“The Gospel according to me”

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God's Story vs Our Stories by Michael HortonGod’s Story vs. Our Stories

White Horse Inn interviewed evangelical broadcasters at their recent convention and asked them how they prefer to share their faith to others: by presenting the Biblical gospel, or by their own personal testimonies.

The result: nearly unanimously, personal testimonies. This is not surprising, considering that evangelicalism is a religion of subjective experience, “Jesus in my heart, my being born again, my moral transformation, what happens inside of you, your sanctification.” Does any of them realize that their “gospel” is that of the medieval Roman church?

Wow! A few interviewees actually quoted the Bible, specifically, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11). What is this “testimony” (marturia) in this verse? As expected, they lifted a verse out of nowhere and out of context. This “testimony” is the “testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:2, 1:7, 11:9, 12:17, 19:10, 20:4), not the personal experience of John or any other Christian. It is the true gospel of Christ believed in and preached by believers, who in the early church—and even today—are martyred (martureo) because of their faith in Christ.

One interviewee was honest enough to admit, “I don’t exactly know what gospel doctrine is.” This is another reason why personal testimony is preferred, because evangelicals only have a very vague idea what the true gospel is. If asked what it is, they would probably say, “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

If personal testimony is what the gospel is, no one will be saved. In fact, unbelievers will be turned off and ridicule Christ. Why? Because they see the “testimony” of heretic and scandal-plagued televangelists. Not only that, they see the “testimony” of the lives of those who call themselves “born again,” and their lives leave a lot to be desired. In fact, survey after survey tell them that the supposed “faith” of Christians doesn’t distinguish them from all the rest.

The common thread in the interviews? “No one can question my experience.” The real authority is experience, not the Bible. Experience over Scripture. “MY word versus God’s Word.”

This is evangelicalism’s “gospel.”

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