I’m currently undergoing a life coaching program called “Coach Yourself” which involves identifying life areas that need work and creating an action plan for change. Part of the process is to write a letter from the future that describes life beyond the desired changes. It’s an amazingly simple yet inspiring process.
Well, funnily enough I happened to be going through the oldest emails in my Gmail account. This one is quite the pearl (I have replaced actual names with “…..”).
I am writing this just after the Sunday evening service, in response
to the ‘gospel’ message …. presented after the musical. It is being
addressed to you as I do not know of any other Pastor or Elder (apart
from …..) who understands the clear distinction between easy
believism and the clear proclamation of the gospel including
repentance (though I am not saying that other Elders do not, merely
that I have no knowledge). As ….. was bringing his message to a close,
I began feeling extremely disappointed with what he had shared, as it
lacked the very key components of the wrath of God and repentance. As
you well know, God’s love cannot be shared without the equalising
balance of His wrath. Christ had much to say about judgment, yet today
we hear so very little about it, in preference for an emphasis on
love. And then I became most annoyed when ….. brought in the
‘sinner’s prayer’, which is the height and pinnacle of easy believism.
I know of a number of cases of people who once confessed Christ, some
strongly and others half-heartedly, and now do not follow Him at all.
I am sure you would know of a much greater number. Given that Pastors
would be well exposed to such statistics, it would seem that you would
certainly want to make absolutely sure that the gospel is clearly
presented, to avoid the serious repercussions of false belief. Yet it
seems that time after time, the gospel continues to be only partially
presented, and this ‘gloss-over’ effect is overlooked by the majority.
We must earnestly contend for the faith! I truly do want to discuss
this with ….., yet I thought it would be wise to pass it through you
first. I am sure that if John were around, he would make it an
The issue of the gospel is one that eclipses our present turmoil, for
it has eternal ramifications. My hope and prayer is for the complete
eldership to come to an agreement on the essence of the gospel, and
refuse to allow any divergence to be proclaimed from the pulpit. I
leave this to your discretion, and if you feel that I am wrong in any
point, I certainly want to know.
Rejoicing with you in the Lord,
Do I really know the person who wrote this email? Yes, it was me, but I can’t even identify with a single line. It smells of arrogance, presumption, and elitism. The only thing that I can read from it that remains is passion and sincerity. Yet what a dreadful argument for the gospel, which in English is supposed to mean good news! This is clearly the work of someone who read too much theology and yet had far, far too little practice.