture as it does not guarantee happiness or tolerate our immorality. Yet the joy of the gospel comes when what we least expect is fulfilled, for we once were blind but now we see, we once were lost but now are found.

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