An unusual column appeared this week in the "Tennessean".  Unusual in that it does not reflect the usual mindset of that paper.  Closer examination revealed the author to be a free-lance writer, not necessarily a regular columnist.

  He begins, "Have you heard?"  There's a new Jesus in town and he brings with him a new gospel message - one that teaches a permissive kind of love called "tolerance" - a love that hears no evil, sees no evil, and frankly never brings up evil for discussion lest the offenders become the offended.

  Discussing the evil of man's sinful nature is a risky venture nowadays, especially for any Christian or church seeking to be loved and accepted by the world around them.  But then, that's not really the Great Commission, is it - that you and I go out into the world and seek it's love and acceptance in the name of Jesus?  No, John 15:19 assures us that because of Christ, we will be hated... We cannot pursue both the love and acceptance of the world around us and be the "living sacrifice" God calls us to be.  That's two entirely different agendas.  Today's church of universal tolerance is the unfortunate result of following a "new Jesus".  Healthy and obedient churches preach repentance and faith evidenced by obedience to God's word.

  To preach repentance and faith, we have to make perfectly clear what it is God expects people to repent of - especially in a country where biblical values have been subtly and strategically replaced with a multicultural value system that teaches a tolerance for almost anything but God's word.  "After all, how can one repent of sin if he or she is never taught what sin is?"

  The gospel is not merely "Jesus loves you"< but also includes  "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord."  It is also Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them,
Repent, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

  The Gospel is "good news" because it identifies the problem, which is sin, and also shows how to overcome it.

  That is not intolerance, narrow mindedness, or hate.  It is the epitome of  God's love.


Praying for you

Pastor Ritchey