Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

what's so good about the gospel?

9/27/19

 

If the church responds honestly to this question, their theology demands that they introduce the hearers to the very bad news that they are condemned by God to a horrendous, eternal fate. They then must try to temper that revelation by introducing some hope that escape is possible, if, if, if the hearer does all the right things.

 

The right things are described as nothing more than just properly responding to the loving, gracious offer that God extends through Jesus to everyone alike. However, as one continues to unwrap the church theology and its history, the good news takes on increasingly negative aspects.

Firstly, any appreciation of history and Christian theology will confirm that the blessings or goodness of their Gospel have never been available equally to all humanity. So the concept of universally effective good news is a myth. It is good news for the lucky few.

 

Then, accepting the escape plan carries with it an awesome responsibility. Suddenly the convert becomes obligated to disseminating the “good news” escape plan to as many as possible. The eternal fate of countless friends, family members, and acquaintances now depends on the knowledge and persuasive skills of the new Christian. The convert is often overwhelmed - either by too much responsibility or too much power and self importance. He becomes despondent or intolerant, neither of which promotes peace and happiness.

 

As part of the good news theology, church members are constantly told that they are a persecuted group because they remain attached to the church good news. Being eternally aggrieved as the church teaches, makes church members anxious and emotionally drained, while they simultaneously alienate outsiders, who view the church as the real historical religious persecutor.

 

Additionally, the church encourages its followers to segregate themselves from the unchurched, hiding behind gated communities, private schools, armed church buildings, and politically erected fences. The Gospel may be universal in extent but the church version doesn’t foster any trust in mankind as a whole or any commitment to good which extends beyond the church membership. The outside world is just too evil, dangerous, and irredeemable based on the church’s concept of good news. 

 

The final coup de grace to this gospel is that the true believer must be faithful to the church and all its theology until death. That faithfulness includes regular church attendance, financial support for the church, and demonstrated ritual piety. If faithfulness proves elusive, the hope of the gospel evaporates just as if it had never existed, been noted, or acted upon properly. Salvation is always in doubt until one dies and by then one's eternal fate is fixed. This nagging uncertainty is far from good.

 

Given all of this, it is no wonder that Christians and unbelievers alike cringe at the good news of Christianity. The only wonder is how such a doctrine ever became known as good and why it still prevails today. Even the average church member likely rejects it.

 

 

The final coup de grace is the prevailing insistence that the true believer must be faithful to the church and its theology until death. Above all else, this faithfulness is defined as regular church attendance, financial support for the church, and demonstrated ritual piety. If faithfulness proves elusive, the hope of the gospel evaporates in the end just as if it had never existed, been noted, or acted upon properly. Salvation is a lifelong exercise with the outcome always in doubt.

 

Given all of this, it is no wonder that Christians and unbelievers alike cringe at the good news of Christianity. The only wonder is how such a doctrine ever became known as good and why it still prevails today. Even the average church member likely rejects it.