In the 15-minute video below, Dallas Willard discusses the three common messages that are taught “as Gospel,” and why no one’s buying it. This is not a bash Christians video, or post. Rather, it strikes right through to the heart of why people flocked to Jesus.
The three Gospels that we most often hear, and that miss the mark, are as follows.
They’ll be familiar to you, subscriber or not…
- From The Right: Your sins are forgiven. Jesus has saved you, repent and believe the good news. Whoa, hang on there cowboy! What? Sins? Forgiven? What the heck are you talking about dude?
- From The Left: WE WANT YOU! Join Jesus’ Liberation Army – who cares what you believe, think, say, or do! Jesus is all about FREEDOM! Uh…what are we fighting for, the poor, the starving, gay rights?
- From Everyone: You need to believe the right things. Dude, “our” church rocks – don’t listen to those nut jobs down the street. Funny – they said the same thing about you guys. That’s weird.
From Jesus: Teach and live the Gospel of the Kingdom. That sounds interesting. Show me.
What is the Kingdom of God? It’s so simple, it’s hard to grasp. God wants to be our friend – right here, right now. Sound weird? Maybe. But that’s the core of Jesus’ message, and why it turned the world upside down. There’s some more detail here with the beatitudes.
Obviously there is a need to deconstruct some Christian teaching. Willard gently notes this should be done in a Kingdom spirit. Aw man…, but he’s right.
The Kingdom empowers people. It makes students of Jesus. The three Gospels above make consumers of religious goods and services, notes Willard. We don’t want to make people dependent on religious teaching, we want to make them dependent on God – that’s freedom. That’s life!
As an aside, don’t let Willard’s age, gentle approach, or kind demeanor make us think his message is dated, weak, or unnecessary. This message has already catapulted the Good News.
Enjoy the video…
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson