We really are not that bad. Are we? After we recognizes God’s creative power in our understanding of the gospel we move to man’s depravity and our inability to not sin. We are that bad and even worse. But we don’t talk about it that much. In our homes, in our relationships and sadly in our churches, we attempt to soften the truth so it becomes “more appealing” to others.
It is the pastor that weeps at the responsibility of exposing sin not because of the sad brokenness of our lives but because it might be “hurtful.” The truth though is that it is hurtful, it is painful and we are incapable of resolving sin. But Christ. Christ has resolved it, defeated and given us the freedom to become slaves to righteousness and live unto him alone (Romans 6). This is the gospel and we should not shy away from its truth and graphic reality.
Tim Challies has a post on this issue (what a great post for Valentine’s day!) The Canadian presents a clear view of how we soften the gospel in our culture and expresses some truths that challenge me today.
Unbelievers hate the gospel message because it insists that things are true about them that they simply do not wish to believe. It insists things are true that they are unable to believe…
There is, of course, a direct correlation between the weakness of the bad news and the weakness of the good news. The weaker we make the bad news, the weaker is the good news in comparison…
Our job is not to analyze the news we are called to herald to the world. Faithfulness to God requires faithfulness to the message—the whole message. We dare not soften the bad news; we dare not lessen the offense of the cross. Instead we preach the message faithfully and fully, letting people see first the depth of their debt to God and then the unsurpassed worth and beauty of Christ.
The gospel is not owned by reformed writers or intellectuals in academia. The gospel is not owned by those living missionally in community or those sticking to tradition. The gospel does not need our softened touch. It is truth that will be declared regardless of our inability to convey it. It is a truth that comes off of the pages of scripture with force greater than Niagara Falls. It is in our face and offensive to our sinful nature. But because it is good, it is where our hope lives and where are savior, Jesus, is made much of. This is where we do should dwell, an unashamed and honest gospel.