March 7, 2008
Adrian Rogers' Watered Down Gospel
Some claim that the Church today is preaching a sugary, watered down gospel. They say, "Instead of presenting God's Pure Law, revealing sin, and then sharing Christ's death on the cross for our sins, and His being the ONLY Way, people are being told "you're life will be so much better if you just say this or pray this prayer!"In church, instead of repenting and fleeing sin as Paul taught, we hear "pep talks" smattered with pop psychology. We hear smooth talks and friendly speeches that don't include adequate Biblical instruction. It's not PC to mention Hell." (The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron -Reviewed by Rachel Lower)
However I have a different take on the watered down gospel. It is my opinion that the Sinner is dead (nekros) in sins and has nothing to offer God in Salvation. He not only lacks understanding he doesn't desire understanding. It is futile to think that there are conditions for the sinner to fulfill in order to be saved. You do not lead a corpse to Christ! Of course Dr Rogers just didn't understand this. This gospel would be offensive to the modern man who believes he has the spark of divinity within him and he needs to just step into awareness of this and act accordingly.
So Dr Rogers (Authentic Christianity) accommodated this error into his belief and placed conditions that modern man could comprehend. He watered the message down with: 1) The sinner must understand the character of God. 2) The sinner must acknowledge that the Law of God declares him guilty. 3) The sinner is told he must be converted 4) The sinner is told he must take up his cross. Dr Rogers assumes he has presented a gospel laden with God's pure truth that requires an authentic faith. But in fact he has done the opposite with a gospel that is lean on truth and easy for a modern man to accept. In fact the overriding concern for today's gospel message is that the public must buy it. It is an outcome based gospel confirmed by the world wide acceptance of "Love Worth Finding" The fact that the world will give it an acceptance is the measure by which it is judged. Therefore it is Biblical.
One thing Dr Rogers forgets, conveniently, is that the sinner is dead. (nekros) If he is dead then his selection for salvation is unconditional. It is of grace that he is saved. Since a dead man can not respond to God, God must respond to him and that response is the new birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again!" Then a born again man 1) begins to understand the character of God. 2) The law of God declares him guilty. 3) Confesses sin, repents and has faith. 4) Takes up his cross and follows Christ.
The pure undiluted gospel is there are no conditions; it is an unconditional salvation. This is not an easy message for the sinner to believe. It is an impossible thing for him to do. Once born again it is easy to believe and made possible for him to accomplish. The unbelievers will not buy it and the believers have no need to buy it. That would put 98% of ministries out of business today! Not a bad idea!