Paul wrote in the book of Galatians these words, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!”. These are words that should be noted by American Evangelicalism. What we are propagating is a gospel contrary to the Good News, the “euangelion” of God found in Jesus. Here are specifics of the Gospel…
Christ died for our sins,
He was buried,
and that He rose again.
The Gospel speaks of the grace and love of God, the glory of Christ, of peace and the Kingdom of God. The Gospel is eternal and it is for all people, in all time. And Jesus is central to it all.
That is the Gospel.
To be fair, all the previous things I said, AE would say they preach and believe. But it goes beyond that. Here is what I have been taught, and what I have observed over the years. To be the right kind of Christian you need to adhere to the following…
The Bible is inerrant, and literal.
Patriotism, and embracing a conservative political point of view is critical.
The poor should not be helped by government, not with health care, food stamps, cash assistance, and any other program that enables them to “just sit around”.
Birth control is a sin, as is condom distribution, and teaching sex ed.
Some of the laws of the Hebrew Bible are in effect today, but only some of them.
Tithing brings God’s blessing, holding back brings a curse.
Giving “seed” (money) to television preachers speeds up God’s blessings
Only AE knows the truth about God and the Bible, every other church is wrong.
God wants us to discriminate against some sinners.
God wants us to call out other people’s sin.
God will punish you if you sin, and in fact He is mad at you and will cut off relationship with you unless you repent.
God doesn’t care if you seek to help people make their lives better in the here and now, because one day we will be raptured and the world is going to burn up.
Your faith depends on you, you have to do everything you can to be right with God.
Too much teaching on God’s grace is bad. There needs to be balance.
What is missing? Jesus. And because of that, Evangelicalism has polluted, and changed the glorious message of the unconditional love and grace of God through Jesus into a religion of rules, regulations, and duty.
We have become the Pharisees.