Perry Noble took to Twitter a few months ago to tell us why other pastors aren’t preaching the Gospel, as, presumably, Perry is.
Problem is, the Gospel itself fails Perry’s test. What follows is a little commentary-free conversation between the Gospel-defining Noble and the Gospel itself:
If people are accused rather than believed in then IT IS NOT the Gospel!
People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
If people feel beat up rather than built up then it’s probably not the Gospel!
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelation, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
If people feel enslaved rather than free then it’s probably not the Gospel!
He who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
The Gospel will always correct but it will never condemn!
Whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
If a preacher doesn’t know what the Gospel is, he’s probably not preaching the Gospel.
* * *
It would be easy to finish this post with that line, but it’s not really fair to Noble because there is an element of truth to what he’s trying to say. The Gospel does indeed encourage charity, build us up, free us and acquit us; however, it can only be understood as good news when we also understand the bad news that we stand condemned before God. That helps us see the good news that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Noble’s problem is that he’s presenting a one-sided Gospel where his audience can remain blind to its holiness. He categorically and repeatedly declares that a balanced Gospel presentation is “not the Gospel.”
Fortunately, Perry has acknowledged the connection between Scripture and the Gospel. Here he was in 2009:
Scripture actually defines the Gospel…not the emerging needs of our culture!