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December 21, 2015

The Difference Between the Gospel and A Biblical Worldview

By Anthony Wade

Bringing the law to the world without the Gospel is not evangelism.


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And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. - Acts 19: 8-10 (ESV)

As 2015 winds down, Charisma News is re-running some of the articles they thought to be most important during the year. One was written by Larry Tomczak entitled, "Six Lies From the Pit of Hell That Are Destroying America." I hardly blame people like Tomczak, who is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party masquerading as a Christian. The truth is that neither party cares for the cause of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Bible teaches us that God decides all the leaders of the earth. Lastly, we are to look to God to solve our problems, not any human being. The cold hard reality is that people like Tomczak and a vast amount of Christians today engage in the active idolatry of this country. Who can blame us? We like our excess. We like our braggadocio in who we think we are. Two houses, four cars, eight credit cards? Line em all up! Oh but don't forget to go to church on Sunday! The state of the modern church only validates these trends. You hear a half hour sermon about how great you are, or how much you are like God, or how much God is just crazy about you. Throw in some petulant worship about demanding your blessings and God being your wingman and for only ten percent of your net earnings (gross earnings if your church is harsh) you will be guaranteed to be going to heaven despite all of this narcissism, pride, and idolatry.

So as I was reading the article I originally thought I would simply write about the six lies from the pit of hell that are destroying the church but God began to reveal some deeper things to me. Let us reason together and explore them. First here is the list of the six lies, which Tomczak credits to Dr. James Dobson:

1. Premarital, extramarital, and traditionally abnormal sex are moral and healthy.

2. There should be no sanctity of human life in law.

3. Drug use makes great recreational sport.

4. Divorce offers an easy escape from marriage.

5. Marriage should be redefined to include same-sex unions.

6. God is dead - at least make it appear that way by systematically airbrushing Him from society

Once I saw Dr. Dobson, of Focus on the Family fame, I began to realize the deeper problems. Dobson is one of the purveyors and pushers of the "biblical worldview" theology. Essentially this is where "leaders" promote that everything in the world should be viewed through a biblical lens. This is how people can come up with this silly list of six things that are destroying America. I say silly because you only need a list of one:

1. Sin.

This is what is actually behind everything on his list. This is actually what each item essentially is. Part of the problem also is that the list is not even accurate in many places. For example, I do not know anyone in the world who advocates that extramarital affairs are moral and healthy. Sure there was the Ashley Madison debacle but perhaps Dr. James forgot the hundreds of pastors who were on that list as well? While we are on the subject of hypocrisy, let's switch over to divorce. Do Tomczak and Dobson actually think that this phenomena can be laid at the feet of the world? What did Jesus say about it?

He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." - Matthew 19: 8-0 (ESV)

The truth is that how the men of ancient Israel often treated their wives would make the owner of the Ashley Madison website angry. It has not become any better in modern churchianity. Paula White is on her third marriage. Tullian Tchividjian recently revealed rampant infidelity in his marriage. It seems a month does not go by without one famous pastor or another falling from grace.

We could go on and on about the specifics on the list but the larger problem is that they are focused on the world at large. You know, those who do not actually believe in God. Those who think the mere thought of God is utter foolishness. Those who are walking in complete darkness. This is who the American idolizers routinely turn to for the derision and blame. Let's take their desires to their desired conclusion. Let's pretend and give Larry Tomczak and James Dobson everything they want according to this list. Do they honestly think this solves America's problem? Do they honestly think that if the unbelievers of this world would just behave better then everything would be OK? That God would stay His wrath? That God would not judge America, as the Bible says He will. More importantly, let's say all the laws got passed that they desired and everyone magically stopped doing all of the things on Dr. Dobson's naughty list. Have the eternal balances shifted at all? No beloved. Everyone who was going to hell before these changes will still be going to hell. Because the Tomczaks and Dobsons of the world have lost sight of the actual problem and that is people are separated from God. They have lost sight of what they need. They do not need a biblical worldview. They need the Gospel.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. - Romans 1: 16 (ESV)

Only the Gospel has the power to save. This may sound like a nuanced point but it really is not. The Bible is not the Gospel. Once someone hears the Gospel and believes they are saved. Then they need the Bible because it is no longer foolishness to them. They now have the Holy Spirit indwelt to lead them into all truth.

This is the recurring theme whenever we are dealing with Christians who idolize this country. God is not sparing America beloved. He was never in covenant with America. He will return to judge America as He will all nations. To think that this country could ever behave well enough to avoid this is unbelievably unbiblical and naïve. So what we are left with is people like Dr. Dobson trying to impose his biblical worldview upon a world that think he is a fool. That is not a recipe for success. That is also not instructed in the Bible. I did not come to God and believe just because someone called me a sinner. I did so because I heard the Gospel preached. Remember, only it has the power of salvation. Consider the key verses for a moment. The Apostle Paul is spreading the Gospel throughout the world. He reasons and persuades. When he encounters resistance however, he moves on. By doing so, he avoids arguments with people who think him a fool and ensures that everyone in the entire region hears the Gospel. If this was James Dobson or Larry Tomczak they would have stayed at the first synagogue and written articles about those people saying mean things about Christianity. Their focus would have been on insisting that the folks in the first synagogue believed what they did instead of simply moving on and continuing to preach the Gospel.

You see, what Larry and James go to war with are biblical truths. Things that are only discerned by those who are not already perishing. Because we read the Bible and believe it we know that sex is supposed to be reserved for marriage. We know that divorce is breaking a covenant with God. We know that all life is precious to God. We know this because the Holy Spirit confirms it for us when we read the Word of God. The world however does not know these things. Divorce is simply a business decision for many. Sex is no longer sacred. The definition of life can be negotiated. These things however are symptoms not conditions. The condition is the same condition God found us in - sinner. We are not sinners because we sin beloved. We sin because we are sinners. We can never change enough behavior to correct this problem. Only the Gospel can change it. But Larry and James just point their fingers at the world and shout - sinner! Look, what the Bible says! Why can't you see what we see? Because there is no Holy Spirit leading them into truth. Because the things of God are still foolishness to them. Because they do not need the Bible - they need the Gospel.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, - 1Corinthians 15: 1-4 (ESV)

This is Paul explaining what the Gospel is. That Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day. What people like Tomczak and Dobson traffic in is the law. Read the list of six things again and you will see each one is law, law, law. Sin, sin sin. Now, I am always advocating that there is not enough sin preaching anymore these days but sin preaching without the grace of God is nothing but a death sentence to those listening. Break down Paul's definition of the Gospel and we have the following elements:

1. We are sinners (law)

2. Jesus Christ died for our sins (grace)

3. Jesus was buried (our penalty for sin - law)

4. Jesus rose on the third day (Jesus defeats the grave, we too rise with Christ anew - grace)

When we approach the world with only Leviticus in hand is it any wonder they do not want to listen? The fact that we are sinners cannot save us alone. Remember, no one could keep the law. The fact that the wages of our sin is death cannot save us. It is only the work of the cross that can save us. It is only His resurrection that guarantees us everlasting life. The Gospel is the Good News, not the law. The Bible is of the utmost importance to believers but the Gospel is what unbelievers need. The problem with the approach of Larry Tomczak and James Dobson can be found in the title of the article. It is not the six lies that are condemning people to hell. It is not six lies the Gospel can defeat in your life. No beloved. It is six lies from the pit of hell that are destroying America. Their focus is not on saving sinners but saving the Babylon they love.

This is the end product of focusing on a so called "biblical worldview." It places the law upon everything the world does without consideration for the actual Gospel it needs. Further compounding the problem is that no one can keep the law, including those in the church so in the end we look like hypocrites too. Wait a minute preacher! Are you suggesting Christians should not have a biblical worldview? Not if that worldview is to present them with the law and not the grace of God that can save them. You want a biblical worldview? Here it is:

1. Everyone are sinners before God according to the law

2. Only the Gospel has the power to save them

3. I apply the Bible to my own life

4. I preach the Gospel to the lost

In conclusion let us consider the woman caught in the act of adultery:

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." - John 8: 1-11 (ESV)

The church needs to get out of the habit of being the Pharisees in this story. They were only representing the law. She broke it and they wanted to carry out the punishment of death by stoning. Jesus represents the Gospel. The hope of the world from the law which will only bring us death as our wages. What Larry Tomczak and James Dobson forget in their zeal to protect their slice of Babylon is that we are all sinners in need of the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Notice, Jesus does not excuse her sin. He tells her to go and sin no more - or repent. But He also says, neither do I condemn you - the Gospel. Her accusers wanted to throw the book at her - namely the Law of Moses, or the Bible. Jesus reminds them all of their true position and it is with her as a sinner. Only He provides the way out for us all. Only He is what we needed to hear to come out from the world. Only He is what the world now needs to hear. Go and sin no more; the law. Neither do I condemn you; the Gospel. Keep your lists and idol worship of this country. Preach the Good News. Preach the Gospel.

Reverend Anthony Wade - December 21, 2015

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.