Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Hybrid 'Gospel'

A hybrid is the combination of two or more different things, aimed at achieving a particular objective or goal.

I was recently listening to Rob preach the gospel...again...and as I was thinking about the differences between the Old and New Covenant, it struck me that much of the church is teaching (and I was taught some variation of this in many different churches) neither Old or New Covenant but a different 'covenant' altogether, a mongrel hybrid. This is more than just mixing a little Old with New, it's almost a permanent breed of religion that is stripped of even the fading glory the Old Covenant had (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-18). I would venture so far to say that it is a false and heretical religion, based on doctrines of demons.

What am I saying? Well, if we taught only Old Covenant, at least there are still some blessings available...right? I mean, as someone once commented to me, mercy was built into the law, there were sacrifices and provisions made for sin so that some blessing was still attainable, albeit in order to obtain them a person still had to have faith in God and his love. If we teach the New Covenant, it is only a million times better, since there is a permanent provision made for us to receive one blessing after another with no chance at all for receiving any curse since the foundation of everything in the New is the perfect righteousness of Jesus. He fully fulfulled the law--that is, he both rightfully earned every single blessing, as well as received every single curse and punishment,even death!

But men have not been satified with either covenants God has offered us, so they have taken it upon them selves to draw up a new contract thinking God will be impressed. Because the gospel is foolishness in their eyes, they have mixed the old and new together and produced a monster, a weapon that all the hordes of hell have taken up with joy and are using to maim and slaughter millions of people, believers and unbelievers alike.

This covenant says we must obey some of the laws of the Old, especially the 10 commandments, but they make it harder, adding in Jesus' sermon on the mount, so now we must not even hate our brother in our hearts or it is murder, we must not look at someone with lust or it is adultery...and they go on to apply this logic to the rest of the 10 commandments. If we fail, of course God will forgive us! IF we repent, show appropriate godly sorrow, feeling appropriate guilt and shame (to be differentiated somehow from the condemnation of Romans 8...), confess our sin sincerely, crawl to the throne of grace where Jesus reminds us of the nails that we personally drove into his hands and feet and beg mercy, which of course he will not deny us--that's the good news!!! We are forever and eternally indebted to him for his sacrifice, his 'free gift' comes with eternal strings attached and we are his pitiful puppets. Now worship him you dirty rotten worms!!! Where's your joy??? What's wrong with you people??? Aren't you thankful?

Can you see the twistedness of mixing the two covenants in this way, taking both the new and old testament out of context? This kind of teaching is neither Old or New Covenant, but 'another gospel', a gospel that is no gospel at all! (Galatians 1:6-7) I'm amazed at how often proponents of this legalistic religion want to turn this verse and point it at the ones preaching a new covenant grace message! How sadly ironic! The whole book of Galatians is aimed at man centered legalistic perversion of the true Gospel. When Paul says "this gospel is no gospel at all" he's saying plainly, "your 'good news' is not good news at all!".

There is a simple litmus test to know if you're hearing the true gospel. Is it simply and clearly the best news you've ever heard? If it is and you receive it ,it will naturally begin to produce all the glorious fruits of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. Those fruits of the Spirit are listed in GALATIANS, that is no coincidence! They are FRUITS of the Spirit, NOT WORKS OF THE FLESH, which are also evident: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:16-26)

This hybrid 'gospel' is no gospel at all, it is mostly bad news with a little bit of patronizing 'good news' mixed in to confuse the people who've bought into it. This 'good news' is used to make people feel guilty so that they're easier to manipulate and control. Their gospel is that you are terribly dirty all the time, but Jesus still condescends to love you and give you the occasional blessing, but if you suffer from disease and poverty and your marriage falls apart and your children die, it is no less than you deserve, being the lowly worm that you are, and Jesus has no obligation whatsoever to bless you so be thankful for the few he has given you and stop whining. IT'S A LIE. It sounds very humble and spiritual, but it is not humble to not boldly come to the throne of grace and receive everything we need, choosing to suffer instead, IT IS UNBELIEF.

The Father is obligated to bless us, to save us, to heal us, to love us, to comfort us, to provide everything we need, because he has obligated himself, HE HAS PROMISED. What is the requirement on our part to receive all this? It is believing in Jesus and asking in faith. NOW THAT'S GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will not be ashamed of the Good News! I will joyfully preach it anytime I get a chance, and it is so refreshing to my soul when I do. I haven't written anything like this for a long time it seems, but it feels really really good...and I know it will stir some people up a bit. Trust me, I hope it does stir some of you up...to faith!

6 comments:

Grace said...

Brilliant.
I am going to put a link to this post on our blog.
Well done!!

janelle said...

interesting...can't help but feel that this is aimed at what we've been talking about. Do you think then that I believe a hybrid Gospel?

lydia joy said...

Julie,
This is such an interesting post, it may seem bold and offensive to some what you say, but it is so true....it's interesting that Paul stated I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation. Why did he have to state he wasn't ashamed, because not everyone wants to accept the truly good goodness of the GOOD NEWS!
I am not ashamed either, the real pure Gospel, is the best news I have ever heard ....the law justified no one and condemns even the best of us, but grace saves even the worst of us. His blood was shed so we can be forgiven and cleansed and continually cleansed, the blood is continually washing us clean.....we don't have to do anything, it's all been done and continues to keep washing us - so people get under the cleansing waterfall and enjoy, get in and get washed over and over and over, it's awesome....we are free.....it was for freedom He set us free....enjoy it!!!!

(and when I say enjoy it, I don't mean go out and sin people....I mean receive this awesome gift, bask in God's gift that's what it is for to enjoy, to live free from sin consciousness!! and focus on relationship with him....!!!)

dogimo said...

Very well-argued; a passionate sermon, and a message that has never before occurred to me - yet one that strikes at the heart of the misery experienced by so many who struggle along trying their best to live up to the Christianity that has been handed down to them.

Nobody better call that a run-on sentence. I'm pretty sure it's not a sentence.

jul said...

dogimo, thanks! And don't worry, Paul wrote very long 'sentences' all the time, so maybe you're just one in a long line of pauls, it wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Grace and Lydia, thanks for the encouragement.

Janelle, no, it wasn't aimed at just what we've been talking about, though probably it's influenced me somehow, I've been having similar conversations with quite a few people. Of course I'm also affected by the experiences I've had as well. But really, it was the message I was listening to that triggered the main thought, along with a post I read at Grace Revolution (linked on the right hand side of my blog).

I don't know if you believe a hybrid Gospel or not, don't really know you that well...but generally speaking many of us (christians that is) do believe or have believed some type of hybrid gospel at some point...the grace law mish mash is rampant in the church in general, even your own church taught a series on the 10 commandments not too long ago if I'm remembering correctly.

I'm not trying to put myself above falling into this error either, it's one I'm constantly tempted to give in to, both knowingly and unknowingly. What I want, the reason I keep talking about grace, is for more and more people encounter God in a dynamic way to have the veil removed from their faces so they can enter into his manifest glory in a way they never have been able to before! True Christianity is a joyous life overflowing with abundant grace, peace, hope, and triumph! It's an easy yoke and light burden, not a millstone around your neck. It's no more shame, no guilt, no condemnation, it is life in Christ, seated at the right hand of the father in the heavenlies, with every enemy crushed beneath our feet. These are all things I think we can both agree on! Life with God is GOOD!

Matthew Daelon said...

You have such a beautiful passion for the Good News of Jesus Christ!! I love your blog posts on the Grace of God! They're always refreshing and encouraging!!