Bish Michael Curry’s sermon on Saturday afternoon at Royal Windsor has divided opinion, but not as much as I would have liked. The majority of response to his loveable address has been positive, affirming, gushing, unquestioning and, frankly, stupidly sensational.
For anyone else like myself – genuinely distressed and sickened by the false gospel of ‘love’ – here are the 5 common comebacks that are as theologically-robust as a bad dose of flatulence in a prevailing wind:
Bishop Curry only had 13/14 minutes to preach. People come back with this as though he didn’t have long enough to include a meaningful focus on the cross of Christ and to the significance of Calvary for the 2 billion people listening, many of whom will have never heard the gospel ever before. But a five year-old could preach the whole gospel in less than two minutes. How low the bar.
It’s a Wedding not a Billy Graham Crusade. People come back with this as though a wedding wasn’t an appropriate occasion to properly explain the gospel! Or that preaching the (whole) gospel necessarily required an altar call en masse. These same people seem to think that a wedding televised to 1/4 of the world’s popualtion wasn’t a factor worthy of consideration either. All of life is an altar call, my friends. How low the bar.
It’s Unchristian to criticise another Christian. This is the preferred comeback of the nominal christians. How dare I express objection at a half-baked, fake gospel…how dare I? For those who have ears to hear, they say, Bishop Curry was clearly a Spirit-filled man. (The inference being that I am counterfeit, deluded and deceived because I think it matters that the cross is preached as part of the gospel). How laughably low the bar.
Love is all we need. This is the popular celebrity comeback (including Christian celebrity) for those who celebrate Ed Milliband’s near conversion. What a wonderful epitaph. Justin Welby considered Curry’s sermon to have demonstrated that preaching isn’t a ‘past art’ and one that communicated the gospel of Jesus Christ through ‘the use of language’. Justin has clearly forgotten that the cross of Jesus Christ, the sinful human condition and the narrow way of repentance weren’t mentioned…at all. Others on social media joyfully celebrate the absence of the cross as though love was enough. How unlovingly low the bar.
Hellfire & Brimstone Preaching is exactly why people don’t find God. This is the preferred comeback for those whose squeamishly skewed Christian lifestyles lean perhaps more than they know to the unicorn of universalism. If one mentions hell, sin, repentance, suffering, holiness and a change of mind, they say, one is judgmental and hateful and obstructive of the “true gospel”. How epically deluded and hatefully low the bar.
Let me remind you Mr Curry, Mr Welby and all others who love to comeback without engaging brain or Bible: Jesus was a man who was beaten and tortured to such an extent that He wasn’t recognisable any more as a human being (Isaiah 52:14). Stop your silly comebacks for one minute to imagine that. Does the fact that Jesus suffered so appallingly – for the joy set before Him, (Heb.12:2) – perhaps indicate that something more than a walk in the park was underway for you and for me…and for the other two billion wedding guests?
What if Welby’s “there is nothing conventional about Christianity” speech to the Sky News cameras had come full term and featured front and centre in the actual ceremony? Perhaps then the ‘raw god’ in Welby’s mind would have genuinely changed our godless society.
Mark my words, there will be another wedding supper that will absolutely change the world forever because, come the speeches then, it will be far too late for the lukewarm, christian-lite, gaudy gospel of ‘love’.