Gospel and the present Christianity - Part 04 of 04
- Gospel and the present Christianity - Part 04 of 04
We are hearing these days a lot of easy ways of salvation and cheep grace through radio and TV. They propagate "prosperity gospel," twisting the word of God, which is opposed to the gospel of Christ. Jesus himself warned, "Many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ and will deceive many," Mat 24:5. St Paul said, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ; But even if we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed," Gal 1:6-8. St Peter wrote: "There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed," 2Pe 2:1-2. St John wrote: "You have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour," 1Jn 2:18. St Jude wrote: "Certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ," v4. Thus evidently all the apostles have warned, not to go after false teachers who shall infiltrate and defile the true faith, teach counter doctrines and detract the faithful from the Holy Church, which is the true bride of Christ, yet our faithful not only go after the false teachers who ridicule the apostolic faith but also bring their ideas into the church and pervert others too; this riddle I am yet to understand because St Paul calls the Church, "House of God, pillar and ground of truth," 1Tim 3:15.
Let us consider, is proclamation of gospel a mouth-service or a speaking exercise? Evangelism is not confined or limited to mere quotations and explanations of the scriptures. Christianity is a call to holiness so even evangelism ought to emanate from a holy life; life is the best way of conveying gospel. A true disciple must emulate the teacher; his simplicity, meekness, honesty, moral discipline, blameless conduct, responsibility, accountability, hard work, readiness, mercy, compassion, helping the poor and downtrodden, fearless, frankness, encouraging others, not greedy, not covetous, not envious, not glutton, not drunkard, not slanderous, not expecting reward, not self-exalting, not self-justifying, not inciting quarrel, not wicked, and so on. In the first century when Christianity was in infant stage, it had no capital in the worldly sense. It was a persecuted church. Pronouncing the name of Jesus Christ was anathema to the royals. It was banned by royal decree. There were no gothic structures and high-rise golden domes; no dazzling clergy-vestments or institutions or political influences. There were shepherds with prayer life, blameless conduct and caring the flock. Believers assembled in private homes, caves and hid themselves to escape persecution; that is the history of early catacomb worshippers. But they had certain things in common; simple but exemplary life, unblemished love, bond of unity in sound doctrine, obedience to the apostles' teachings and many became martyrs for the sake of gospel and laid their treasures in heaven. Contrariwise, today we have too many institutions; schools, colleges and hospitals, affluent leaders with bargaining power, minding self-comfort, exploiting the poor and the weak and leading a life of pleasure even higher than the royals in the past. Some pretend as miracle workers, healers and soothsayers and pervert sound apostolic doctrines, teach their own doctrines, mislead people, cheat the unsuspecting and establish cults; indeed they are the great curse. Disobedience to what Christ and His apostles taught is the one thing in common to them. They neither talk about sin nor encourage sinless life, lest the followers would desert which shall affect their income. They falsely offer comfort, demand money as "seed" of prosperity. A signed letter from Benny Hinn quoting, "Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year in hundred fold," Genesis 26:12 reads, "There is greater power in the `seed' that you plant into the fertile soil of this ministry, particularly during this anointed season. When I receive your prayer card, I will anoint it with oil for a prosperity anointing that will last for 12 months. Giving is always tied to God's financial blessings. And only the anointing can deliver you from debt and poverty." These are counter gospel protagonists, serving own bellies and Satan. Believers; beware of and flee away from them. True gospel is not easily palatable, its essential mark is convicting of sin, "Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment," John 16:8,
Rev. Fr. K K John