Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ashamed of the Gospel (Part 1)

            I have started reading a book by John MacArthur entitled: "Ashamed of the Gospel." This book has so many great points and is useful for discerning whether your local church has fallen into this deceptive movement or not. So I wanted to start a list of quotations from the book that I think are very helpful. I entitled the post 'Part 1" because I know there will be many more quotes from the book that I feel led to post.

"The chief criterion for gauging the success of a church has become attendance figures, whatever pulls in the most people is accepted without critical analysis as good . That is pragmatism." (preface. xiii)

"The aim of the early modernists was simply to make the church more "modern," more unified, more relevant, and more acceptable to a skeptical modern age. Just like the pragmatists today." (preface. xvi)

"Yet if church history teaches us anything, it teaches us that the most devastating assaults on the faith have always begun as subtle errors arising inside the body itself." (preface. xvi)

"The idea that you are going to win people to the Christian faith by showing them that after all you are remarkably like them, is theologically and psychologically a profound blunder." (preface. xvii)

"The Great Commission is not a marketing manifesto. Evangelism does not require salesman, but prophets. It is the Word of God, not any earthly enticement, that plants the seed for the new birth (1 Peter 1:23). We gain nothing but God's displeasure if we seek to remove the offense of the cross (cf. Gal. 5:11)." (preface. xviii)

"Size does not signify God's blessing. And popularity is no barometer of success. In fact, it can be a reason for condemnation (cf. Jer. 5:30, 31)." (pg. 29)

"Real success is dong the will of God regardless of the consequences." (pg. 29)

"His goal (Paul's) as a preacher was not to entertain people with his rhetorical style, or to amuse them with cleverness, humor, novel insights, or sophisticated methodology-he simply preached Christ crucified." (pg. 32)

"The preacher's task is not to be a conduit for human wisdom; he is God's voice to speak to the congregation." (pg. 32)

"But people's deepest need is to confess and overcome their sin. So preaching that fails to confront and correct sin through the Word of God does not meet people's needs. It may make them feel good. And they may respond enthusiastically to the preacher, but that does not mean such preaching meets real needs." (pg. 34)

"This is happening in the church today. Evangelicalism has lost its tolerance for confrontive preaching. Now the church is flirting with serious doctrinal error. Christians madly pursue extrabiblical revelation in the form of prophecies and dreams. Preachers deny or ignore the reality of hell. The modern gospel promises heaven apart from holiness. Churches ignore the biblical teaching on women's roles, homosexuality, and other politically-charged issues. The human medium has overtaken the divine message. This is evidence of serious doctrinal compromise. If the church does not repent and return to the up-line(as Spurgeon would say), these errors and others like them will become epidemic." (pg. 37)

"People seeking to be entertained or fed, curiosity-seekers, and people who just follow the crowd are by no means true disciples. It is those who love the Word that are true followers of Christ. They will not desire preachers who tickle their ears." (pg. 37)

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