Something that has been on my mind ALOT lately is the way we - church leaders and Christians as a whole - communicate the reality of who God is. I think the American church has done the planet a disservice. NO THIS NOT A "BE GREEN" POST. When I talk about the planet, I mean the people in it.
For a long time, the Western presentation of the gospel has been "God can fix your problems." Even to the point we as leaders talk about a "perceived need" that needs to be met. But that idea is only fit for people who have a perceived problem. That idea doesn't encompass the fullness of who God is. How does that translate to the person who has a good paying job, a healthy family, a generally happy family and has no drug or emotional addictions? Does this type of person not need the gospel?
I also believe this type of "God can fix your problems" gospel has caused more people to be like the 9 lepers that didn't return and give thanks. We present God to be the "always there for you problem solver" and not the life changer. God doesn't want to fix your problems, He wants to change your life.
I encounter so many peopl who say "yeah I tried that and it didn't work" when it comes to the gospel. It didn't work? What does that mean? Your sins weren't forgiven? You weren't translated from the kingdom of darkeness to the kingdom of light? Your past wasn't washed clean? You weren't reconciled to the true and living God? What do you mean it work? Or were they convinced to try God to fix their marriage and it still ended in divorce? Were they convinced to try God so that their parents wouldn't be abusive anymore and they still were?
I do believe that we should "taste and see that the Lord is good." I believe that God does have the ability to fix our problems, heal our bodies and break our addictions. I believe that fully. But I don't believe that's what God wants to be His complete message. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven, so that our soul can be free and so that we can be reconciled to our heavenly Father.
Problem solving, physical healing and addiction breaking is something I'm praying for so that God can show Himself powerful in my community and that people will live for Him. "Christ died so that those that live would live for Him."
Leaders, lets go beyond "problem solving, always there for you" gospel - and let's talk about the "life never the same, sin forgiving soul redeeming God." Let's touch the perceived needs, but let's move to the REAL needs of humanity - sin forgiving.