On their new podcast You’re Not Crazy, Koran-promoting pastor Ray Ortlund and “I’m deeply sexually attracted to men but I’m not gay” Sam Allberry fill the first episode with a masterclass of scripture twisting, Gospel redefinition, and wedge their unholy foot very firmly in the back door of the church with their promotion of so-called Gospel Culture.
Ortlund and Allberry expertly de-person the true Gospel by separating the term and its meaning from the person and work of Christ and grafting it onto every ancillary, human concern they can – gospel culture, gospel sanity, gospel community, gospel doctrine, and gospel insanity all make an appearance as Ortlund presents a “gospel” entirely separated from Jesus Himself.
Ortlund puts true Bible-preaching, doctrine-focused churches on notice that they are dipping into heresy if they fail to present an accommodating vibe and tone:
What the gospel does through what it says is create beauty in human relationships. The vertical glories of the gospel come down upon us in the church and spread out horizontally. And when a church is only sensitive to what it should be saying and not equally alert and sensitive to what it should be and the vibe, the tone – the intangibles of that church, then the church can actually counteract what it intends to do.
Ortlund follows with a pillowy soft version of the social gospel, elevating mankind with the so-called “beauty” of relationships:
In the last ten years, the most important thing I’ve learned is gospel culture, which gospel doctrine is there to create. The gospel is both truth and beauty. So that beautiful human relationships are not an afterthought – they’re not a layer of niceness on top of serious theology. Those beautiful relationships – captivating, humane, gentle, healing, reassuring – that relational beauty – is in fact what the gospel came down to accomplish.
No, Ray. Jesus Christ (not this new person “the gospel” you’ve invented) came down to accomplish salvation for sinners. He came to redeem us to the Father, not to create beautiful relationships with each other. Yes, edifying Christian brotherhood is a fruit of our redemption, but this material gift is not the purpose of Christ’s work. In fact, many faithful Christians have lost every important relationship they’ve had for the sake of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ortlund says, “The reason why we’re doing this podcast, is we need to attend to – very carefully, reverently, joyously – attend to, cultivate, and build the intangibles of relational beauty that the gospel itself calls for and creates.” Let me interpret this for our readers. Within the hive of scum and villainy that is the Gospel Coalition, the gospel is not simply the term used to reference the good news of what Christ has done and the biblical truths that surround this magnificent, saving work. Instead, the “gospel” is a separate, malleable, conceptual entity that does things on its own (often subverting the teachings of the Bible) and is a tool to be used to accomplish the goals of popular culture and anti-Christian worldviews.
In this case, Ortlund and Allberry advocate for a church where sinners in the church live in a “kind of honesty and vulnerability and transparency together under the authority of orthodox doctrine,” where believers reveal their sins openly and yet fail to call one another to repentance. They call this “honesty,” with no mention that it is dishonest to not call sin sin and to not exhort one another to holy living. Ortlund twists 1 John 1:7 to claim that walking in the light refers to transparently and openly identifying with our sin before one another. In context, the light refers to God (verse 5), and walking in the light refers to practicing the truth (verse 6).
Why the need for this subversive, novel gospel? Simply, to open up faithful churches to unholiness. Ortlund’s co-host Sam Allberry – perhaps the most influential proponent of so-called “same-sex attracted” Christianity – teaches that a believer can unrepentantly harbor homosexual desires in their heart (in opposition to the clear teaching of Romans 1:24-25 and 2 Corinthians 10:5) while being a Christian.
The true gospel and the object of the message Jesus Christ leads to true repentance and the Holy Spirit empowering believers to not live in sin. The false gospel and false church promoted by Ortlund and Allberry is a system that pleases the world by welcoming unholiness, unrepentance, and worship of the creation (Romans 1:25).
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