The other day a woman was speaking to me about a message someone preached. The whole thing was a joke, the distasteful lack of seriousness and the apparent clownish nature of the whole thing. The apparent disregard for God and His holiness- It sounded more like a clown’s speech than a gospel message.
We take this ‘appeal’ thing too far. What exactly are we doing? Who are we appealing to? A dead world, or a carnal bunch? And yet, we end up making the world churchier (without the Christ), and the Church more worldly. What a man-made caricature!
Why is it that every day we seem to look for ways to water down the gospel and yet we call it simplifying the gospel? The gospel by itself is as simple as it should be – I have never heard of anyone ‘simplifying’ mathematics – it’s either you get the principles and the workings or you leave. Simple!
Then we ask, where is our power? A watered-down gospel has no life, a fun gospel lacks power to change lives. We can’t keep using trending jargons on God, and themes of our spiritual realities, and then say, No Power! Paul says, ‘the gospel is the power of God…’ And here we are amazed that there is no power – all we have is plenty excellence, much fun and no transformation.
I love the way Paul summed it up in his letter to Titus, “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; IN DOCTRINE SHOWING INTEGRITY, REVERENCE, INCORRUPTIBILITY, SOUND SPEECH THAT CANNOT BE CONDEMNED, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” Titus 2:7-8 NKJV. These key things must be our guiding principles; integrity, reverence, incorruptibility and sound speech. We must have it!
Dear Minister, that is one thing we must look to the fathers of faith for, we cannot blame them for not showing a godly pattern. The seriousness they attached to the ministry is golden, but with everything about our generation – it is about rejecting the norm, even when the norm is good and great. You can’t look to American gospel for an example of soundness, seriousness, reverence and incorruptibility. No, you have to look at the developing world – Nigeria, Singapore, Brazil etc. And the differential results in the power of the gospel is apparent in both places; in mighty signs, witnesses and graces of the Spirit.
We must desist and reject anything that takes the shine from the simplicity of Christ and the goodnews of the gospel. It is the Word of Truth, it is not a fad, no, the gospel should never be fashionable and ‘appealing’. When Constantine did that in years gone by (313 AD) – what we had was the slow death of Christianity, a mix match of idolatry and Christianity. We must run from such anomaly. The devil is never afraid of hip Christianity, he is afraid of true Christianity!
The next time you have an appeal to use those craze languages, to make your church more fun. Remember, Jesus is coming to church – and you wouldn’t want Him to overturn your tables, and cast out your clowns, mockers and religious merchants. It is church – simply put, it’s the company of saints – a place of prayer and the word.
Man of God, Worship the Father. He is not your classmate. He is God! Honour the Son, He is God. Reverence the Spirit, He is the Spirit of the Living God. May you be a bright star in the midst of this firmament, and may this 29th Letter keep you in wisdom, in the straight and narrow, in the beauty of reverence and integrity of words. Grace is given!
Your Greatness is Assured,