Since this would be the first episode to air on Brook Kidron, I think it is important that we set the tone and pace for this new segment of The Cross Purpose podcast.
So, let me start by reading to you the ‘about us’ section of our podcast – “The Cross Purpose podcast is a humble attempt at sparking honest, sincere and unashamed discussions that revolve around the true gospel of Jesus Christ and its continued relevance today.”
I have been actively involved in the ministry for around eight years now, and believe me when I say that an alarming number of Christians today are unable to articulate the Gospel with any reasonable degree of accuracy. If you’re certain that you’re not one of those Christians, let me give you a typical example of how the discussion usually goes when I ask someone to explain the Gospel.
What is the Gospel?
– It is the good news that Jesus came to die for our sins.
Ok, can you elaborate?
– Yes, Jesus came to die in my place, and bear my sins upon the cross. And if I believe in him, I will not perish for I have eternal life.
Then, I begin to ask a series of questions for which I receive increasingly uncertain answers till at last their confusion turns to concern.
Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t he have just forgiven me for my sins? Why does his death absolve our guilt? Shouldn’t the guilty be punished for their sin? Would we let a murderer go free because his brother was willing to die or be imprisoned in his place? Alright, how about this? What exactly are we saved from? – From hell. Yeah, but what is that? – It’s where the wicked people suffer for an eternity. Suffer under whom? Who rules hell? Who oversees the punishment of the wicked for an eternity in hell?
You see friends, when I say that our desire is to spark discussions around the ‘true’ Gospel, I hope you understand what we mean. We are not saying that after 2000 years we, at the Cross Purpose, have discovered the secret meaning of the Gospel. Not at all. Instead, we’re saying that the historical Gospel as it has always been understood, as it is taught in Scripture, is not the Gospel that is popularly preached in our circles anymore. How can we then, in good conscience, assume that all who call themselves Christian today understand or know what the Gospel message is? Saying that Jesus died for me without understanding why his death was necessary, or what he saved us from, or even how believing in him saves us, is like jumping off an airplane without knowing if you’ve strapped on to a parachute or a backpack. How can you believe without knowing what you believe? When push comes to shove, and you pull that chord of belief, you either glide to safety, or you hug your laptop and socks on your way to the ground at 120 miles an hour.
Now, I’m not suggesting in the least that we’re saved by the degree of our knowledge, because faith is a gift that God alone can give, and the thief on the cross went to heaven with much less, simply because Jesus said he could. However, what I am suggesting is that a lot of Christians have backpacks on instead of parachutes, and they just don’t know it. Their belief is misplaced, and their faith is shallow because they’ve misunderstood the Gospel. Therefore, we need to have these discussions where we talk about what the Gospel truly is, and how it is relevant in our lives today. Now, if we’re in agreement so far, then I might as well say a few words on how these discussions ought to happen.
We must be humble. Human pride is the kryptonite to all godliness, and we would do well to steer clear of its path. However, humility does not preclude standing up for what is right. If we pretend that humility is supposed to avoid all confrontation, controversy or conflict (the stuff that Brook Kidron will be made up of), we’re pretty much clothing cowardice in humility’s clothing. Courage is not pride, and speaking the truth is not a lack of humility, it is an act of righteousness.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,Ephesians 4:14-15 NASB
We are commanded to speak the truth, not avoid it. Humility speaks truth but ensures that it is spoken in love. Therefore, humility may be compared to childlikeness, not childishness. It is a fruit well worn by men and women of valor. Remember, our humble Savior is a roaring lion.
A word on judgment – The speaking of truth requires the judicial exercise of calling wrong, wrong, and right, right. But in the world today, “do not judge” has become a slogan of pride among many evangelicals, who should have spent more time reading their Bibles than pretending to know what it says.
Therefore, though we want to be humble, we do not want to be humble in the way that a lot of Christians pretend to be.
Honesty hurts, period. No, we don’t want to be like that rude uncle who has forgotten that true words are meant to be tempered in love. However, we don’t want to avoid the honest discussion of truth out of a fear of hurting people either. Hurt is not implicitly evil; it is often a necessary component of repentance. It is said that those who love you the most will tell you the most truth, and from that we may conclude then that those who love you most will most risk your hurt for the sake of your good.
We want to be sincere in our efforts. And that means we hold ourselves to the same standards to which we call others. Everything you hear from the Cross Purpose applies directly to the Cross Purpose as well – it applies to me. Our desire from the onset has been your spiritual benefit, and that is the sole agenda for which we strive to do all that we do.
We are unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that means that we do not make excuses for the Christian worldview. We don’t even try. Instead, we want to show that it is the only consistent and true worldview that brings meaning to all of life.
All of this now culminates in this new segment of the Cross Purpose podcast, where our intentions are sincere, unashamed, and honest, as we humbly attempt at demolishing arguments and every lofty thought raised against the knowledge of Christ. So, strap on your seatbelts for this is probably as counter cultural as the Cross Purpose is going to be.