Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Churches that Abandon the Gospel Eventually Die

That was my initial reaction to this post on the World Magazine blog. But then I paused and pondered. Are liberal denominations losing more adherents because they deny the gospel or because they now tolerate homosexuality? Are American evangelicals more repulsed by abandonment of the gospel or by toleration of gay sex?


John said...

Aren't abandonment of the gospel and toleration of gay sex one and the same, or at least inseparable?

Ryan Martin said...

They are not the same, neither are they inseparable. One may abandon the gospel in many ways and not tolerate individuals of the same gender copulating with each other. The latter will always involve the former, while the former does not necessitate the approval of the latter.

Ben, I guess it depends on what you mean by "die." Once churches begin denying the gospel, they in a sense cease to be true churches. Yet, some churches who have denied the gospel in various ways (whether by truncating it in the case of seeker churches or by denying its core tenants it in the case of liberals) may or may not "die." In fact, by all appearances they be "thriving." But appearances really don't matter. I am just not so sure that an eventual "death" is quite so guaranteed, or even important. The false teaching and denial of the gospel, that is far more important than whether or not it will die. Though I may misunderstand what you are saying.

Rob C said...

Churches that abandon the gospel do not eventually (and the implication) or automatically die. On the contrary, Scripture in both the OT and the NT shows a pattern of the people of God going to the brink of apsotasy, with a faithful remnant in the covenant lines remaining and growing strong again. Funny what the power of the Spirit can do, huh?