First, I want to say that it's a great day to be alive! And I also want to say that I love the synergy of this blog, and the great cyber-environment that we are all creating here together...a place where different kinds of people can connect, knowing that the gospel will be embraced and celebrated here every day. More than anything else, I want to be a steward of that gospel...the authentic gospel...the definition of which is simply: the GOOD NEWS. The true, eternal gospel of God is positive, proactive and life-affirming, which is why I never want to be labeled as someone who doesn’t believe in something, or who is “against” a particular doctrine. I cannot reconcile that kind of negative posturing with the constructive nature and life-giving essence that is required of genuine and effective gospel preaching. My gospel is the one that Jesus espoused...the one that is symbolized by the simple structure of the cross...a structure consisting of just a vertical beam and a horizontal beam, representing two basic tenets: "LOVE GOD"..."LOVE OTHERS".
One reason that I changed the format of this blog a few days ago, is that after I wrote some articles to defend my personal reputation and the reputation of my ministry and immediate family, and to answer some theological questions, I realized that all I really want to do is to bless and help people, and to bring them together in a loving atmosphere, and to speak light into the darkness. On a personal note, it was important to me that those who acknowledge my ministry (whether they agree with it or not) at least realize that my theology is organic to me. It is not the result of any outside influence on my thinking, and it is nothing new to me – the things that I wrote about in the previous incarnation of this blog are things that I have seen in the Scriptures for many years. But I think that I've made that point now, whatever my motives and reasons may have been, and I am at peace about it.
Paul said: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9 - NKJV)
Unfortunately, that trend that Paul saw beginning to happen in his own lifetime...the drifting away from the basic, uncomplicated, two-part gospel, and the moving toward an unnecessarily complicated "different gospel"...has now evolved into a rigidly, over-organized, religious "Christianism", made up of hundreds and hundreds of denominations and camps, all basically at odds with one another, and severely divided over their beliefs and doctrines. The allowance and acceptance of the "different gospel" that Paul warned the Galatians about, has created an infrastructure of adherents who are generally hostile and antagonistic toward one another, and are preoccupied with proving each other wrong. The Bible is used by them as a weapon, and, as a result, they basically preach everything BUT Love God/Love Others!
I am a minister, and in that capacity I do care about, on some level, what people think of me and my preaching. But I have officially opted out of "the system". I understand the concept of contending for the faith...but, at the end of the day, I really am only a believer...and I believe in a good God – a God who is love – revealed through a strong, victorious Jesus...a conquering Last Adam who is much more powerful and successful than the first one was or ever could be. I believe in an effective atonement, a finished work on the cross, and in the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit in the earth. I believe that God so loved the world that He gave His Son to redeem it, and that when that world finally sees how wonderful that firstborn Son really is...when they know that their Redeemer lives...then every knee will willingly bow to Him and every tongue will openly confess that He is Lord! In a word, I believe in loving God, and in loving my neighbor as I love myself.
If anyone needs more than that, they are free to explore their own spiritual journey. But, as for me and my house, I/we don't need a different gospel, or another gospel...the original one is just fine with me/us, thank you very much...and my/our gospel is still nothing more or less than the GOOD NEWS! My prayer for you today is that GOOD NEWS will be the theme of this day, all day today. Enjoy your salvation! Enjoy your life! Enjoy your day! God loves you, and that's enough...and that's GOOD NEWS!