A Complicated Gospel

Greetings to all that call on the name of Jesus…

This post is in no way intended to attack or offend anyone on this forum, so with that said I would like to call attention to a spectrum of matters that have for so long plagued the Body of Christ and kept her in a dismal state of apathy and compromise. Can ALL of these issues be addressed here? And if so, can we ALL make any real difference collectively to counter the operations of satan? In fact a more valid question is, do the majority of us even want to be informed, or acknowledge that there are issues and modes of operindi that are in total opposition and directly contradict the plans and format that Jesus envisioned for HIS Bride?

Who of us really wants to take a deeper look at the church that they attend and be the one to speak out against improper actions or motivations and teachings of those in “leadership” that are ajar with what we personally KNOW to be a true and unblemished pursuit of godliness? Why is it that the areas that we as a BODY have been allocated to “judge righteously” in have been curtailed into a COMPLICATED GOSPEL? In fact what the heck is a complicated gospel and who is preaching it?

I am going to list a few of the areas that I believe the Lord has made it clear to have been stretched out of the simplicity of truth and turned into segments of a complicated gospel. Please note that at this juncture, it is not my intent to get the answers to these issues. By saying that, does that mean that there are no answers or that if someone has answers that they are not welcome. Not at all! I think if we can allocate ourselves to this format with discipline and integrity that perhaps we can move into a format that will provide us with clear and distinct answers.

Also, it has been my observation that “allot of believer’s have a whole lot of different answers”. This seems to be the status quo! However, something has to be “out of God’s direction” in all of this because we can’t all have answers that are in conflict to our brother’s and/or sister’s and still be in the same point of direction that God would want all of us to maintain. What does this all mean?

Simply this: I can’t recall when the Lord actually provided me the ability to perceive this fact in my spirit, but He so very well made it abundantly clear to me one day that we are going one of TWO directions with God. As a child of God I am on a narrow path as are all of you, hopefully we can all agree to that, since Jesus said it. In fact, Jesus said that TRUTH (ETERNAL LIFE) was pursued “on the narrow path”. So, if we maintain our trip, journey, or pursuit of righteousness on this narrow path, I believe that Jesus was saying that we will find HIS TRUTH. Now some may have another interpretation for that…however my point is not to TELL you what Jesus meant…but just to relate what Jesus said.

God says that we are either going backward or forward with him.

Jeremiah 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

If one were to do a word search/study on the words backward and forward the result would be very insightful both spiritually and maturely. It is not my purpose to tell you what you will get from doing that, it’s your responsibility to “gather” for your own “spiritual sustenance”. This brings me to my point of this posting. We are to go forward on a narrow path in order to maintain our pursuit. I think ALL of us would agree that we are in pursuit of something. Is it to debate interpretation of the gospel and it’s meaning for all who will lend an ear to us? I don’t think that’s what Jesus has in mind for us. Is our pursuit then to “grow up and become a minister of the gospel”? Well, there are many formulas of education that provide that pursuit, but I am of the conviction that we are ALL ministers one to another, if we maintain God’s pursuit for us as individuals.

I think God has made it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that HIS pursuit for us all is that we ALL become CONFORMED TO HIS WILL. I also believe that this IS our primary pursuit. Secondly, I believe that in this pursuit that EVERYTHING that we involve ourselves with and in and of will be PURSUIANT to GLORIFY GOD in ALL that we do. That was the EXAMPLE that JESUS maintained. And in our pursuit, I think that Jesus and the writer’s of the epistles have made it abundantly clear that we are to be EXAMPLES.

There is just a minor setback towards that pursuit however…a complicated gospel. Those ideas, analogies, allegories, books, tapes, conferences, retreats, and teachings that make our primary pursuit more complicated than it really is.

So what are the ingredients that dislodge the simplicity of spiritual understanding and distort it to complicated methodologies? THAT’S WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT! It’s not about you telling me how to fix it…it’s not about me telling you how to fix your Theology. We have all done enough of that and still there is mis-direction in our pursuit. So, here and now, today we all get the opportunity to elaborate on the things that we have been taught, things that others have told us, and the condiments of doctrine (doctrine meaning: teaching) that seems so very complicated. I will start with a few “clichés” that I believe make our pursuit in conforming to God’s will more complicated than it really is or really should be.

  1. When a believer says " I just want a closer walk with God"
    Why? Because there is so much attention in the New Testament given to the fact that we are “IN CHRIST”, so how much closer can one get than that?

  2. When a believer says that they don’t hear God!
    Why? Because the paramount relationship with God to each one of us is as a FATHER, and what Father would not communicate with his child?

  3. “Setting aside TIME FOR GOD”
    Why? How can I set aside or plan a segment of my day for the one who loves me the most? I am compelled to savor every moment with Him.

  4. “Spending time with God”
    Why? Like I have an account that He appropriates in a negative or positive balance depending on HOW MUCH TIME I ACTUALLY SPEND with Him.

  5. “The ways of God are mysterious”
    Why? Granted His ultimate goal for my life is not always something that I can see, but through the examples that He has provided in the Bible of men and women who were either in His will or out of His will, I can get a clear and evident panorama of exactly where I am with God at any given moment of my pursuit.

  6. “When we get to heaven”
    Why? We are in the KINGDOM OF GOD NOW. I find that with a perception of ultimate ending and or “then it will be ok”, it is more complicated to live in the kingdom of God here and now.

  7. “Just Believe”
    Why? Because in all the commandments, exhortations, encouragements and admonishments in the Bible there is a clear and evident principle: being obedient!

These are just a few of the things that I think complicate the good news (gospel), and make it difficult for believers to follow the straight and narrow path towards truth. What are some of yours? And please remember, this particular posting is NOT to elaborate on doctrine or theology, but rather to address what, and why (own perception of complication) these idioms make our pursuit more complicated.

many blessings to ALL who follow Christ


Well, I guess you aren’t talking to me. Interesting approach for a prostelytizer.

Wouldn’t the Body of Christ be masculine?


Hey, maybe there is a reason to pay attention to this guy. Could be interesting – Jesus is a transexual!

In several of C.S. Lewis’ apologetics, he tackles and/or dodges (depending on one’s viewpoint) the question of whether or not there’s sex in heaven. After all, married christian couples go there, and he didn’t seem to ever take the view that it was ever wrong in a marriage, so how about it, C.S.? His answer was that the very nature of being in Heaven, in the very Presence of every moment with an eternity of them always happening, was a pleasure of a subtle and heightened variety that made that of sex completely irrelevant. The pleasure was beyond sexual–it was transexual.

What he meant each time he used the term was clear, but it still made me grin each time he used it.

I think he meant to say the “Bride of Christ”, meaning “The Christian Church”.

Well catholic priests are supposed to be wedded to Jesus aren’t they?:slight_smile:

Oh, this will be a fun thread to watch. We haven’t had an OP like this in a long while.

:::grabs drink and popcorn:::

You may mock, oh you may mock. . .

Well, Pull On Gravity, what I got out of your post, which was overly long and needlessly complex, is that you are saying that the simple understanding of Christ is needlessly complicated by people for this reason or that, and why is that?

I’d say that your understanding of God is simple because it describes a very simple relationship, that of you and God. However, another’s understanding of God is going to be different. This is because of the fact that they are different than you.

So when comparing your experience to God’s with their’s, you come up with three relationships. You to God, them to God, and you to them. Of course this will be more complicated. Add another person to the mix and you come up with six different relationships. Now think about the size of your average congregation. The needlessly complex arguments, as they seems to you, are most often very simplified schematics of all these seperate understandings. Get into separate denominations, and after that entirely different religions. These religious arguments are actually people striving for commonalities, or bar that a unified system, almost impossible tasks.

I agree with you that the very simple and very deep understanding of God is oft times shrouded by arguments, but they are very necessary if we are to talk to each other about our faith. I’m not taking to task that fact, just that you are railing against complexity of religion and faith. We do not all experience God in the same way, nor should we. Hell, if God wanted that we’d all be each other’s clones.

A single hook in the sea can catch a fish, but it’s the net we all cast in the ocean of perception that haul in enough to feed the village.

That’s the argument I’d put forward if I agreed with your base assumptions, which I don’t.

Atreyu said:

I wouldn’t get comfortable if I were you. I’m betting it was a drive-by.

**David B wrote:

I wouldn’t get comfortable if I were you. I’m betting it was a drive-by.**

My thoughts, too.

Of course, the idea of a transexual Jesus is very interesting, especially after the whole mess raised by that Terence MacNally play featuring a character very much like Jesus who’s gay. :smiley:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, you thilly goose?”

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

I’m not entirely sure what this guy’s up to, but he posted the same OP over at the Pizza Parlor.

You can find the thread here.

Not surprisingly, he’s gotten some more serious responses to his OP. :smiley:

just an obervation on my part. since posting this on several forums, the types of replies have been varied. but one thing that really rises to the top- is how someone may reply to this post, and then attempt to explain the how uncomplicated the gospel is by using metaphors and “spitirual anologies”.

Have we lost our ability to communicate ( the gospel) to others without elaborate “spiritual picturings” that sound like we come from a christian budda?

God Bless ALL of you…


Hey, PoG,

Your reply (above) looks haungtingly familiar. Maybe it’s because it’s the SAME THING you posted in reply to your thread on the Parlor.

Do you have stock OP’s and stock replies?

What happens next?

waiting with baited breath… :rolleyes:

hey Mars…

and here i thought the evil internet was so vast and huge and so exhaustive that there would be no beginning and no end…and yet, we travel in the same circles. this should make it allot easier than i anticipated.

thanks for noticing…

God Bless


I won’t “attempt to explain the how uncomplicated the gospel is by using metaphors and ‘spitirual anologies’.”

I’ll just let you know that the “God” you speak of does not exist. Jesus, if he ever actually existed, was just a man. Chrisianity was invented by man. The Bible you cling to is nothing but a set of parables which were handed down orally, until someone decided to mis-translate them through a convoluted series of archic languages before it ever got to one you could understand.

So your entire OP is moot.

Yeah, yeah, I know, same ol’ argument, and everybody’s kicking back with their popcorn and lemonade. Whatever.
Let’s get it rolling, shall we?

PoG: (ooh, creepy! :)) *Have we lost our ability to communicate ( the gospel) to others without elaborate “spiritual picturings” that sound like we come from a christian budda? *

Um, didn’t Jesus himself communicate the gospel by means of elaborate “spiritual picturings” known as parables? The prodigal son, the sheep, the foolish bridesmaids, the laborers in the vineyard—tons of “metaphors and spiritual analogies” there. Why shouldn’t followers of Jesus avail themselves of the same explanatory devices?

On a side issue, are you really sure you wanted to start this debate here? Most respondents (me included, actually) are probably less interested in how you should spread the Christian gospel than in whether you should do so, which probably constitutes a significant hijack from your point of view.

But hey, if you like it, go wild. Somebody pass the popcorn, please.

Why, some members of mankind, of course.

I agree that idioms and popular sayings may distort a particular believer’s view. Whether or not these things have their origins in Satan I cannot say.

However, I think the one thing that makes God’s, and Jesus’s, teachings so difficult to stay with is that they are not obviously timeless messages. The teachings are taken from the spoken word, to real people who lived during a real time. Barring the difficulties imposed on communication through changing languages and dialects, there is also a difficulty in relating one society to another.

That is, Jesus spoke to a group of people who have nothing in common with us save for a longing to be with God. We don’t have the same government. We don’t have the same tax-collectors. We don’t have the same persecution. There are fewer popular religions. Etc, etc, etc.

Now, translating words themselves is a daunting, but not unthinkable, task, and it is done all the time. However, translating the semantic meanings is another issue entirely.

For example, in Jesus’s discussion of who we should love, he mentions that we should love more than just those who love us, “For don’t the tax collectors do the same?[paraphrased from memory of Matthew]” Now, do we take this to mean that tax collectors are, by nature, people not like “us”? Or were just these particular tax collectors not like us?

Apart from that, of course, are some internal moral inconsistencies. For not a few pages later do we find, in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” Taken alone, this is a pretty nice comment, sort of kharmic. But are we allowed, then, to use Jesus’s or God’s condemnations as our own? Could those listeners have the same distaste for the tax gatherers? One would hope so, as we would be judging others on God’s standard, by which we feel we would also be judged. However, it is unclear, to me, whether or not judging at all is condemned, or just judging by a standard other than God’s, especially after reading the passages which follow it concerning the apparent inevitability of a person to not have problems of their own. “And why do you look at the speck that is on your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” So, though we have a perfect, God-given ruler by which to judge others, it seems we are not fit to use it on others until we have used it on ourselves first. Does this mean we must be perfect before we use the perfect ruler, or must we simply recognize our own flaws?

At any rate, I feel the complications come largely from the non-intuitiveness of the teachings in the bible, and not from the church(es) or any other source.

That said…

Hail Eris, friend.


thanks for your post, unlike others, i don’t judge you or anyone else for their views or beliefs.

thanks for your reply

God Bless Ya!

I don’t judge you by your views and beliefs. I’m merely pointing out that you’re wrong.