Over the last month or so we have been looking into Skye Jethani’s teachings on how we as the Church are presenting the Gospel and the ramifications of misrepresenting the truth. The main objective of Skye’s teaching is to talk about why young people are leaving the Church in what seems to be a mass exit.
We are coming at the problem from the viewpoint of people finding religion because ultimately we live in a dangerous world that causes fear and produces a need to try to control the world around us. Religion is one way to control that dangerous world. We see that control taught through what Skye calls postures, you can read our blogs on the four postures here:
While there is a grain of truth to them, each of these postures is ultimately about people using God in some way to feel safe and comfortable. Skye’s rebuttal to this is that we are missing the main purpose of the Gospel. John Piper is quoted as saying,
“The Gospel is not how people get to heaven, the Gospel is how people get to God.”
POSTURE FIVE: LIFE WITH GOD
This is a somewhat gut wrenching statement for a lot of us. While we may not have actually thought or taught Jesus is simply our ticket to heaven, does the way we live out our religion reflect that idea? So the question is, are we teaching people to desire safety and security that can come from God or are we teaching them to actually want God?
John, in his gospel, says that all of Jesus’s teachings lead us to the fact that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all! There’s no fear, no condemnation. A clear vision of who God is frees us from the previous four postures and allows us to live a life lovingly surrendered to a God who knows us and cares for us.
In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus tells about the older brother, the one who didn’t wish his father was dead and then squander his inheritance on wild living. Jesus tells us that when the younger brother returned, the older brother had a heated conversation with the father, it went like this:
29″But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Luke 15:29-32 (NIV)
Too many times we end up with an older brother mentality, that we deserve something because of our obedience. What this story can teach us is that it isn’t about our obedience or even our disobedience, it’s about presence, it’s about relationship. Do we actually desire to be in God’s presence? Do we teach students that above all else, we are God’s children and He simply wants to spend time with us?
A clear view of the Gospel creates a true desire for God. Thankfully Jesus understood this and lived it out all the way to the cross. The Gospel message doesn’t end with creating a desire, it ultimately creates a way to the Father through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Skye Jethani says, “Until we get the Gospel right, we shouldn’t be surprised at the people who walk away from God, we should be surprised at the ones who stay.”
We hope that this has been an eye opening series for you if for no other reason than to realize how easily we can teach false truths and lead students to misunderstand their relationship with God.
Director of Operations & Communications
Never The Same
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