Let us examine ourselves my brethren. Are we ashamed of the cross? Are we seeking to not offend the unregenerate all around us? Are we watering down the Gospel?
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. 7You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. 9A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is. 11But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves. Galatians 5:6-12 (NASB)
In Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians he delivers a scathing indictment against all who teach works salvation or any version of the Gospel that has been edited from the original. If these false gospels be true then, as Paul says, the offense of the cross has been removed. However, the Apostle, in fact, is declaring that the offense of the cross never has ceased, and never can cease. Any attempt to soften the offense is folly. While genuine Christianity is peaceful, mild, and benevolent, history shows us that it has been attacked with the bitterest hate from the beginning. Why? It is clearly offensive to the unregenerate mind.
Even though men such as Brian McLaren scoff at the concept of absolute, knowable truth, and sell their message to an eager post-modern generation, the fact is that the genuine Gospel has not been changed any more than the world has changed. They may claim to have some new ‘perspective,” but all they are doing is proclaiming a very old repackaged message of doubt.
Pastor Andy Stanley, the son of pastor Charles Stanley, has come under a lot of fire for some of his sermon content over the past few years in which he has stated things like, “Christians need to unhitch themselves from the Old Testament.” and “Why he quit saying, ‘the Bible says.’” The following link is from the Christian Post by Michael Gryboski. It is his own opinion based upon an interview with Michael Brown who interviewed Andy Stanley about these things. Here is the link to the article.
Andy Stanley has built his ministry on attempting to do away with the offense of the cross and also the offense of nearly every doctrine that the natural man sees as God interfering in his life. Stanley’s approach to the Gospel reminds me a great deal of that of Rob Bell. Bell went out of his way to exclude all offense of the cross in his ministry and tried to influence all churches to do the same. I remember very well the day I watched Bell’s video “Bull Horn Guy” where he attempts to discourage Christians from sharing that part of the Gospel about sin and separation from God without the atoning work of Christ on the Cross. Instead, he proclaimed that his church was full of those who “Love Jesus,” but would have none of that sort of preaching or teaching. In other words, he was stating that repentance and submission to the Lordship of Christ are not necessary for salvation. He has went on record stating that God is not angry about anyone’s sin.