On Sunday we talked about the danger of counterfeit gospels and the need to be aware of them. Trevin Wax, an author (and blogger/editor/publisher), has written on counterfeit gospels in both book and article form. Here are some of the counterfeits he has noted:
Therapeutic Gospel: Sin robs us of our sense of fullness. Christ’s death proves our worth as humans and gives us power to reach our potential. The church helps us find happiness.
Moralist Gospel: Our big problem is sins (plural) and not sin (nature). The purpose for Christ’s death is to give us a second chance and make us better people. Redemption comes through the exercise of willpower with God’s help.
Social-Club Gospel: Salvation is all about finding fellowship and friendship at church. The gospel is reduced to Christian relationships that help us enjoy life.
Activist Gospel: The kingdom is advanced through our efforts to build a just society. The gospel’s power is demonstrated through cultural transformation, and the church is united around political causes and social projects.
Mystic Gospel: Salvation comes through an emotional experience with God. The church is there to help me feel close to God by helping me along in my pursuit of mystical union.
Churchless Gospel: The focus of salvation is primarily on the individual, in a way that makes the community of faith peripheral to God’s purposes. The church is viewed as an option to personal spirituality, or even an obstacle to Christlikeness.