The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot To Say’
By Joseph Jerry Umaru ( Joseph2Nations@yahoo.com )
***Permission and encouragement to reproduce and re-transmit this article is hereby granted, but only in its entirety, including author’s name and contact details at the end of the article, and without any alterations.
While working on this article, the Lord inspired me to pen down these words:
The life, teachings, utterances and style of ministration of every Believer should reflect the fact that Christ is preeminence and His Gospel ALL in ALL – nothing should be added to it and nothing should be subtracted from it. The GOSPEL – Christ’s kind of Gospel – is complete, unchangeable and sacrosanct!
Any form of Gospel, however well packaged and appealing it might sound that dismisses the Original Biblical Standards and tries to establish its own human (but spiritually dressed) ideas about what is right and wrong is another kind of Gospel – A Lethal Gospel.
I am always not comfortable whenever the Lord inspires me to write ‘trenchant-like’ articles – articles that seems to be challenging norms, conventions and traditions…articles that seems to go against the views and the doings of the “Established Order.”
But, as I did point out in an earlier article; the more I try to shy away from this responsibility (writing), the more restless I become.
I may have preferred to be silent about certain issues the Lord does sometimes inspire me to write about. But I just can’t.
Like Prophet Jeremiah, I can dutifully lament: “But if I say ‘I will not mention Him [express the burdens in my heart] or speak [write] any more in His Name’, His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9 NIV).
No doubt, this article, like the previous ones before it, will be greeted with sharp criticisms in certain quarters. But I have no choice than to release it – I must NOT be disobedient to the Heavenly vision.
Here again, I must stress that by releasing this article, I’m NOT in anyway claiming to be standing on a spiritual/moral high ground. So, I should not be seen as a heresy hunter.
As J. Lee Grady (Editor of Charisma Magazine) observed recently: “The last thing we need today is more mean-spirited heresy hunters blasting other Christians.” I see myself only as a mouthpiece (See Job 26:4 NIV), and I have also been personally challenged by the content of this article.
May the message contain herein in this article challenge us all to a better Christian living, discipleship, and ministry. Many thanks.
Now The Message Proper:
I know that the title of this issue of my article will surprise, if not shock many. But that’s the title I felt led to give this month’s article.
A few years back, I came across a Christian magazine (Cry Out!) published by Evang. Bola Olu-Jordan with the issue title; “What God Forgot To Say”. I was somehow ‘shocked’ when I first took notice of that phrase, but on reading through the magazine, I understood what Evang. Bola Olu-Jordan was trying to pass across. I have ever since kept that magazine in my library as part of my collections.
Hence, when the Lord recently inspired me to write this piece, I thought there is no better title to give it than; “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”.
So, the phrase; ‘What God Forgot To Say’ is not original with me and credit should be given to Evang. Bola Olu-Jordan for coming up with such a ‘catching’ phrase.
In chemistry, H2O produces water. That is to say, two parts of hydrogen and one of oxygen is ‘the way to water’. Any addition to or subtraction from this established chemical fact will result in something else!
In the same vein, The GOSPEL as it was once handed down to the saints is the ONLY TRUE GOSPEL. Any addition to it or subtraction from it will give you another kind of Gospel – a Gospel in reverse direction…
The GOSPEL – The True Gospel – as it was once delivered unto the saints is sacrosanct! Any attempt to undo this truth is to rage and imagine a vain thing, or at ‘best’, such an attempt will ‘succeed’ in producing a kind of Gospel I call; “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”.
So, what do I mean in clear terms by “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”?
Perhaps, Evang. Bola Olu-Jordan’s observation in a past issue of his magazine will prove helpful here: “streams of man-made laws often made …to help guide man in the worship of God end up ‘guiding’ God in the worship of man! Attempts by individuals, committees and groups to explain God and what HE means through creeds, principles and laws in the Church have become amendments to the Bible or ‘what God forgot to say!’ “. [God] says what He means and He means what He says and man has no say in what He means. No prophecy of the Bible is of any private interpretation (2Peter 1:20)”. Period! Well spoken!!
“Every Word of God is flawless…Do not add to His Words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (Proverbs 30:5- 6 NIV).
A kind of Gospel that seeks to promote self at the expense of Christ… A kind of Gospel that tries to play down the moral absolutes of the Bible in order to conform to situational ethics… A kind of Gospel that does not value the Lordship of Jesus over and above a humanistic concept of anointing, power, revival and ministerial success… A kind of Gospel that preaches doctrines that runs counter to the truth of the Bible… A kind of Gospel that teaches people to feel good without being good…to conform to sin instead of confronting sin…to seek God’s Hand at the expense of His Face…to seek the blessing at the expense of the ‘Blesser’, are the kinds of gospel I call; “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” – A Gospel that is trying to tell God that He “forgot” to say certain things, or He shouldn’t have said certain things in the first place.
Any Gospel, however well packaged and appealing it might sound that dismisses The Original Biblical Standards and tries to establish its own human (but spiritually dressed) ideas about what is right and wrong is another kind of Gospel – “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”.
This kind of lethal Gospel is heart-‘breakingly’ prevalent in this time and age that we are in. This “cancer” has wormed its way into Body of Christ. One would be forgiven to say, ours is a generation that suffers from Gospel ‘overload’ with a good chunk of it in junk category.
There are so many junk Gospels and junk doctrines flying around in the Body of Christ these days. The destructive fires of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” (polluted Gospel) is burning so ferociously. All across the world we see the smoke and the flames of this ‘appealing’ but destructive fire burning with fierce intensity.
No doubt, we are passing though a turbulent time in Church history. To echo Caleb Mutfwang: “…Today, Christianity seems as if it is a religion of ‘anything goes’. The Ancients landmarks have been removed and today it appears there are no boundaries to what is ‘Christian’ in idea, thought, conduct, etc. Everyone is being ‘led by the Spirit’ to propound and propagate ideas and practices that have no precedent in the Holy Scriptures”.
Sure, the bane of the present day Church is manifold. Things have gotten so bad that I sometimes imagine if there is any hope of getting the Church out of this spiritual quagmire. The fires of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” seems to be blazing its trail across the Church so fast and ‘freely’ that attempting to curtail it will look like trying to get a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. We seem to be out of harmony with the Great Design (Biblical Gospel) and therefore up against it.
The Lordship of Jesus is being played down by the purveyors of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” – simply put, they demean Christ in words and actions. The meetings organized by this false-Gospel purveyors do also falls far short of what they normally tagged them – “Revivals/Outpourings”.
To the organizers of such meetings, as long as the stadia are being filled and the sick are being “healed”, the means/methods matters less.
With the way the purveyors of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” and organizers of meetings that demean Christ are defending and carrying out their acts, one is tempted to believe that their acts of ‘disservice’ had more to do with their innate Machiavellian ideology of “the end justifies the means” rather than their operating in zeal without knowledge…
Or could it also be that they are being urged on (encouraged) from the background by some ‘elders’ in the faith?
I am tempted to suggest that possibility because, there is an adage among the elders of my ethnic group (The Nupe People of Nigeria), that says: “If you see a little child climbing his way up a tall tree, know that there is an adult on ground aiding and pushing the child’s way (buttocks) up the tree”. Think about that.
These compromised and self-appointed shepherds have so magnified their personalities--at the expense of Christ-- and they are subtly encouraging men to worship God ‘through the spectacles’ of their charismatic and cult-like personalities. Though they do not claim to be “Another Christ”, but that is clearly and heavily implied in their actions.
Sadly, these compromised and self-appointed shepherds are daily acquiring large following after themselves. Unless I’m greatly mistaken, there are strong indications that our generation is more interested in gazing at the many flamboyant prophets and “super-men” of God who are coming into limelight these days than it is in gazing at Christ – The sole Author and Finisher of Our Faith. How sad, how very sad.
Questionably, many of today’s Church leaders seem to be turning a blind eye to the fires of this ‘damnable Gospel’ that is burning so ferociously across the Church. Their “loud” silence over the actions of some of the purveyors of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” leaves so much to be desired.
There are two possible explanations as to why some of today’s Church leaders are silent, either of which or a combination of both is likely. The first could be that they are in support of this kind of junk Gospel (i.e. complicit enablers) or that they are afraid to speak up against the trend
Though some leaders have spoken up and are still speaking up, but they are few and far between.
To be candid, there are people that need rebuking and trends that need challenging. Something drastic has to happen fast in God’s House when the devil is comfortably living in the vestry!
At a time when every Biblical negation is at its climax, there is need for genuine Church leaders to speak up as a mater of critical importance. But alas, ‘loud’ silence is what we seem to ‘hearing’ from many of them. How lamentable.
Anyway, suffice it to say that some of today’s Church leaders can also be said to be among the purveyors of this junk Gospel that is fast gaining ground in our generation.
With the kinds of sparks (silence, open approvals, teachings, doctrines and styles of ministration) coming forth from some of today’s Church leaders, only God will help us (the upcoming generation of Church leaders). As someone once said; “the sparks of one generation becomes the fires of the next.”
In my humble opinion, the Church currently faces a major crisis of leadership.
Oh, may the Lord give us (more) REAL and GENUINE leaders to lead the Church in this generation that the purposes of God for His Church will come to pass.
How about those ‘super-knowledgeable’ ministers that are directly or indirectly teaching/emphasizing the veneration of angels? They also falls into this category of ‘distributors’ of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”.
Apostle Paul described such teachers right when he wrote: “[Don’t] let any man cheat you of your joy in Christ by persuading you to make yourselves ‘humble’ and fall down and worship angels. Such a man, inflated by an unspiritual imagination [encounters, visions and revelations] is pushing his way into matters he knows nothing about, and in his cleverness forgetting the Head [Christ]” (Colossians 2:18 Phillips Translation).
One aspect of the heresy [“The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”] that was threatening the Church at Colosse was the veneration of angels. That same “cancer” has infiltrated and threatening the Church today.
The proponents of this false teaching claimed to have had ‘this and that’ encounters with angels, but really, they have only found a ‘spiritual conduit pipe’ (so to speak) of drawing attention to themselves.
Before I’m grossly misunderstood, let me make this clear: I believe in the ministry of angels. “They are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for the saints (Hebrews 1:4)” and nothing more. They are NOT mediators between us and GOD –there is ONLY one – Christ Jesus (1Timothy 2:5).
Those who hold a counter-belief should know that sooner or later their fake, dubious and humanistic “spiritual theories” would cascade down the ‘stream’ like a pack of cards thrown up in the middle of a tsunami (See Proverbs 30: 5-6)!
Angels are also not to be worshiped and venerated. As a matter of fact, I am of the opinion and conviction that angels (holy angels) are so busy giving God worship that they don’t have time to take worship from any mortal.
“The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” – What A Junk Version Of A Gospel!
Sadly, this “another Gospel” popular in the West especially in America is being exported to places like Africa and other Third World nations. Honesty compels one to admit that America is in the forefront of this ‘exportation drive’. America is exporting commercialized and adulterated Gospel to places like Africa. The fires of “another Gospel” [polluted Gospel] is seriously threatening Africa and other places at the moment ---“thanks” to satellite/cable TV technology which is daily projecting and beaming “Westernized” Christianity into our living rooms.
I do not mean to cast aspersions on American preachers; but, the truth must be told.
That is NOT to say that there are no genuine ministers of the Gospel in America – there are many of them – and I bless God for their lives and uncompromised ministries. May their tribe increase!
The American Church is gradually sliding into spiritual recession. Sadly, only few American Christians seems to be aware of this fact. The proverbial frog which is in a pot of water that is heating up gradually will eventuality die because it would not be able to decipher the moment when warm has become deadly hot.
America is dying gradually (spiritually) and the Church there must wake up from her slumber.
Please don’t get me wrong; I love America SO MUCH. Those who have been following my articles for a long time will attest to that fact. I probably know more about America than any other nation on earth – with the exception of my country.
But, being a “fan” of America is not a license that one should turn a blind eye to the polluted Gospel that is being exported by some preachers in that land and the spiritual decadence spreading across the Church there cum the consequential moral degeneration prevalent in the larger American society…
It is a common sight these days to see some American “pastors” on satellite TV with plaited hair, ear-rings in their ears and tattoos all over their bodies, preaching and ministering to the youths. They say; “To reach them (the lost) you gotta be like them”. Absolute fallacy! I have no hesitation in dismissing that argument with a wave of the hand.
If that argument is valid, then, one can as well become a drug addict to reach a drug addict or become a prostitute to reach a prostitute. But of course, that should not be.
There are folks who argue that the Lord does not look at the outward appearance but the heart. They normally used 1Samuel 16:7 as the basis for their argument. But that argument is naïve and superficial – It’s a cant of the highest order. We can rationalize and twist the Scriptures, but that those not change the fact that God says what He means and He means what He says!
Quoting 1Samuel 16:7 does not justify improper physical appearance. The text from 1Samuel 16:7 should not be interpreted out of context to suit our desire for social and moral ‘freedom”. That text should also not be taken out of context. As someone once said; “A text taken out of context quickly becomes a pretext”. We must avoid quoting Scriptures with reckless disregard for context.
If a male US presidential candidate should appear on national TV with plaited hair, wearing earrings and with tattooed body to deliver his “electoral message”, you can imagine what his position will be in the opinion polls the following morning.
If a US presidential candidate would dare not appear like that, how much more a preacher appearing on the pulpit to the deliver the sacred and glorious message of Christ?
There is neither time nor space to identify the Scriptural texts relating to this fact of God’s demand for proper physical appearance, but take it from me, they are there.
Because the Church in America seems to be missing it (how to get things done), the larger American society is also missing it ‘big-time’.
More and more States in America are legalizing abortion, same sex marriage, and other amoral trends.
In his outstanding work, A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee asserts that the characteristic of a civilization that is on the way out is a widespread contempt for moral law and order. If Toynbee’s assertion is true, then as far as America is concerned, we need to say the prayer: GOD SAVE AMERICA.
Be that as it may, this burning ferocious fire(s) of moral permissiveness is not limited to America alone. This destructive fire is also threatening the entire earth.
Here in my country, school children have a song that goes like this: “Fire on the mountain, run… run! run!! run!!!”
Today, one can safely say that the fire --the roaring fire(s) of moral permissiveness-- has left “the mountain” into our parliaments across the globe, inflaming and stirring the hearts of our MPs (Senators and Representatives) to enact laws that run counter to the commands of the Scriptures. The flames of this destructive fire are gradually burning away the ropes that hold in place our moral universe.
I am amazed at how men find it necessary to obey natural laws like those of gravity, floatation and aviation, but thought it safe to transgress the moral law. Both laws are two sides of the same coin. Break any, suffer the consequences. It is as simple as that.
We seems to be in the midst of ‘a new dark age’ – an age that is promoting paganism, an age that is ignoring all moral absolutes and the original Biblical standards. As T.S. Eliot once observed; “paganism holds the most valuable advertising space [today]”.
Hideous lobby groups and organizations across the globe such as the ACLU are working overtime to torpedo [do away with] the sacred standards of the Creator. We all must arise in the defense of the eternal values of our faith –
We MUST stand our ground--- Yes, we MUST!!
I recently asked a dear friend of mine; Bro Abel J. Tsado, what he thinks should/could be done if the Church is to recover back the “lost” Fire of the first-century Church, and my friend’s response was emphatic: “Wherever we are, the right thing MUST be insist on and the right thing we MUST do -- be it on dressing, prayer, [legislation] etc. We MUST INSIST on the right thing!”. I agree with him – I second his ‘motion’, I ‘bet’ you do too!
Well, lest I digress too far, let me return to the main focus of this article, which is the issue of “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” that is fast gaining ground IN the Body of Christ…
“The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” – An aberration in the Kingdom.
“The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’” – A ‘cancer’ in the Body of Christ that needs to be excised (cut off)!
The Conclusion of the Matter:
How then, can we deal with this “spiritual poison” of a Gospel called; “The GOSPEL + ‘What God Forgot to Say’”? How can it be sufficiently tamed if at all it is impossible to stop its spread completely? How can we check the rapid advance of this ‘monstrous enemy’ of the True Gospel?
I believe the solution lies in us (Christians) going back to and treading on the path I call; “The ancient pathway of the Bereans” (See Acts 17:10-11).
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures EVERYDAY to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
I’m of the opinion and conviction that: “If all Christians were to examine carefully what they read in books or hear --even from the pulpit-- and check it against the infallible Scriptures, then error would have little freedom [and space] to circulate…we would do well to examine everything we hear for the truthfulness of its content and not allow ourselves to be taken in by the attractiveness of its packaging” (**Selwyn Hughes, Every Day With Jesus, March 25, 2008).
If we [Believers] will daily search, study and meditate on God’s perfect Law of Liberty [The Bible] then; “We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitfully scheming.” (Ephesians 4:4 NIV).
And then, to stem the tide of moral permissiveness that is ravaging the larger society were we live in, we need to cry out to Heaven for the revival of the Church so the Church can then serve Her purpose – The salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14).
A Church or an individual that is not revived cannot prosecute revival. It is fire that gives birth to fire.
The challenge before us all is to devote ourselves to the Apostles doctrine, teach it, live by it and defend it – looking unto Jesus Who is the sole Author and the Finisher of our faith.
There is need also for all Christians to revisit the history of the Church and “resurrect” the Spartan determination, courage, boldness and vision of the early Church fathers who fought ---some with their blood--- to defend and bring forth the True Gospel as it was once delivered unto the saints…
Beloved, let’s arise…let’s stand up for Jesus and the values He represents. Like the early Church fathers such as Apostle Peter, Apostle Paul, St. Augustine, John Wycliff, John Huss, Martin Luther etc, we must contend with the devil and his agents and bring forth “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”.
We must strive to defend the central truths of the Scripture which are today being battered and mis-interpreted by the false teachers of our day. Many ‘teachers’ have caused many a Believer to fall from the faith in their attempt to “modernize” Christianity.
Oh, may God cause men and women of genuine utterance to arise in our generation that will turn our generation back to God and teach the saints the true undiluted GOSPEL, so that the Church would truly be conformed into the image of Christ – Who is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.
So Help Us God - in Christ’s peerless Name. Amen.
**Selwyn Hughes quoted with the permission of CWR, London, UK.
_____Joseph Jerry Umaru
Emails: Josephdegreat@yahoo.com, Joseph2nations@yahoo.com
Phone: (+234)-8036-814-178 and (+234)-8052-917-334
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