Sunday, June 10, 2007

Men of Integrity - most important thing about Christianity?

Consider the following congregational announcement:

Dear Men of Congregation X:

Have you considered what following Jesus would have been like, being around him and hearing him talk about men and their money, their careers, their families. Thankfully we have God’s Word so we can hear these things in our generation.

On date we will hold a seminar for men at Congregation X, an inspiring study called “A man of His Word: Calling Men to Integrity and Leadership.” We will be studying principles concerning eight aspects of most men’s lives: your relationship to Christ, your wife, children, church, career, money, the marketplace and your mission.

How sad for the men of this congregation. The do not understand the Gospel any more because they are constantly served such sanctification teaching. The purpose of this study is to teach you to behave and give you 8 rules for happy living. That sort of analysis was so typical of the sermons of the Rationalistic period (1800s). There is no focus on Christ here. It is all a focus on self. How can you be like Jesus? Well, do we have to ask whether Jesus, if present in the same way now, would be teaching us about money, careers and families? No, instead, it would be focused on salvation. Most of the Biblical examples that might be cited to support teaching on these subjects is really teaching us about salvation. Someone once told me that teaching about sanctification is on every page in the Bible so we have to be constantly teaching that (and consequently not teaching justification) but I don't buy it. Salvation and Jesus Christ is on every page. What are we doing, however, when we take those weak in the faith (whoever is not perfect) and teach them as above instead of about their sin and the salvation that Christ delivers? It is a very, very bad thing.


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