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By Coach Dave Daubenmire
April 2, 2009

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galations 1:6-7

My wife and I were returning home from church a few weeks ago and I couldn’t get away from the gnawing sensation inside my soul.

It had been a typical service, one that is mimicked thousands of times a week across America. You know how they go; you could probably print the church bulletin. People slowly wander in, with a rush just before the service starts, drop their children off in the “children’s church”, give a courteous smile and a “God bless you” to several people who’s names they can not recall, as they find their regular seat in a certain section of the “sanctuary.”

Soon the “praise team” led by the “minister of worship” begins to play as the words to the songs are flashed on the screen in front. After a few songs (usually about being a friend of God…or wanting to see Jesus), the worship leader encourages folks to mingle about and say good morning to others, an offering is received as a soloist does a “special” song, followed by “a time of prayer” where “unspoken requests” are remembered, a “message” from the pastor, concluded by a “time at the altar.”

“Has Coach, been to our church?” You may be asking yourself right now?

Probably not, but I have been to hundreds just like yours. That is why I had that gnawing feeling as Michele and I left the church that morning. I know I am a little different than most, but that is what makes me, me.

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For the life of me I can’t figure out why the feel good messages that we hear from the pulpit make me feel so sick. Spiritual Diabetes is the disease I suffer from. Too much of the sugary sweet gospel makes me ill; especially with so much poison in our midst.

As Michele and I were cruising home that day I asked her a question hoping to keep the buzz-saw in my stomach from churning full bore.

“What is the Gospel sweetheart?”

“Well, I guess it is the Good News of God reconciling man to himself through Jesus.” She answered. “The Kingdom of God has arrived.”

“What does that mean?” I prodded for an answer that would make the rumbling stop.

“What are you getting at, Honey?” She knew that the questions I was asking were not for her to answer, but rather a self-probing of my own heart.

“Let me ask it another way.” I regrouped. “Does the Gospel of the Kingdom apply to all people in all places? Should the gospel preached from any pulpit, regardless of where you live, be applicable to any other Christian regardless of where he/she lives? Does God have one gospel for America and another gospel for the underground church in China? Would the sermon we just heard bring life to the Christians in the Sudan?”

We drove the next several miles in silence as we both considered the obvious answer to the hypothetical that had just been proposed.

The American gospel is a “perverted gospel”…..and is “no gospel at all.”

I believe that the world is in a free-fall because of the false gospel spewing from the pulpits of America today. For over two hundred and fifty years America, and the Christianity we exported, was the fire-wall against the ever-advancing enemies of God throughout the world.

But the message of the American Church today is not the message of our Christian-forefathers. The American gospel is a humanistic, man centered, “meet my needs” gospel, designed to enhance one’s earthly life, not transform it.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4.

Modern American Christianity is catering to “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” To paraphrase John F. Kennedy most Americans go to church to “ask not what you can do for God, but what God can do for you.”

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. I John 2:15-16.

Is it possible that the American gospel is creating enemies of God by catering to the flesh?

Turn on Christian radio and listen to the “gospel.” Settle in front of your TV with a bowl of popcorn and embark on a Trinity Broadcasting Network marathon and watch the Humanistic gospel that is reflected off of the satellite. No longer is a sin-hating, turn from your wicked ways, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God gospel being trumpeted, but a worldly, pop-psychology, Jesus is an ATM in the Sky, life-enhancement, seeker-friendly, do not judge or offend gospel is being dished out. It hasn’t always been this way.

The 18th Century gave us The Great Awakening through men of God such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Samuel Davies, Devereux Jarratt. Their preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom rescued the morally decrepit American colonies, brought a sense of national identity, and led to the American Revolution. The conversion of hearts by their preaching produced such once-Christian institutions as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and a myriad of other universities founded for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is a life-changing, world-altering, gospel. Today it has become nothing more than a marketing technique designed to give you all the things those in the world desire, only sanctified as “blessings” of one’s Christianity.

The preaching of Edwards, Whitefield, Davies and Jarratt gave us America, liberty, missionaries to the world, and George Washington. Compare that to today’s gospel of Warren (look at this), Osteen, Hybels, and Copeland. Their preaching has led to AIDS taskforces, global warming, socialism, and Obama.

My thoughts go to a brief lunch I had a few years ago with a South African missionary who was visiting Ohio. The meeting was so brief that I cannot recall his name, but I will never forget what he imprinted on my heart that day. As I stood and shook his hand to leave he looked deep in my eyes and charged me with this.

“Please do not send anymore missionaries to my country. The American gospel is making our job harder. When financial blessings and prosperity fail to come to our people it is hard to open their hearts back up to receive the life-changing Gospel of the Kingdom. Please keep your version of the gospel in America.”

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; Romans 1:16…but we are, you know, ashamed of the gospel. Ashamed to call sin, sin, to preach hell and repentance, holiness and sacrifice, and the most intolerant of all messages…that Jesus is the only way…. “I am THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life…”

The gospel has not changed, only the presentation of it has. Look at this list of top selling Christian books. I wonder how many persecuted Christians in Iran are buying them. The American-gospel is no gospel at all.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. Prov.8:36

Obama is the most freedom-hating, death loving President in American history. The compromised goop oozing from the pulpits has paved his way.

The Gospel of Edwards and friends gave us the Great Awakening. Today’s gospel has given us the Great Apostasy. God is angry and his watchmen have failed to warn us.
“If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home.” Vance Havner

We are a prodigal nation, full of prodigal churches, led by prodigal pastors. We could return home, if only our pulpits would show us how. But I am not sure they know the way.

Where are the Edwards? Where are the Whitefields? America needs revival.

The American gospel is no gospel at all.            
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