Pastor Says Some Churches Preaching 'Reinvented' Gospel

Jim Brown | Agape Press | Monday, January 26, 2004

Pastor Says Some Churches Preaching 'Reinvented' Gospel

A well-known Christian author and pastor is concerned that a growing number of Evangelical ministers are watering down the gospel message in order to be "seeker sensitive."

Dr. John MacArthur says many Evangelical pastors are presenting what he calls a "reinvented designer pop gospel" in hopes of making Christianity appear more attractive or culturally relevant.

The pastor of Grace Community Church in San Valley, California, says those who preach in that fashion have a weak view of the authority and power of scripture.

"I think it encompasses a weak view of the honor and the power of God and Christ," MacArthur says bluntly.  "In other words, I think you're basically usurping the Lordship of Christ over His Church -- you're saying, 'I'm going to stand here and give a message that I think is better than the one that Christ gave.'"  Such an attitude, he says, is "a frightening thing to think about."

MacArthur believes it is becoming harder than ever to find an Evangelical church that is not compromising the gospel.  He says small churches that remain true to God's Word and do not embrace a user-friendly gospel are often viewed today as "archaic" and "unsuccessful."

"The huge crowds are drawn by lowering all the standards," he says, citing such apporaches as a "minimalist gospel," an entertainment mentality, and creation of a social environment that attracts people by promising them "the path to success" and better economic status.

"You know ... 'You'll do better in your job, your career, your family, your marriage, etc.'" he says.  "Those are the kinds of things that are sold on the 'felt need' counter."

In his recently published book Hard to Believe, MacArthur contends that many professing Christians do not understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ because they are seeking an experience rather than a person. 

He also takes aim at the so-called "health-and-wealth" and "name-it-and-claim-it" gospels.

© 2004 Agape Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.