Gradually, over the years, I have noticed a trend in American Christianity, including among evangelicals, to ignore the gospel impulse and emphasize the moralistic one. Sociologists of religion have studied this trend and labeled the “religion” of most American youth who go to church as “Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism.” I can understand why. Now the duality I hear in churches is that God expects us to be different than we are and it is up to us to change, but God forgives us when we fail.<idle musing>
What’s missing? What’s missing is emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s power to transform and our total dependence on that power to be spiritual, holy, God-pleasing persons.
Definitely! Amen! Keep on preaching it! We're setting ourselves up for failure if we neglect to add the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It's like trying to make bread without adding any leavening. It's flat, tasteless, and ugly. Who wants it?
And that's what we're billing as the abundant life? No wonder the world turns away in disgust! We're offering a way to make them as miserable as we are! Sin and confess, sin and confess. No thanks!