In case you missed it, Jory Micah (Peterson) has decided to plant a church, with her husband’s support. In my previous blog, An Open Letter to Jory Micah, I believe I clearly explained to her my position, but more importantly the Bible’s position on her gospel of self, but here we are again. She deems herself as a force to be reckoned with, in pursuit of a calling she insists is from God. Since her path has left her without a church body and a feeling of belonging, the obvious solution must be to plant her own “church”. She herself resolves that calling it a church will not be appealing enough to culture, so she is conjuring up a club of sorts, where they hang out… oh and Jesus, just so you know, you’re invited too. Instead of Jesus being the center of worship, the focus of their adoration, His invitation in, is to pacify their wounds, instead of breaking their chains of sin. Much to my dismay, quite possibly the thing I despise the most (a strong and necessary feeling) is the zero mention of the gospel, in fact, she says, “no one has to repent to sit at Jesus’ table.” Not only is the sole purpose of the “church” to serve the whims and desires of Micah, there is nothing gospel-centered, but rather, the complete opposite of the gospel will be shared in her “church”. I am appalled, but yet, can I really be shocked, that someone that would so blatantly deny scripture, would not love the Lord enough to share the only hope we have? The grace and mercy in which we can call on his name?
Many times in our lives and churches, this heresy is not quite so obvious. I am not suggesting that we all sit under female pastors, or desire to usurp our husbands, but that we believe and teach a false gospel.
“Everyone can come, sit, eat, drink, belong, and be loved, just as they are.” She’s referring to being with a Holy God again. Blasphemers, idolaters, liars, adulterers, thieves, murderers, all can sit at the table with Jesus, His grace is sufficient and abundantly more, but we do not mingle with the only Righteous One, as sinners. I am not suggesting, that we must change ourselves, to know God and be saved, but the precept of “Just as I am,” is in regards to the fact that we have nothing to offer to make Christ love us more. That means I cannot save myself. My strivings are in vain, but my sinfulness is unacceptable. If I could come to His table unchanged, just the way I was, the Gospel would not be necessary. Christ’s death would have been in vain. Is this the Gospel we are proclaiming?
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
The Gospel is simple and offensive. You are a wretched, wicked person when the standard is Christ. Due to your sin, you deserve to be eternally separated and damned to punishment. But Jesus, atoned for your sins, in His torturous death on a cross. Jesus did not endure persecution and death, for you to feel comfortable in your sin. People are not being oppressed, when they are held to the standard the Creator of the Universe set. We are not broken, wounded souls, in need of some help. We are sinners, dead in our trespasses against God. This does not make me a crass person by holding fast to this truth. On the contrary, the Christian that is unwilling to show their neighbor their debt with God hates them. It is God’s grace that we see our sin and our need of a Savior. It is His mercy, that He withheld his judgment from you, and poured it out on His Son. Proclaim with gladness and urgency for the world to turn from their way of death, and believe in the only life-giving hope. Help show the grace and mercy of God, by sharing the true Gospel with them.
It is tempting to demonstrate and share a gospel that more suits our comfort, but we all know what temptation can lead to–sin. It may be the comfort of your own sin, of which I urge you, please turn from your sin and trust Christ. Perhaps, you fear people. You fear what they may think of you, that you will “run them off.” Again, all we can do is repent and trust in Christ. His gospel is sufficient to save. That’s what it does. It does not need the works of people, making it more tasteful, offering up gimmicks and feel good notions. We need Jesus.
The Gospel is the great equalizer. Rich and poor, weak and strong, male and female, white or black, all social constructs are removed in Christ. No greater value or worth is placed on one person versus another. We aren’t all equally wonderful. However, we are all equally His creation, created for His glory. We have all equally hated God in our sin against Him and we all equally need a Savior. If there is any change to happen, it will be through the Gospel of “repent and believe,” because everything else breeds death and destruction. Sin destroys families, takes lives and damns us to Hell. We love these things apart from Christ. We need more of Jesus and less of our egos. I do not need to be told that I am enough, but I need to be reminded of the God who is enough, who is my All in All.
We are not self-righteous when we herald the truth of the Gospel, in fact, we are admitting failure. It is not arrogant to claim knowledge of the absolute Truth. Being faithful and obedient to God, to go to all the nations, preaching the gospel, making disciples, takes a measure of humility, that we cannot obtain on our own. Day by day, it is becoming more apparent the Gospel of the Bible, is unwelcome. Standing for truth in adversity means submitting to God, loving Him and His Word above all else, including yourself. We do not cower when our audience does not want to hear what God’s Word has to say. Rather, we trust in Him, persevere and run the race.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”” Romans 1:16-17
[Contributed by Katelyn Caswell]