Wednesday, September 03, 2008

SOME PURPOSE TO REMOVE THE OFFENSE OF THE CROSS
...the ineffectualness of candy coated, romantic gospel appeals



"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel , insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness." -C.H. SPURGEON

Those kinds of words fall on deaf ears today.
They are not cool, contemporary, relatable, winsome, attractive. They sound too harsh, too judgmental, too defining, too narrow, and... too biblical. Compare the above with the following attempts in addressing a lost world.

Just tell an audience
that God is crazy about you; that He doesn't want to punish you; that the dread Sovereign of the universe is a powerless lover down on one knee begging you to be His bride and has to wait to see if you choose to accept Him; that the whole universe is proposing to you; that He wants you to fall in love with Him; that His law is designed just to make this world a better place; and as you proclaim the gospel to insure the highest success from as many nonbelievers as possible, make sure you don't speak about repentance from sin; justification by faith; the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ; submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; don't ever mention Scripture specifically, open up a Bible and actually read it, or use Bible sounding words; just carry a surfboard against the backdrop of beautiful scenery, walk along a beach and show that you're a regular guy who can relate by talking about how fast the planet earth revolves around the sun, get all giggly that God created laugher, and make it as comfortable as possible for people to hear some things about the gospel; but don't ever mention that you must come to the end of yourself--deny yourself; take up your cross and follow Him; don't ever tell them that God is angry with them and His wrath abides on them; don't mention Hell (to negative); don't ever tell them that they have to hate their own lives, their father, mother, brother, sister, son and daughter and love Him more than all other loves or they cannot be His disciple; just reassure them that God loves them just the way they are and wants to give them a better life if they would cry out and say "I love You too."

Stop. Think.
What kind of Jesus are you communicating to others? It's important we critique our methods and our message--it is incumbent we do so for lives are at stake and God will us hold us accountable for the stewardship of His divine mysteries. No wonder Paul said, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men..." (2 Cor. 5:10-11a).

I want to encourage you to take some time today and read one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)
and see how the Lord Jesus Christ called people to follow Him. And then compare it to today's pastors and what they think is the way to present His gospel. In our postmodern evangelical world, it's no longer necessary or required to have to accurately preach the Word, rightly divide the truth, or to proclaim the whole gospel. It's just enough to make "a good-faith attempt to preach the Gospel to the lost." PC translation, the effort is more important than the message.

Jesus Christ isn't anybody's "spiritual Pez dispenser"
that we can turn into whomever we choose by repackaging Him in order for Him and His message to relate to our lost world. He is not to be triffled with. He is God incarnate, beloved, and He must be reckoned with in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His gospel of sola fide, His once for all death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His reign as King and Mediator at the right hand of the throne of God. He is not asking you to accept Him, fall in love with Him, shower bouquets of flowers at His feet, bring Him candy, or date Him. He is not proposing to you or asking you to marry Him. He is commanding you to repent of your sins; submit to Him as Lord of your life; forsake all other loves and all other claims to eternal life; to come to the end of yourself; believe solely in Him; take up your cross and follow Him. You don't have the luxury or His permission to turn Him into a passive, effeminate Divine lover who can only beg, but cannot elect.

Some represent God as a powerless lover, bending His sovereign knee proposing marriage to sinful man, begging him to accept Him as their Savior; rather than picturing sinful man bending the knee before a holy God crying out for mercy that his sins be forgiven in repentance to inherit eternal life and be given saving faith to confess Jesus Christ as Lord unto salvation. The video presents God begging sinful man to choose Him; the Bible presents sinful bowing the knee in godly fear before a holy God begging for forgiveness. Which picture of God and man do you present?

Do you proclaim Jesus as your divine Pez dispenser or do you proclaim Him as the only hope of salvation... as Sovereign Lord? Is the cross just a trinket that you wear? Has your presentation of the gospel removed the offense of the cross or do you preach "Jesus Christ and Him crucified..." We must get this right beloved - for this is not a game!

Acts 17
Campi

this has been an encore presentation

36 comments:

Seth McBee said...

Is this not why Paul told Timothy to preach the gospel in season and out of season because there will be a time when they will want their ears tickled?

This kind of stuff is just tickling the ears but not pricking the conscience with the ever abiding truth of God, that is sharper than any two edged sword...

Trust in the words of the Almighty instead of the persuasion of finite humans.

SJ Camp said...

Amen brother!

August said...

I cannot agree more. The trend seems to be to try and fit God into the little boxes of human life experiences.

Puritan Lad said...

Excellent. Love the quote by Spurgeon. I'll think I'll make a poster or T-Shirt our of it if I can make it legible.

I deal with this on a regular basis, and have been using my blog as sort of a release. My pastor labeled it quite well. There are two schools of thought in modern evangelism. One is salvation by grace. The other is salvation by therapy.

God Bless.

D.R. Brooker said...

I encourage you Steve to stand firm, by the Lord's power, in this ongoing discussion. This is not a secondary issue, but THE issue. I have followed it from the beginning and have appreciated your efforts. Blessings.

Seth McBee said...

Here is another great quote from Spurgeon:

"What the Arminian wants to do" says C. H. Spurgeon "is to arouse man's activity: what we want to do is to kill it once for all---to show him that he is lost and ruined, and that his activities are not now at all equal to the work of conversion; that he must look upward. They seek to make the man stand up: we seek to bring him down, and make him feel that there he lies in the hand of God, and that his business is to submit himself to God, and cry aloud, 'Lord, save, or we perish.' We hold that man is never so near grace as when he begins to feel he can do nothing at all. When he says, 'I can pray, I can believe, I can do this, and I can do the other,' marks of self-sufficiency and arrogance are on his brow."

The Wanderer said...

Is this a coincidence?

Francis Chan used Pez Dispensers as an illustration at Passion last week. The sessions, including John Piper's defense of justification, are still online thru midnight Friday at http://www.268generation.com/passion07/watch/

ron said...

I think some of you should write a rule book that states exactly what is and is not allowable to be spoken in the first fifteen minutes of discussion when witnessing to a lost person.

Of course the video has some problems, and yes, there is a horrible problem of weak and watered down messages that spew from the evangelical realm, but some the attacks against the film and Frank Turk are embarrassing to read as a Believer.

As someone who has sat under John Piper's teaching for five years, and believes firmly in the doctrines of grace, election and the absolute sovereignty of God, I have a pretty good feeling that I would much rather be reaching out to the lost with Pastor Chan than many of you who hold fast to the same truths and mock his efforts.

dan w said...

Hi I am new to this blogging thingy.
Anyway for what its worth i will give my two pennys worth.
A good friend of mine once told a very interesting little saying, it goes something like this...If you catch em with cakes, you got to keep feeding cakes to keep them.
I dont think we need glitzy videos to win the lost. I think it creates the totally wrong impression. What about preaching Christ and him crucified.

Denise said...

A gospel without the Resurrection of the LORD JESUS CHRIST--and I do mean Lord---MASTER, OWNER, SOVEREIGN, is no gospel at all. It does not present WHO Jesus Christ is and what HE did and what we're to be trusting in for salvation.

This no longer is about style, but of substance. However we have both style (example) and substance given in Scripture.

Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Act 4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Act 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Is that not enough?

SJ Camp said...

Seth:
Great Spurgeon quote--thank you.

Ron:
I have not commented about Frank, but he has about me--plenty. I won't bite though, this is too serious of an issue.

I have directed my comments solely concerning the video and its lack of soundness.

I am an exhorter and an evangelist brother. I have had the privilege throughout my 29 years in ministry to preach and sing the gospel to hundreds of thousands around the world. I only mention that to say that this is not an intellectual exercise to me. I am not being critical for critical blogging sake. Whatever you may disagree with me in this discussion, can we at least agree that if there is no resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave proclaimed in a gospel presentation, then you don't have the gospel proclaimed? (cp, 1 Cor. 15:1-5; 12-17).

I appreciate your comments and it has saddened me how Frank has personally gone after me (many others have contacted me to express that as well). But I do love my brother Frank (Dan too) and will not respond in like kind--that is why I haven't posted over at TeamPyro the past two days.

One last question for you: are you more outraged over the silence in the film on the five key issues I outlined in my previous post concerning the gospel of Jesus Chirst, or are you more outraged that Frank and Chan are being criticized by others? What is more important to you? (see Gal. 2:1-15)

Grace and peace to you,
Steve

Seth McBee said...

Steve...interesting thoughts...I will answer the question though, even though it wasn't directed towards me.

If there is no resurrection we are a people much to be pitied. For we are preaching in vain. (1 Cor 15)

If Christ wasn't risen He was just another martyr for a cause, but He DID rise again, therefore, He is our Christ, our propitiation, Oh death where is your sting!

I appreciate your blog Steve...keep up the good work and know that no writing or exhortion (especially when it is public) will not come with some rebuttals. Hopefully in the end you and Frank will still fight the good fight together.

JoeMartino said...

I'm curious. Did you read your friends reply to your concerns? He seemed to answer them all pretty solidly.

Nathan White said...

Steve,

I'm coming in late on all of this controversy, but from what I have read, I am thankful that you have spoken out against this video even in light of the unpopularity of your position. Certainly there are some good things said in the video, but that does not in itself make this video an accurate or even acceptable presentation of the gospel.

Viewing the video myself, I couldn't find anything overly specific enough to make this presentation something that Catholics, Mormons, and JWs couldn't give a hearty 'amen' to. That in itself is a frightening thing.

Grace to brother,
Nathan

gigantor1231 said...

I viewed the film and I would have to say that all in all it was a nice film, nice packaging and presentation. It seems to me that the individual was very sincere in what he had to say.
At the same time I would have to say that there were some key errors with regards to scripture. The law was not written as something good for us to live by but it was written to bring the knowledge of sin to man Rom. 3:20, and show us that we are utterly depraved, there is nothing good within us Rom. 3:23. While it is true that God wants to give us something good, the primary thing is not a better life, atleast as the world sees a better life, He came to give us faith as a gift that through it we might be saved by his grace Eph. 2:8 and Christ is the object in whom that faith is fixed.
I do not want to belabor the point here, as I said the video is nicely presented but I do have some questions that anyone can answer but I would truly like to hear from Mr. Camps critics. What is wrong with the pure un-adulterated Gospel? What is wrong with telling the whole truth, the good and the bad? And what is wrong with telling people that it will cost them everything that they have in this life for "what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his life!" Mk. 8:36. God has not said that we all have to be the same or say the same things but He has presented to us the Gospel as his power to salvation Rom.1:16. Should not our desire be the same as Paul's 1 Cor. 2:1-5. He did not come with "wise words", the greek for this phrase is sophia logou and what it means is crafty or tricky words of speech, words that manipulate and entice.
We need to get back to the basics of the gospel lest we bring many to a false salvation.

Drewski said...

Sort of reminds me of the Nooma DVDs by Rob Bell. Very well produced yet sugar-coated lacking any real substance & truth.

How prideful & deluded has man become to think we can tell the Sovereign God of the Universe how to save His own creation? It all comes back to the Garden of Eden when the serpent wrapped up a lie in a truth & it was bought hook, line & sinker.

May God grant us courage tempered with humility as we stand in defense of His True Word.

Blessings.

ron said...

Steve,
you asked:

are you more outraged over the silence in the film on the five key issues I outlined in my previous post concerning the gospel of Jesus Chirst, or are you more outraged that Frank and Chan are being criticized by others?

As I mentioned in an earlier comment I would not have made that film. I would probably be sitting near a ballpark with a smooth glass of Wisconsin beer (something many would surely criticize me for), and in in some fashion speak of the great salvation truths you and I so hold dear. I am bothered by what I think is a lack of clarity in Pastor Chan's film, but I also think it is to be looked at as something we could work from. My hunch is there will be people coming to saving faith with this film used as a starting point, because from what I've read and seen, those behind the film have good doctrine, and will guide people correctly.

As for the criticism I think it's fine to point out what could be done better. I will say that the problem with some of my Reformed brethren is a perceived sneering by their comments, and acting as though a passion towards God, expression of faith, and discourse with an unbeliever can only be shown through a policed group of words and actions, which is not commanded in Scripture.

Lastly, I love your passion for the truth. I agree with most all your expositions of scripture. You are a blessing to me.

Mark Kelly Hall said...

Hi, Steve

Heard you on the Brian Mason show (www.brianmason.com for those of you that want to hear the archive) on Sunday, so here I am. Your music was often
heard on the weekly "progressive Christian music" show I dj'd in college in the mid-80's, on WUTK-FM; I still have a copy of "Lazy Jane" from a video party we
hosted at a local pizza restaurant. Good times.

I must say I agree with much of what you say about the need for a sound theological basis and the weaknesses of the Christian music industry,
and the church in general. Matthew 6:1-6 does seem to get glossed over when it comes time for the awards shows, at least for those who present themselves as
ministers (since receiving praise from men for service seems to preclude the heavenly reward). And what about the new "Gospel Music Hall of Fame"?
Hello? I wonder how far one can go in being "all things to all people" without losing one's identity.

However, I must agree with commenter Ron on this issue; you're out of line.

Valid criticism considers whether or how well the subject (in this case, the video) has achieved its purpose...not how it has met the critic's personal criteria, but how well it has met those of the creator. Your post is kind of like saying "Run to the Battle" is not a good song because it's not "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Or "Indiana Jones" was no good because it had no dance numbers. Or "The Wizard of Oz" was stupid because it's not realistic ("Flyin' monkeys? Come on!").

You can say that all your criteria are biblically-based, but in my opinion you're not applying them with biblical wisdom or common sense. It's true that all the points you make should be considered by the believer at some point early in the journey, but it does NOT follow that EVERY presentation of the Gospel MUST include EVERY point on your checklist, using your terms. If that were true, most of your songs, your posts, and your everyday interactions with people (each one a sort of "presentation of the Gospel") would have to be dismissed as utter failures on your part to obey 2 Timothy 4:2. And so would just about every recorded conversation and sermon by Jesus & Paul.

The video is clearly intended for the average person (possibly including the occasional churchgoer) who is not necessarily familiar with the Bible or church lingo nor inclined to consider it as relevant or true. The casual look and language imply the solidly biblical point Chan was making: that the reality of God is worth considering as we go about our daily activities, and also that "the heavens declare the glory of God" so we should listen. I could go on, and though I could find some flaws with the video, for the most part it has all it needs to be "part of a healthy breakfast" of the truth, if not the full recommended daily allowance.

As 4given said so well, the average person simply would not "get" a multi-point sermon laden with seminary terminology and threats of fire and damnation (all valid and having their place), so your recommended approach would likely fall on deaf ears. I think the video does a great job of applying Colossians 4:6: "Let your speech always be with grace, [as though] seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." (Could it be that seasoning for one believer is sugar-coating for another?).

After all, the Spirit is the ultimate criteria for whether the Truth is communicated or not; He seems to be willing to work with even the clumsiest of our
attempts to share the Gospel and "make it good" in the heart of the listener. So we should do our best to get our information right, and our words do matter...but
to deem our attempts as success or failure using a checklist is a sad mistake.

In "Orthodoxy" G.K. Chesterton points out that insanity is not being irrational; insanity is more often being unable to see beyond one's rational construct to the larger world around you. I would ask you to take a step back and consider whether, in the larger scheme of things, your aggressive approach is necessary for absolutely everyone. As you know, it's as easy to attract a crowd with a fight as with a dance. And there are plenty of Christians who are as eager to have their feet "stomped" as their ears tickled; it's two sides of the same coin. Persecution for making stand can become a source of pride. I would not discourage you from taking on the tough issues and pointing out error...I would simply like to see you be more judicious in your choice of targets, and more accurate with your aim.

I live in Nashville, so if you ever want to chat and improve my understanding, I'm open to it.

CounterCultureJoel said...

I believe that many times when we share the GOOD NEWS, we are too focused on ourselves and the "checklist" of making sure we hit all the points of the ROMAN ROAD or EVANGELISM EXPLOSION. Many times we fail to examine our lives to see if we are reflecting the glory of the Most High by how we live our lives so as to be believable to whom we witness. Honestly, it is not about a video or some Christian songs or the "weak" Christian music industry, it is about living a life that proclaims the GOOD NEWS only using words when necessary.

May we all examine our own lives and be right with God before we argue about how the GOOD NEWS should or should not be presented. May God have mercy on us all.

Sojourner said...

Unless there is a discussion running somewhere besides here, the Pyromaniacs, and Frank's site, I haven't seen what I would call mean-spirited or personal attacks from those immediately involved. (By that I mean discounting the peanut gallery, of which I am one.)

But Brother Steve, to write, "I have not commented about Frank, but he has about me--plenty," is to comment on Frank. It indicates that he has personally attacked your person, and maybe he has, but if you wished to bear the affront privately, you should not have written this. This innuendo is more problematic than pointing out specific instances of his uncharitable behavior toward you.

Danny Bryant said...

I teach elementary school. About a month ago one of my first grade students noticed a sweet looking young lady who wanted to get into the building. He left the line, opened the door, and let her in. Thankfully, she was safe and knew one of the teachers here at school. The incident reminded me of the current situation in the modern church. The student certainly meant no harm by allowing the stranger in the building. Had she been dangerous the honest and pure intentions of the student would have been quite insignificant. Likewise, there are pastors today who mean well and have some great intentions. Watching the “Stop and Think” video reminded me of my student. The pastor seems incredibly warm, kind, and loving. I don’t think he wants to let danger into the church. However, when he puts forth concepts that are unsound and lacking biblical truth his intentions become somewhat insignificant. There is a good reason there are so many biblical qualifications for being a pastor. It is not a comfortable job.

Steve, I appreciate what you’re doing. We need “door watchers” in the church. I specifically appreciated this quote from the post, “Stop. Think.
What kind of Jesus are you communicating to others? It's important we critique our methods and our message--it is incumbent we do so for lives are at stake and God will us hold us accountable for the stewardship of His divine mysteries. No wonder Paul said, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men..." (2 Cor. 5:10-11a).

In Christ,
Danny

ddd said...

Hello Steve,

I agree with your position and that of Dr. James White regarding this video.

Ron:
I would just like to reply to your point on Evangelism. I can assure you that, at least for this commenter, I do not criticize the video with an eye to shove Calvinism down the throat of others. I am currently leading Evangelistic Bible Study with two guys using the book of Romans and have been on a few short term mission trips so it will not be fair to say that I am criticizing from an ivory tower. Being involved in evangelism, I do not agree that the video has presented the Gospel well.

As I have written on my blog, my point of contention with the video is its anthropocentricity, nothing else. What's wrong with proclaiming that we are all sinful and only by trusting in God can we be saved from eternal judgment and hellfire, and urging your audience to repent and believe in Christ alone (which I can assure you can be done in under 15 minutes), instead of presenting the syrupy, sentimental effeminate 'gospel' of Neo-Evangelicalism (God loves you; He is lovesick and desperately needs your love)?

gigantor1231 said...

I have seen the video in its entirety and, as Steve said, it is well produced and there was certainly some thought put into it.
I decided that in the interest of understanding that I would send a letter to Mr Chan in order to find out the reason for the material and the presentation that was used in the video. I have included a copy of the first reply that I have received with respect to the video. Here is a copy of the first letter and reply;

My name is Robert and I live in a small town, Scappoose, Oregon, a place you could only get to if you were going someplace else! I am certain that you have probably had a considerable amount of e mails with regards to your most recent evangelistic video. My compliments on the video, it was put together well and I would have to say that it was a video that would provoke thought and perhaps help initiate more in depth conversation with regards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I would like to know why you decided to present it in the way that you did? Please bare with me here, I am not trying to be critical but in light of some of the controversial things that have been written on some relatively high profile Blogs, www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com and others, I wonder if you presented things in a more watered down manner than you could have? Could you have been more direct with the Gospel? If you wanted the video to be lighter I would like to know why?
I think most concerns stem from the regression from the truth of God within the emergent movement and other denominations that are deciding to take that particular course. While I am genuinely concerned with regards to this apparent "downgrade" within the body of Christ, I am not certain that this applies to what you have done, your video in particular. However, there are some that would disagree and say what you put together is just lesser version of a steeper descent into apostasy.
I know that you are probably a busy man but could you please take the time to write a reply to what is being said, I think that you could offer a proper balance to this situation and what is being said about your video.

A Brother in Christ

Robert


Dear Robert,
In light of the attached reply from Francis, I am forwarding your email to the producer of “Just Stop & Think.” I wonder if the recent blog of negativity towards JS&T had been applied to glorifying God how many more souls would have been won for the Lord… just a thought. We have countless stories of people coming to the Lord or deepening their relationship with Christ because of this video.
God bless you and I encourage you to glorify Him in all you do.

In defense of Francis Chan I am certain that he is very busy with his responsibilities and committments leading such a large church, thus his office manager sent me this reply. I sent a response to this and clarified that I was not looking for a answer with regards to the number of responses that they had because of JS&T, here is my reply and clarification to their reply;

I have no doubt that what Pastor Chan did perhaps has helped some come to the lord, but I am not looking at a answer with regards to results. If something is presented in error and we see what appears to be many come to apparent salvation and we attribute it to God then we are in danger of being pragmatic. If the teaching is in error, even in part, then the likelyhood is that those conversions that we see are merely lip service and no real committments at all. I would rather see a hard direct and honest word preached, the unadulterated gospel, with a few genuine conversions than multitudes of lukewarm conversions, the latter are unsaved with the caviate that they think they are saved, see Luke 3:14-22. I just got done listening to Pastor Chan's sermon "Lukewarm and Lovin' It" and I see Pastor Chan's heart, so I hope that he understands what I am saying, I hope you understand what I am saying too!
What you see as a negative response to JS&T video is a reaction to the emergent church movement, where truth is unattainable, God is unknowable and the Gospel is repackaged to be more acceptable to the world at large. Many are concerned that the truth of God is being compromised. My personal reaction to the JS&T video was clear in my prior letter, I believe it is sincere and well intentioned, the Gospel is presented but perhaps in a more lite form and my questions were directed at that. I would like to unerstand the reasoning behind the production and substance. I do not think that your church or Pastor Chan is involved in the emergent movement, but it is a movement that is very easy to get sucked into and not even realize it. As I said before, I am trying to gain some understanding in order to communicate the truth.

Robert

Robert,

I will leave it up to Johnny Karls to address your email, however, I will say that while sitting under the teaching of Francis Chan and Cornerstone church I have never seen the world of God compromised. God’s blessings to you.



In His Service,


It will be interesting to see what the producer of the video has to say and perhaps this could shed some light on the topic.

Denise said...

I received an email from the producer of The Video (it no longer requires being named at this point, much like The Movie (the Passion)). He said that it was NOT their intention to present the totality of the gospel, but merely introduce the audience to God.

Huh?

I found that to be absolutely outrageous as 1) they did NOT present the biblical God, and 2) squandered an opportunity to proclaim the gospel since many don't want to sit through 15 minutes of a guy finding his way down to the beach to go surfing. It can be done in 30 seconds if need be.

If this is supposed to NOT be the whole gospel (which its not the whole gospel and thus can't save), then is this "introduction" to lead the viewer to the site to learn more? Seek man? I don't find Paul or Peter saying "I'll tell you a little about God, but get back to me later for the WHOLE story." NO. It was always about Christ and looking to HIM. Not checking back later to hear "the rrrrrrest of the story."

gigantor1231 said...

Denise

That is very interesting. I will be interested in hearing how he reponds to the questions I have posed to him. It is unfortunate that there is this subtle yet obvious deviation from the truth yet many Christians will not open their eyes to see it.

JoeMartino said...

Gigantor,
I'm confused. You sent me an email that seems to contradict what you are saying on this thread. Has your opinion changed?
Joe

gigantor1231 said...

Joe:
No, my opinion has not changed, nor does what I have posted here contradicted what I said. I hold the author of the video in high regard, as to what I have seen of him, as does Mr. Camp. Are there errors in the presentation? Yes. I addressed those as a matter of observation. I do not question motive but perhaps some of the means. That is why I wrote the letter, in order to gain a understanding of the substance of the video, what was the intention and goal? Was it just for a conversation starter? Was this a simple allusion to the Gospel to perhaps pique someones curiosity and thereby act as a catalist to further exposition of the Gospel? I am looking for a clearer understanding in order that some things might be put to rest.
As to my comment with regards to some Christian folk turning a blind eye to a lack of truth or partial presentation of the Gospel, this is a concern that does not nescessarily have anything to do with the video but then again perhaps it does, I am waiting for a response in order to form a more complete opinion on the issue.

The Seeking Disciple said...

How sad that the Church has fallen so far from the gospel. Thank you Steve for the post.

Rick Frueh said...

Christ and His gospel is a "scandalon", or scandal that is translated "stumblingblock". It is so outrageous, so other worldly, so confounding, that to the natural man it is scandalous.

When we seek to remove that scandal, we have made it another gospel.

SJ Camp said...

Rick
When we seek to remove that scandal, we have made it another gospel.

Bingo!

theoldadam said...

"May we all examine our own lives and be right with God before we argue about how the GOOD NEWS should or should not be presented. May God have mercy on us all."

If that's what we did, we would never share the good news of Christ.

We are right with God because of what Christ has done.
Maybe I'm mising something, but I thought THAT was the good news.

Stan McCullars said...

Steve,
Thanks for the post.

Keep contend(ing) for the faith that the Lord has once for all entrusted to us, his people.

Rick Frueh said...

"If that's what we did, we would never share the good news of Christ"

Thank you for that comment. The power of the Holy Spirit is our only power, but humility keeps our powder dry.

Pastor Kip said...

My favorite example of an ineffectual gospel is the children's Sunday School classic "Jesus is knocking at your heart's door. Won't you let poor little Jesus into your heart? He's lonely. And cold. And there are wolves after him."

gigantor1231 said...

theoldadam

Because the truth has not been told, because there have been those who have not taken care as to what their doctrine is, because many do not look into the scriptures intently or are diligent in keeping there relationship with the Lord in proper perspective according to the Word of God, because of these things we have the emergent church, Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, Tony Campolo the list is lengthy!

You said;

"May we all examine our own lives and be right with God before we argue about how the GOOD NEWS should or should not be presented. May God have mercy on us all."

And when we have done what we are supposed to do let us stand, let us contend, let us do what the Word says and encourage one another, spur on another on to good works. 2 Tim 4: 1-5

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound3 teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Ti 4:1-5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

There are more passages just like this, in the Gospels as well as the Epistles. Whether folks like it or not, we are called to look out for one another, we are called to sound the warning when there is danger. That is what Steve is doing in this thread.
I have communicated with the producer of the video that Steve is referring to and the intent of producing this gospel message in this manner was to remove all offense, the cross, the depravity of man and his dire need for Christ, anything that was deemed offenses was to be removed. Do you think that is a right thing to do?
The Gospel needs to be proclaimed in all it's truth so the faith that is spawned is a true faith!
What say you?

Pastor Kip

I thought that he just wanted to come in and have dinner! A little social time or something. Problem is that when He gets in and He wants to start going through all your closets, He starts cleaning things out like He's gonna live there. I will tell you what though, once you understand what it is that He wants and the sooner it is that you give it to Him the better life becomes. You gotta love Jesus!!!

melissa said...

Nobody says it like Spurgeon. Nobody! Good post Campi!