Friday, October 28, 2005

Non-Gospel "churches"

I just happened to catch a small portion of an NBC show tonight hosted by Tom Brokaw. I think it was called “In God We Trust.” The main point of the show was to investigate the link between Evangelicals and politics. From what I saw, it was a pretty good representation of what we believe about the government. However, there was one answer to a question that raised my feathers.
Tom Brokaw was talking to a charismatic pastor named Ted Haggard (spelling?). I have never heard of him or his mega-church, New Life Tabernacle. Tom said he remembered going to church growing up and hearing a lot about sin. From his work with this particular church, he noticed that sin was not emphasized or talked about, so he asked why. Ted Haggard said that his church did not emphasize sin or the removal of our sins because Jesus had already taken care of that. Ted’s emphasis is more on our victory and fulfilling our destiny.
I must admit that I am not as gospel-centered as I should be. I am in the process of becoming increasingly aware of my need for the gospel. Here is my question: Is a “church” that does not talk about the gospel a Church? Ted admitted that the gospel is not central (“we do not talk about the removal of our sin”) in his preaching and in his church. What are the characteristics of a True Church?

In fairness, maybe Ted did not exaclty mean what he said the way I took it. However, the question is still valid.

Update: To my surprise, Ted Haggard is on the front cover of Christianity Today. Were these two major appearances coordinated?

3 comments:

Mark Redfern said...

Justin,

How about a book review on Convergence? I want to read it, but would like to hear some of your thoughts.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Justin,

I'm a member of New Life Church. It is unfortunate that you have never heard of my pastor and his role as head of the Association of Evangelicals.

I will say the Gospel is preached at New Life. Pastor Ted emphasizes the need to apply the Blood of Jesus to find salvation in Jesus Christ. However, He does encourage us to move into the place of trusting in the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit where living the Christian life becomes easy. Basically he says just stop sinning and life the Christian life.

John

justin said...

John, thanks for your comments and clarification.