Many preachers are criticized for preaching a “feel-good” gospel.
Indeed, the mere mention of the term could make normally docile Christians go into a teeth-gnashing, fist-clenching frenzy.
But what exactly is so WRONG with a “feel-good” gospel?
First, let’s look at the definition of the word, Gospel: (emphasis mine)
1. The proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian revelation.
2. Middle English, from Old English gdspel (ultimately translation of Greek euangelion) : gd, good; see good + spel, news.
By definition, Gospel means Good News.
Now, I am not sure about you, but I suppose it should make me feel quite good to hear good news.
So what is the “good news”? Again, by definition, it is the proclaimation of redemption by Jesus.
Now, let’s look at the word, Redemption:
1. Deliverance upon payment of ransom; rescue
Once again, I think I should feel quite good to have been rescued, meaning I am delivered from something bad (nobody is ever “rescued” from something good, I think). So it baffles me to hear people, fellow Christians no less, to talk about “feeling good” as if it is a bad thing.
Perhaps they are afraid this kind of message is not “balanced”. But, that would beg the question: Balance with what? Maybe with some bad news??
Eg: If a guy’s health is too good, should we pray for some disease to befall him so as to achieve some balance? Or if the girl’s looks is too good, should we pray for an industrial accident to happen on her face?
I’m sorry, but that is definitely not the God I am worshipping to, and certainly not the God of the Bible. Even He, in Genesis, had mentioned everything He made is “good and very good”.
If you happen to believe in a “feel-bad” gospel, or “cannot-be-too-good” gospel then really, God helps you…. you’ll need it.