Posts Tagged ‘mission’

Drowning out the gospel

October 9, 2004

I grew up in Chicago UBF, but it was in the local Baptist church (Edgewater Baptist (*) on Chicago’s north side) where I first heard and believed the gospel as a teenager. If UBF did teach me the gospel, I don’t remember it. Maybe it was drowned out by the gospel of mission, where I first have to become “a normal human being,” get all “A’s”, “have great vision” for my country and for myself, “win the victory over many adverse situations”, and “do many great things” for God. In the Baptist church I heard the gospel of God’s grace; in UBF I heard the gospel of man’s mission. When my parents saw that I loved the Baptist church, they gave me an ultimatum and tore me away from genuine Christian fellowship that was based on the gospel, and they told me to have “gospel faith” without even knowing what the gospel was. Even at UBF Easter conferences I did not hear the gospel. The automaton conference messengers would say many dramatic words about the blood and the cross, and sometimes they would pretend to cry or even genuinely cry, but they did not dare to mention the finished work of Christ on the cross. The gospel they were preaching was meant to “motivate” me to “finish” the work that was already completed.

(*) Erwin Lutzer, now pastor at the Moody Church, was the pastor at Edgewater from 1971-1977.