Why the Good News isn’t Enough. There has to be the Bad, Too
What makes you passionate? What drives you so strongly to do something? What makes you change your heart, your mind, your very being?
Think about it. Our strongest emotions, the ones we experience so passionately, are often linked to their opposites. We embrace good because we have seen evil. We run to the light because we have walked through the dark night.
I feed my lawn and mow it regularly because I so dislike the brown patchy look of my neighbor's lawn. I never let my car get below a 1/4 of a tank because of the time I had to walk a mile, gas can in hand. I lock my doors because I dislike the thought of an intruder.
l don't think about this duality of life in every day terms, but instinctively know it to be true. While i love the sweet nectar of a ripe peach, I appreciate it that much more because of the taste of the sour grape. I appreciate a olored sunset of autumn because I have seen the gray sky of winter.
Love is not enough
And when it comes to the Gospel Good News, it's full impact is realized when contrasted with the bad news of sin, depravity, and man's utter hopeless. It 's dishonest, divisive, and destructive when we leave out those things in pursuit of acceptance.
Embracing truth means that there will be a friction between action and conviction. That's not hate as we are accused. It's the ultimate love.
We have a whole movement of teachers who think it's just the wrong message to speak about evil, when there is so much good news to preach. Norman Vincent Peale passed the torch to Robert Schuller who passed it to Joel Osteen. And then there are others -Rob Bell comes to mind, who have decided that "Love" is much better option than "the Truth."
You see, anyone can love. The atheist, the Buddhist, the Sikh, the terrorist. - they can love their neighbor, express genuine appreciation for their mother and even a deity. And yes, they can be loved by others, by God, and by me. But in the end "love" will do them no good.
As same-sex marriage sweeps our land, we are told that these are loving couples who deserve compassion and fairness. And it doesn't stop there, as social programs are undergirded with the "love first" slogan. Even in the church, we are taught to love the sinner above all else. But loving the sinner doesn't mean that I have to love the sin - and we still must preach the bad news that we are fallen, that we are distant from God, that we are desperately in need of a Savior.
Then - and only then - will the Good News mean a thing.
originally posted at Red Letter Believers