Yesterday morning I tweeted this: “The marriage controversy is not unrelated to the fact that many churches will be overdosing on silliness this Sunday.”

Some asked me what I meant by it. This is what I meant:

Church life in general and the worship gathering in particular, over time, shape a Christian’s thinking and values. Since that is true, we have a good insight toward an answer to these questions: Why do you suppose so many self-professing Christians today see no sin in same-sex couplings? And why do you suppose so many evangelicals who do still see the sin nevertheless seem to struggle to think and speak about marriage with any depth beyond political soundbites and emotional cliches?

We are reaping what we’ve sown with our church life the last 25 years. The story widely told as our “gospel” amounts to a self-helpy self-actualizing self-fulfilling pragmatically spiritual whatchamacalitism. We decided doctrine was too dry, so we tore it out and humidified the sanctuary auditorium with fog (sometimes literally). And Hendricks warned us: “A fog in the pulpit is a mist in the pew.”

I’m not trying to oversimplify. I’m only saying that American evangelicalism by and large has. And if our long-timers don’t know the gospel with enough depth to navigate the confusing waters of our post-Christendom culture, it’s our own dang fault. They can only go as deep as the gospel we give them.

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3 thoughts on “Only As Deep As Your Gospel”

  1. Flyaway says:

    God is winnowing out the tares.

    Warning Against Refusing God
    Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

  2. One of the most devastating realities I see unfolding is that since we have become the circus church in America, evangelicals still attempt to be taken seriously in the public forum yet have lost all credibility. What I see as a result is an increased pomp and militarism to make up for the deficit in intellectual/biblical depth – and thus many of us come across as angry suburbanites whining over our loss of privileged position. This militaristic posture is only worsened when propagated across facebook and twitter, where we duel the dreaded secularists with empty rhetoric and Mormonesque appeals to a burning in the bosom concerning the righteousness of our position.

    With little to no ability to defend the Bible and Christian worldview, we increasingly come across as just another outmoded clan, ready to die with a couple more shoves towards the cliff, down into the dustbin of history along with our smoke machine churches and feel-good mysticism.

    Yet His Church will survive, and for this I am settled in my heart.

  3. Maureen Enderlin says:

    From a mother of a gay son who I dearly love….Thank you for this.

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Jared C. Wilson

Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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