The modern evangelical church has one major weakness; its theology. Rather than taking a cue from its own name, ‘evangelical’ (meaning ‘of the gospel’), Evangelicalism is really a disguised self-help religion.
This is not the fault of the average congregation member. Most of them are oblivious about where their beliefs come from. They simply say, “I believe what the Bible says”, go to church and leave theology to theologians, like their pastor.
And what does their pastor have to say? Make a decision for Christ to be saved. Work out your salvation in fear and trembling. Act like a true disciple of Christ.
This theology reinforces the work of the Old Adam. It’s really an anthropology, and turns the Christian from looking to Christ as the author and perfecter of faith to looking at their own improvement and effort as the measure of how they’re doing in the Christian life.
This ends in narcissism of one form or another. Either the Christian will look at themselves and say, “Wow, look how good I am; I’m really pulling it off”. Or, the Christian will look at themselves against God’s Word and say, “Woe is me”, falling into despair and depression.
Neither of these options feed faith, because the object of faith is not personal effort and works. The object of faith is Christ … Alone. Without Him, the modern evangelical becomes god. They become susceptible to the subversive work of Christian mysticism, which feeds the Old Adam even further. They never experience the Work of the Gospel which is to set them free, not once, not twice, but over and over again to the end of their lives.
It is the greatest of my hopes that modern evangelicals will abandon the man-centered theology that has bewitched them with another gospel (false gospel). This can only happen if Christ is magnified above theology, because, “it is (He is) God’s kindness that leads us to repentance”.