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Thoughts on Galatians # 1

Paul is gobsmacked about the speed with which churches he had only recently founded are deserting Christ by following a different “gospel” (not that this teaching really deserves to be called “gospel” – the good news).

This is a challenge to our culture of lazy indifference about what specifically people believe. Would we be able to spot the difference between the life-giving news about Jesus Christ and some other “Christian” religion? From a US perspective Philip Graham Ryken writes:

“We worship in a church of many gospels. There is the gospel of material prosperity, which teaches that Jesus is the way to financial gain. There is the gospel of family values, which teaches that Jesus is the way to a happy home. There is the gospel of the self, which teaches that Jesus is the way to personal fulfillment. There is the gospel of religious tradition, which teaches that Jesus is the way to respectability. There is the gospel of morality, which teaches that Jesus is the way to be a good person. What makes these other gospels so dangerous is that the things they offer are all beneficial. It is good to be prosperous, to have a happy home, and to be well behaved. Yet as good as all these things are, they are not the good news.”

What about us? Are we in danger of turning the Christian faith into something to serve our own agenda? Or are we so captivated by Christ himself that we are truly free?

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