The Gospel is not a self-help program.

Struggle with me.

The Gospel is not a self-help program.

Why, then do people need the church?

If the Gospel calls people to a radical discipleship, is the Gospel, in fact, a free gift?

Should we market healing, prosperity, freedom from guilt, etc as the focus of our churches?

Do people really want these things or do they deeply desire Christ?  Are they even at odds at all?

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3 responses to “The Gospel is not a self-help program.

  1. Should we market prosperity, freedom from guilt, etc. No, you’re right, that makes Christ the means and not the end. But…

    Can there be the Gospel without the Church?

    Can Christ be separated from baptism and the Eucharist?

    Can Christ be separated from the two or three gathered in his name?

  2. Thanks for visiting, Fr. Steve!

    Good thoughts.

    The church must and will exist and it is a beautiful organism. My real struggle is not whether or not people need church and the Gospel, but whether the dominant trend of Christ as “the means” to prosperity, guilt-free living, etc that surrounds us is as effective as we think.

    It hasn’t been too long that I was fully subscribed to the marketing, consumerist, etc style of the church. However, now I think I run in quite the opposite direction.

    How then do I approach the church while this is everyone’s view of success?

    It’s a crazy thing to work through. I’m not so much having an inner battle as I am having my views refined.

    (This may be where my fancy with the Episcopalian church comes in, too…)

  3. I agree wholeheartedly, and one of my issues in my former life was the consumer driven church. This position may put me in the minority, but why do we ask non-church people what they want when they don’t know what they need? Someone once said in regards to this, “people never know what they want.” The argument could be to just get them in the door by giving them what they want and then slide authentic Christianity in there. But is that the way a church should act?

    My personal opinion is that the churches that promise to give folks what they want will be revolving doors. People will leave for the next church that promises what the former one didn’t give.

    Who wants sacrifice? Who wants struggle? Who wants persecution? Who wants to carry a cross and follow in the footsteps of a man that died for saying certain things and doing certain things, and oh-by-the-way, he wants us to say and do the same things? That church will never make it, except that it has.

    I think, and again this is me, we should be as boldly authentic as we can be and promise sacrifice, struggle, persecution, and cross carrying. We’ll stand out, that’s for sure.

    But we’ll be there when people realize that life is full of sacrifice, struggle, etc. We don’t promise escape from it, just peace within it.

    But that being said, we’ll never has many members as the church down the street.

    Enjoy the blog.

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