5.09.2012

The Kingdom of God is the Gospel

I recently read an interesting article, Is the Mega Church the New Liberalism.  It focused on culture, gospel, megachurches and compromise with a focus on the issue of homosexuality.

As I'll summarize here, I don't think compromise on the issues of homosexuality or liberalism is the issue for the contemporary megachurch, rather the over-arching issue is American consumerism and individualism.  That in turn affects sexual identity, politics, and many other personal habits which may or may not be healthy.

My argument is that one reaches that conclusion by taking a close look at the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and frankly, how one defines the word gospel.

In Mark 1:15 Jesus says, “The time has come, The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

In this passage, the "good news" or gospel is directly tied to the Kingdom of God.  In turn, a critical reading of Christ's teachings on the Kingdom of God tends to create revolutionary changes that go beyond personal salvation.  On numerous occasions Jesus avoids giving a singular narrow definition of the Kingdom of God, but instead says, "The Kingdom of God is like..." and then goes on to share a parable which often included radical transformation and sacrifice.  Consequently, the Gospel or "good news" should not be defined narrowly by some selected writings of Paul (for example, what some have called the Roman Road, or Four Spiritual Laws), but in combination with the whole teaching of Christ, which is generally not in contradiction with Paul, but rather gives depth and width to those short summaries.