In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.
Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse.
In our day careful attention needs to be paid to the issue of sexual immorality in particular. This isn’t because Christians are prudes or like to judge others or are obsessed with sex. We have to talk about sexual sin because it is the idol of our age. For the church to be silent on the most important ethical matters of our day would be irresponsible and cowardly. This means Christians have difficult waters ahead, especially as it relates to the issue of homosexuality. How can we talk about sexual immorality in a way that is both true and gracious?
Adam Ford nailed it.
B&H Kindle sale
- Exalting Jesus in Matthew a commentary by David Platt—$2.99
- Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler—$2.99
- Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper—$2.99
- HCSB Study Bible—$2.99
- The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley—$2.99
- Manhood Restored by Eric Mason—$2.99
- Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax—$2.99
- Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger—$4.99
- Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart by J.D. Greear—$2.99
- Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear—$2.99
There is no question that professing believers can fall and fall radically. We think of men like Peter, for example, who denied Christ. But the fact that he was restored shows that not every professing believer who falls has fallen past the point of no return. At this point, we should distinguish a serious and radical fall from a total and final fall. Reformed theologians have noted that the Bible is full of examples of true believers who fall into gross sin and even protracted periods of impenitence. So, Christians do fall and they fall radically. What could be more serious than Peter’s public denial of Jesus Christ?
But the question is, are these people who are guilty of a real fall irretrievably fallen and eternally lost, or is this fall a temporary condition that will, in the final analysis, be remedied by their restoration? In the case of a person such as Peter, we see that his fall was remedied by his repentance. However, what about those who fall away finally? Were they ever truly believers in the first place?
I will admit readily that anytime something like this leaps out of obscurity and onto the radar of political correctness, my knee-jerk reaction is negative. I can’t help it. I have such little faith in and respect for contemporary popular culture that I just assume that whatever captivates all of its attention at the present moment is probably idiotic. But that’s not really fair, so I have to back off and take a closer look sometimes. And even though the issue of bullying has popped up like a trendy ‘cause of the month’, if I think about the issue for what it is, disregarding some of the silliness that is currently written about it, I can’t deny that it is an important subject.