America’s Different Gospel

by Greg Burts
Monday, February 16, 2009

transcription to simple English by permission

Recently I begin read “Christless Christianity, the Alternative Gospel of the American Church” [‘Christianity without Christ, American Church’s Different Gospel’].  This book has important message about ‘different’ Gospel – Gospel with cross none – some people teach today.  Joel Osteen is one person who teaches ‘different gospel.’

December 27, 2008, I began blog called ‘dying to live.’  My first blog about Joel Osteen.  I wanted show Osteen’s false teaching.  People think he cannot hurt anything with his teaching, but not true.  He has largest church and largest TV audience in world.  But his teaching?  He not talk much about God save us through Jesus Christ.  No matter, people say he has most Christian influence in America.  True, he hurts people’s faith.

Before I only pay attention to Joel Osteen.  Now I want different.  I search on internet and I see many people show Joel Osteen false teacher.  He teaches half truth.   Now I want change my focus, I want to share other truths I learn.

Before I start, I want share about Michael Horton’s book.  His book shows problems in American church today.  Joel Osteen’s wrong teaching clearly shows same problems.

In his book, Michael Horton talks about Amercan Christians prefer happiness for themselves, they not prefer holiness for God.  The do not like think we are sinners.  The new “different gospel” tells people they really good inside but only lost their way.  But if they listen to good teaching and have good goals for themselves, they can become better people.  Meaning?  They don’t need Jesus!  They can improve themselves.  “Different gospel” is same world gospel Oprah teaches, Dr. Phil teaches, Dr. Laura teaches…. They all pay attention to our feelings – what we THINK we need, what we want, our feelings, our experiences, our actions, our goals.  We feel more energy when people talk about us.  But where is Christ?

Horton says many churches now teach ‘different gospel’ message.  They teach same as world teaches, same as ‘self-help’ groups teach.  The churches use Christian words, but the message is same as world message.

Here is strong quote from Horton’s book [simple English after]

“God is not denied but trivialized—God exists for the pleasure of humankind. He resides in the heavenly realm solely for our utility and a personal shopper for the props of our life movie: happiness as entertainment, [and] salvation as therapeutic well-being."

“They do not deny God, but they make God little, worth little.  They say God’s purpose is give men pleasure.  They say God only wants us use Him for our own benefit.  God is like ‘personal shopper’ – He will do what we want Him to do to help us in our life here, now.  Happiness becomes entertainment.  Salvation becomes ‘feel good.’”