The ER Gospel (evolutionary righteousness gospel) and The SIR Gospel (self-improvement righteousness gospel) are the two most popular aberrations of the Christian Gospel preached in America today. They endorse and empower our indulgent ego-centric culture.
The SIR Gospel is a popular manifestation of the over-bearing works righteousness gospel which has been popular through-out human history. It’s a gospel that begins with this premise: I can make myself perfect … better …. righteous and have my best life now.
The SIR Gospel acknowledges that we are broken, flawed, imperfect, tainted by sin. The best purveyors of this gospel, men like Joel Osteen, immerse this gospel in honey letting you know that you can be a better you and have your best life now. God wants you to have a good life, he leaves it up to you to claim it.
The bottom line of The SIR Gospel is this, if you want a good life, make it!
While Joel is immensely popular in some circles, advocates of The ER Gospel loathe him because he claims that we, in our current condition, are not everything God wants us to be.
The ER Gospel is readily endorsed by the media and our politically correct culture. It proclaims that you are perfect just the way you are. It’s a gospel that begins with this premise: I’m OK because this is the way God made me. Or, for the atheist the premise is: I’m OK because this is who I am!
Tom Harris, the author of the best selling book I’m OK, You’re OK, and Mr. Rogers, who told kids, “God loves you just the way you are!” are the two most recent and popular purveyors of The ER Gospel.
(Before you round up a lynch mob to torch me, I want you to know that I liked Fred Rogers. He was a man of absolute integrity and gracious humility. Even though he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, he did not embrace The GR8 Gospel.)
Proponents of The ER Gospel either blame God or evolution or society or their parents or others for who they are. There is no sin in this gospel, because this is how I was created, how I evolved, and I am not responsible for who I am or what I did.
The ER Gospel while immensely popular is the most pathetic bad news in town because it proclaims that you are stuck with yourself whether you like it or not.
I do not understand the infatuation our culture has with either one of these gospels. One places a tremendous burden upon me to make a great life for myself. The other leaves me burdened with a somber and hopeless fatalism.
Why do so many people willingly bear the burdens of these two gospels?
If you want to hear some genuinely good news, then listen to the The GR8 Gospel (grace righteousness) found in The Biblical Gospel, I’ll be talking about this Gospel at worship on Sunday at Kishwaukee Community EPC Church at 8:30 and 10:00 AM.
Please come, you’ll be grateful you did.
ah yes, the gospels of the me-urgent (uh I mean, emergent church). Preach it Rus.
I will preach it this Sunday. This will be the theological grounding for my sermon series “Different” in which I will preach about how we ARE different as Christians. We think, love, live, and serve DIFFERENT. I am praying no one hears me saying, you need to be different. My emphasis is we ARE different because God has poured His Holy Spirit into us. It’s a regeneration and sanctification sermon series without the theological language.
Wonderful sermon! I was beginning to worry that I sat to far forward! ha ha…but was glad to hear you speak about what you didn’t want us to take away today. Only that we are different because of Him…God’s grace to us…got it!
Thank you. next week I am plan to pick out someone from the back row. Sitting in the middle is always best.