We’ve already discussed Trying to Attract People to Your Church by Watering Down the Truth. Here we want to briefly consider why we shouldn’t do that by looking at Romans 1:16 —
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Understand the power of the Gospel and you won’t want to water it down.
Sometimes churches so dilute the Gospel message to appeal to the world that it’s like as though they are ashamed of it. How can they present a salvation only found in Christ and His death on the cross? The exclusive terms of the Gospel don’t sit well with people. What will people think if they claim Jesus as THE way, THE truth, THE life? And so, they cower and compromise, leaving out parts of the message that might not draw people in.
Yet, if this Gospel message is what “brings salvation to everyone who believes” then how can we not proclaim it?
Church leaders, do you want to see conversion growth in your church and not merely grow because of transplants from other churches? If so, then the Gospel message cannot be watered down to sound more appealing.
Yes, we do need to meet people where they are but that does not require compromising the message.
1) We begin where people are but must not neglect the Gospel message.
The Ethiopian eunuch was reading the Old Testament book of Isaiah when Philip met him. Rather than dive in immediately with the Gospel message, “Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:26-35).
2) We adjust our methodology to appeal to people but we never change the Gospel message.
How you present the message is where you “become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22), not the message itself. Of the Gospel message, we need to say, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
You might find the following articles from the Train Bible Teachers Blog useful in thinking about some of the not so appealing aspects of the Gospel: