“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)
There are false gospels all around us. Satan uses these to turn people away from the one, true, gospel – the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me give you some examples:
- The Therapeutic Gospel. The teachers of this gospel explain that more than anything, God wants me to be happy. God is here to help me achieve maximum happiness in my life.
- The Judgmentless Gospel. This gospel tells us that God is only a God of love. There is little or no mention of God’s wrath or his judgment or any type of punishment for sin.
- The Moralistic Gospel. This gospel tells us that our primary aim in life is to be nice – to be good – to be moral – etc, etc.
- The Activist Gospel. This gospel tells us that we need to be on the front-lines of activism around the world. We need to be the biggest proponents of social justice. We need to be the most environmentally conscious people. And so on and so forth. It’s not so much about Jesus as it is about us and our agenda – whatever that might be.
- The Churchless Gospel. Proponents of this gospel tell us that we don’t really need the institutional church today. I can do church with my buddies whenever I want.
Please don’t think that I am denouncing everything about these so-called “different gospels.” There are aspects that can be celebrated and affirmed, but the fact remains, these are not faithful biblical representations of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And just so you know, our age is not unique. Every age in the history of the Church has dealt with false gospels. They were not necessarily the same as the false gospels of today, but Satan has always been at work, trying to distort the truth.
For more on this, let me direct you to a book by Trevin Wax – it’s called Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope (2011).