Sunday, May 02, 2010

The message of Christianity is...?

From David Platt's (MUST read) book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream....

"If you were to ask the average Christian sitting in a worship service on Sunday morning to summarize the message of Christianity, you would most likely hear something along the lines of 'The message of Christianity is that God loves me.' Or someone might say, 'The message of Christianity is that God loves me enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die for me.'


As wonderful as this sentiment sounds, is it biblical? Isn't it incomplete, based on what we have seen in the Bible? 'God loves me' is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if 'God loves me' is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?


God loves me.


Me.


Christianity's object is me.


Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I make plans for my life and career, it is about what works best for me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the car I will drive, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.


But it is not biblical Christianity.


The message of biblical Christianity is not 'God loves me, period,' as if we were the object of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is 'God loves me so that I might make him--his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness--known among all nations.' Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is."

6 comments:

  1. Amen. It's especially discouuraging to see how many "gospel" messages aimed at children focus almost exclusively on God's love, to the neglect of our sin and His righteous wrath.

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  2. One of the many, MANY portions of this book that I have highlighted. It's a fantastic read.

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  3. Okay, this cracked me up to come here after I emailed you!

    And the same excerpt, no less!

    (But I was right that you would like the book!)

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  4. I'm reading Radical too. Love it!

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  5. Just after reading your post, I read this on a college friend's blog: http://volreeandnickwade.blogspot.com/2010/05/radical-movement.html

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  6. Thank you, sister, for sharing this quote. It hit a chord deep in me. We are preparing to move to a new state and will be in the process of looking for a new church. We have some friends who are also moving to the same town and we have been comparing notes on churches there, and this is a wake up call to me to remember what is most important in our looking. Right now it is looking like we have a clear choice between a very large church with lots to offer in terms of programs and such and a smaller church that doesn't have as much in the way of 'programs' but where we are sure the pastor is a very biblically sound teacher. Sadly, I think I've been in danger of looking more at what 'fits' me and my family in terms of programs and not looking hard enough at how well the gospel is proclaimed and Christ is exalted. We need to evaluate each church in that light first and foremost. I needed this reminder. Now I need to get a copy of that book! It sounds like something I need to be reading.

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