Rethinking the good news

What happens when the results become the actual message?

Source: Rediscovering Christianity

December 6, 2016

    

The implications of the good news being much more than what happens to you after death is profound. It is, after all, a message about God becoming king, renewing the world, and taking control of creation – and he does this through a crucified Messiah. Yes, personal salvation is a part of it, but only a part.

As we preach this fuller picture, it seems we have to be careful not to boil it down to a moral message, which is what often gets preached.

If the good news is a moral contract, then Jesus becomes Santa Claus (happy St. Nick day, by the way). Be good and you’ll get to go to heaven…but if you’re not, don’t worry, Jesus will wipe away our sins.

But what’s the role of the church in this?

Last Friday, a pastor friend of mine shared with me a quote from a theologian named James Cone. In this quote, he basically said that the purpose of the church was to look after the oppressed in society.

Biblically speaking, this is looking after the poor, the widow, the orphan, the stranger, etc.

But if that’s the role of the church, why do we need Christ? After all, doing good and looking after the oppressed can be boiled down to a life philosophy: do good. And a life philosophy doesn’t need a Messiah.

Unfortunately, this has even affected theology. Freeing the oppressed becomes feminist theology, black theology, liberation theology, and other sorts of contextual theologies. The gospel is no longer the good news of God becoming King. Instead, the results have become the message itself: a philosophy of helping those in need.

So how do we rethink all this in light of the actual good news?

Perhaps, instead of confronting authority with a message of equality for all, it’s a confrontation that God is King and we now have a new way of doing things (the implication being that God looks after those in need).

For the gospel to still be the good news of what God has done through his Messiah, then challenging worldly power with power from on high has to remain central. God’s in control and any power we have is only an illusion and only temporary.

The good news has to remain the message of a crucified Messiah. If the implications become the good news, then it’s a distorted “good news.”

Thoughts?

See also
Spiritual Fatherhood and Modern Psychology: Thoughts for Consideration Spiritual Fatherhood and Modern Psychology: Thoughts for Consideration
Igumen Gregory (Zaiens)
Spiritual Fatherhood and Modern Psychology: Thoughts for Consideration Spiritual Fatherhood and Modern Psychology: Thoughts for Consideration
Igumen Gregory (Zaiens)
In Orthodoxy salvation is a process of working to cleanse the inner man. In this process there are three stages of grace: the first is that of cleansing, the second enlightenment, and the third perfection, which is rare. We must repent and become cleansed of our wrong thoughts and sins, and then the mind can become enlightened by receiving thoughts of God.
Judgment with a Mixed Bag Judgment with a Mixed Bag
Fr. Stephen Freeman
But the Solzhenitsyn-inspired thought asked, “But what about those who sometimes act like sheep and sometimes act like goats?”
Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend
Fr. Stephen Freeman
Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend Jesus Is Not Your Imaginary Friend
Fr. Stephen Freeman
I want to turn our attention in this article to how our sentimental psychology distorts our concept of God and what it means to be in relationship with Him.
Desiring to Return Us to Paradise Desiring to Return Us to Paradise
Fr. Ted Bobosh
Desiring to Return Us to Paradise Desiring to Return Us to Paradise
Fr. Ted Bobosh
Salvation is so much richer than the mere payment of a debt. Salvation restores our humanity to us be reuniting humanity to divinity. Christ’s desire was to bring us to Paradise, not just cancel a debt, but to save us, restore our humanity and unite us to the divine life.
Loving Sinners Loving Sinners
Fr. Ted Bobosh
Loving Sinners Loving Sinners
After church the preacher asked the woman why she so enthusiastically supported him when he mentioned drinking, dancing and playing cards but was silent when he mentioned stealing chickens. The woman replied, “Because I don’t drink, dance or play cards.”
Saving A Democratic Man Saving A Democratic Man
Fr. Stephen Freeman
Saving A Democratic Man Saving A Democratic Man
Fr. Stephen Freeman
Can such a man find God, or even be saved? That may sound like a strange question, but it lies at the heart of the modern religious crisis.
Comments
Isidora12/10/2016 3:50 pm
Articles like this show me why it is so important to study the Fathers of our Church and the lives of the saints. Fr Dustin (why not a saint's name?) minimalises the importance and difficulty of our personal salvation. I'm glad this man is not my priest, I wouldn't care how far I had to drive to go somewhere Orthodox.
Jesse12/9/2016 10:44 am
He's saying the Church should not be reduced to a social service ministry. Is that objectionable?
Anthony12/7/2016 9:46 pm
Komrades! What on earth is this Konvertsie on or on about? Should you really be sowing such nonsense into the minds your readers.
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