Lu 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
To listen to the sermons and read the web pages of the modern evangelical church, you would think that the principles of the gospel are freedom from “addictions” and helping people overcome their “hurts”.
Not long ago I passed a small church with a sign out front that said, “We help hurt people.” I thought, yeah, you probably do. People come to you for help and you help to hurt them.
I once attended a church in the Texas panhandle who thought that the principles of the gospel were to keep the women in “modest” apparel – long baggy dresses with long sleeves. To keep their hair long and uncut. To keep them from wearing jewelry which might gain attention. In short, to keep women as uglified as possible in order to keep the men of the church from lusting after them.
This worked as well as you might imagine. The pastor snuck off to Lubbock to look at porn and purchase prostitutes. He slavered after the young wives of the church, committed adultery with them, and broke up their marriages. He felt guilty about these things, of course. He went to other pastors in towns to confess his sins in order to attempt to use “accountability” to recover from his “addiction.” It didn’t work. – Of course, it didn’t work. Making up your own gospel never does.
The principles of the gospel – those things “most surely believed” are not the things MOST IMPORTANT TO US. Just because we have been raised in the prudish Victorian principles of anti-erotica, and just because our God-given biology forces us to behave in opposition to these unscriptural principles, does not mean that these are the things MOST IMPORTANT TO GOD.
God cares about the gospel. Jesus came to tell us God’s word. He didn’t come to back up the Pharisees in their traditions. The Gospel of Jesus is about dying for our sins, being resurrected for our regeneration, promising us that he will return for our hope of the resurrection. The sins that he wishes to deliver us from are Adultery, Fornication, Hatred, Murder, Rioting, Drunkeness (Galations 5:19-20) not “addictions.” He came to give us the source of the fruits of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, etc. We help people overcome their addictions (the true addictions, I mean) because they prevent the fruits of the spirit from being expressed in their lives. But the centrality of the Gospel is not MEN but GOD. It is about Jesus and our relationship to him.
The Church must return to preaching the gospel instead of being a self-help group guided only by Pop Psychology that has no source in either the gospel or science.
Erotica – or what today we inaccurately call porn – is, as God showed us in the Song of Solomon, part of a healthy lifestyle. If we are guided by Scripture, the we would be promoting Holy Erotica (as I do in my website HolyErotica.com)
Today’s church is being seduced, like the foolish Galations so long ago, into believing a gospel of works. That living a Christian life means living and talking about Jesus, not running around talking about the most current fad to preach against.