The Innocuous Gospel
by Dr. Ken
- In many modern churches there is a gospel being
preached which couldn't stir the wind in a tornado. That gospel being preached is the
innocuous gospel. This gospel will not arouse any feeling or give offense in anyone under
its teachings. It is a banal and bland, milk and water type gospel which produces no
fruit. An old fashioned Wesleyan pastor friend of mine in western Pennsylvania labels this
"The Generic Gospel." This type of gospel is normally preached by unsaved or
non-convicted clergy and it is adopted in most churches because a person can sit under its
teachings and never be offended or provoked in their spirit.
- Let me clarify the difference between the Innocuous
Gospel and the True Gospel. The true gospel delivers the entire counsel of God which
results in fruit bearing whereas the innocuous gospel so muddies and clouds the true
gospel that salvation is absent from those congregations. The people might as well walk
around with their tombstones because they are dead and just waiting to be buried.
- In the early church the true gospel spread throughout
the Roman Empire with such fury that it seemed wherever the early Christians went the town
went into an uproar:
- (Acts 17:6 KJV) And when they found them
not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These
that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
- (Acts 19:29 KJV) And the whole city
was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of
Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the
- (Acts 16:20 KJV) And brought them to the
magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, (1
Th 2:2 KJV) But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully
entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the
gospel of God with much contention.
- Today we can never be sure what type of gospel we are
going to hear. The sad part is the world is turning the church upside down. I wish to
offer 10 ways to identify the innocuous gospel. If you identify any of these situations in
your church or pulpit, then you have become a hearer or preacher of the innocuous gospel
- Very Little Scripture
- One of the tenets of the IG is the sermon contains a
very low amount of Scripture and normally when Scripture is quoted it is on a subject like
love. Of course, the type of love taught is don't offend the unbeliever. A church which
embraces the IG will always have a minimal amount of Scripture expounded or even
mentioned. A friend of mine was in a Bible conference in America's Keswick in Whiting, NJ
and he told me the fellow speaking did not use any more than five Scriptures the whole
time. The man has a Ph.D. What else is new? The sorry thing is that this kind of man is
always in demand at Bible conferences.
- Twisted Scripture
- The IG preacher will use a verse and then twist it to
skew its meaning toward his sermon, whether it is correct or not. Those who are good at
twisting Scriptures are normally your social preachers. They have no idea what the verses
mean so they turn it into a social cause. Probably the biggest offenders of Scripture
twisting are your prophecy preachers. They look for a physical Antichrist, a thousand year
reign of Jesus in Jerusalem, all the Scriptures which mention Israel are automatically
devoted to National Israel, etc. Scripture twisting is done to try and change the nature
of the gospel from a salvific gospel to a worldly gospel.
- Story Time in the Sanctuary
- Everybody loves a good story but when the sermon is
one big book report, it is a failure. Stories are good if they are illustrations only but
when a story is used for the whole sermon, it shows the pastor's inability to apply
Scripture to life. This is why so many of them get their psychology degrees, so they can
counsel and then have stories for their congregations who love to laugh. Have you ever
listened to most of your radio or TV preachers? What is the majority of their content?
Stories from counseling sessions or from some book.
- No Challenge in the Message
- The IG message is normally worthless dribble. Have
you ever read a sermon in Scripture which had no challenge? I don't think so. Today's IG
preacher refuses to challenge the people which results in church full of spiritual dolts.
The message is supposed to be a challenge to our spiritual lives and not a verbal massage
to put us to sleep. "Drone" messages are a trademark of the IG assembly.
- You are still hearing the same thing you did a
- Does the pastor's message ever change? How many
different subjects does he preach on in a year? Is he stuck like glue on a single author?
Many preachers have a fixation on an author or a science and never leave its track to
edify the congregation on other subjects. The IG preacher is no different because familiar
authors or subjects are within his comfort zone and he can sound like an eloquent preacher
but he fears if he steps out of his comfort zone of preaching topics, he may stumble and
the people will then know he is human too.
- You haven't grown one bit
- Are you spiritually stagnant? Are you still at the
same spiritual plateau you were a year ago? If you are in a church which embraces an
innocuous gospel, you will never grow in the faith. However, keep in mind that as a
Christian you do have a responsibility to do bible study outside of your church but
unfortunately if you are receiving spiritual pabulum from the pulpit it will not spark any
further interest in your spiritual growth.
- The indolent congregants agree with the pastor
- Here is where you can tell you are in a church with
an insipid gospel. When the preacher teaches a dead gospel and everyone in the
congregation agrees with him. Of course, if you raise a question or challenge him, you are
the one who will be berated for Christian convictions. This happens normally in dead
churches. I remember years ago when another brother and myself were on the hit list in a
church I attended simply because we brought the true teachings of God into that church.
(Can you imagine the gall on our part? Bringing biblical teachings into a church?) So at a
congregational meeting, my friend got up and said that he was leaving the church. At the
end of the meeting another person heard someone say in paraphrase, "We got rid of one
jerk, now we have one more to go." I was the second jerk.
- Incidentally, if you are looking for a description of
a church congregational meeting, here is biblical precedence:
- (Acts 19:32 KJV) Some therefore cried one thing, and
some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they
were come together.
- Sermons are 20 minutes with little or no content
- Here is the IG's verbal serenade to all those in the
congregation who would care not to grow. These little vignettes are only done because they
are expected by the people and sometimes they are written in a church constitution. Most
20 minute sermons are 1 text and 20 minutes of impractical and ineffective narrative which
couldn't grow coffee in Columbia. After all, our psychologists tell us that attention
spans are only good for 30 minutes, after all can the psychologists be wrong? Oh by the
way, don't call me after church because there is 6 hours of football on. Wait, isn't that
12 times the attention span? Well, maybe 20 minutes from a dead preacher is better than 1
hour of IG preaching. One principle of IG preaching is that it starts on one level and
- The Sermons are always positive
- (Acts 20:27 KJV) For I have not shunned to
declare unto you all the counsel of God.
- IG sermons are always positive and geared toward only
the positive. Let us never mention hell, damnation, judgment, born again, salvation, or
other terms which could upset the good people in the pews. After all, aren't they doing
little league or PTA? How much more does God expect? There is nothing positive about the
world system but the IG preacher will keep his people in the dark about truth. After all,
isn't a congregation full of smiles the goal? Then when you roll them down the aisle in
their caskets, you can assure the people that the person is in heaven because of all the
good works they did in the church. After all, didn't he tend bar at a church picnic? I
mean someone had to be there who knows how to mix a highball.
- The IG has one major addition to the stew and that is
psychology. The IG adulterated with the non-scientific, non-objective, and self-obsessing
principles of psychology make for a wonderful IG church. Who needs to look to God when we
can look to maturing our inner child and heal all the past hurts. Just think we can focus
on ourselves for a lifetime, never contribute anything but confusion and self-pity. We can
sit in counseling for 25 years and never get healed. The way a Christian gets healed is to
grow up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- (Jer 17:9 KJV) The heart is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
- THE PSYCHOLOGISTS THINK THEY DO!
- Final comments
- The innocuous gospel is a gospel of death. It offers
no salvation plan yet does not warn about Hell. The IG preachers are normally political
and social and are unsaved themselves. Can a tombstone preach to other tombstones? If you
are in an innocuous gospel church then you MUST leave because you cannot and will
not grow inside a false church. I know, I tried it and the false church is still
flourishing with all the spiritually duncical people still supporting the same false
teacher and I am gone from there about 7 years now. Do not stay under the mistaken notion
that you can make a difference, because you cannot. You belong with other believers of
like mind so you can begin to grow. God does not want to hear things like, "Well, my
Grandfather went here and my Father went here." We are commanded to separate or you
will suffer spiritually.
- (2 Cor 6:17 KJV) Wherefore come out
from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean
thing; and I will receive you,