We have a television station in Germany called "Bible TV." It's mostly in English, and I believe many of its shows are syndicated from this TBN network. Last year at Christmas, I had the opportunity to catch a guest speaker who told a story of how the Baby Jesus doll had gone missing from his Church's manger scene production. He goes on to tell how, after searching frantically, a little boy eventually shows up pulling a wagon with the Baby Jesus doll in it. When they ask him why he had taken the doll, the boy answers something like, "I promised Jesus that if I got a wagon for Christmas, the first thing I would do is give him a ride in it."At this point, the crowd ERUPTS with praise and hallelujahs as though he has just spoken some kind of profound truth. All I could do was sit there with what I'm sure looked like a "HUH?" expression on my face. I mean, it's cute and nostalgic, but hardly profound. In closing, the speaker says to the audience, "won't you take Jesus for a ride in your heart this Christmas?" An interesting conclusion, especially since its meaning is completely ambiguous and only appeals to the sentiment.
This was a great video and obviously the truth but I still believe the gospel does not have to be quite as negative as it was put here. I mean yes, of course the truth of our sin must be felt, accepted, and is devestating. But the gospel IS an incredibly joyful message of grace too, and the Bible absolutely calls us to be transformed and live abundantly with freedom from guilt and condemnation. I get why he's harping on his point, given the "gospel lite" which is so prevalent, but I think balance is in order when presenting the gospel. With great sorrow comes great joy.
It is a very strong message for sure. I think one has to understand (1) the context of his message and the crowd he is addressing and (2) that all of his sermons don't sound exactly like that. He is addressing a crowd that is full of people with little to no understanding of the true doctrines of grace. I suspect he is wanting to use his time to hammer home what he feels they need to hear most. Without the proper understanding of ones state, the gospel will lose its luster when it doesn't promise so many of the things that the TBN heresy teaches. Most will write him off as a sour old puritan that isn't hip to the new Christianity, but some will hear the truth and believe...
I agree with Harley's point that MacArthur is not a one note song. But the message he is delivering to the TBN crowd is exactly what they need to hear. Actually, my experience among many evangelicals is that the true nature of sin and the reality of God's wrath are foreign concepts. We cannot adequatly revel in the good news until we understand just how bad is the bad news.
Bravo TBN and Kirk, couldn't believe that this was on instead of Rod or Creflo! However, I do agree with MainlineMom that we must be careful in accepting the salvation. Yes, the message needs to be heard that the way of salvation is not easy and you must deny, give-up, etc. However, far too many people never embrace the freedom that comes from that salvation. I am chief among them. The cry of my heart brought me to Christ, however, how do I live post-salvation. I do not need to cry anymore. I am saved once.There is so much focus on returning the gospel to the pulpit (and it is absolutely needed) that we may be neglecting teaching the saved how to live as adopted children of God.
Matt,All I can say is, "wow." I must admit this is a new one on me. "Give Jesus a ride in your heart." I don't know whether to laugh or cry.But as ludicrous as it sounds this is the state of modern evangelicalism which points out all the more the need for what Mac is saying on the video.Good to hear from you!
Ric,We absolutely need to be cautious not to miss the fact that in Christ we are dearly loved children of God.
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