- "This person preaches a watered down Gospel"
- "You believe a watered down Gospel"
- "That Church teaches a watered down Christianity."
What is a watered-down Christianity/Gospel?
Usually, those slinging that term around are talking about a form of Christianity which promotes love and following Christ, rather than fear and the wrath of God.
If we say we are to always love our neighbors, family, friends, and even enemies - we're preaching a watered down Christianity.
If we do not continuously stress that if one does not obey God, they will go to hell - we are preaching a watered down Christianity.
If we stress obedience by showing love rather than obedience to avoid the pit of fire - watered down Christianity.
If we engage, encourage, and envelop everyone (yes.... even the sinners....) - it's a watered down Christianity.
If we believe everyone is worthy of God's love and grace - yup, watered down.
If we promote correction of self and do not promote correction and judgment of others - it's watered down.
I could give several more examples, but I think you get the point.
Watered Down Christianity is Harder!
I have a theory...
The reason people start screaming that the above is all watered-down Christianity (and therefore not true and we should not be promoting it) is because this kind of Christianity is just too difficult. It is the hardest thing ever.
It is easy to throw insults at sinners and tell them they're going to hell. It's easy to correct others and stand in judgment of them.
It is easy to exclude people because they do not fit the kind of person we think is the stand-up Christian. It's easy to isolate ourselves from non-Christians, or those who refuse to believe what we believe.
It is easy to recognize that certain people are not worthy of God's love and Grace (and be willing to tell them that).
It is sometimes almost impossible to stand behind someone who doesn't believe, or someone who is an obvious sinner and give that person comfort and love. It is sometimes almost impossible to extend love and comfort to those we believe are not worthy.
And it is insanely difficult to stop correcting and judging and criticizing other people, and rather look inward and recognize what needs to grow inside our own hearts.
So- is this Really Watered Down?
No. Promoting, preaching and practicing love - towards all people and in every possible way we can in the name of God, in the following of Christ Jesus - this is not even close to being a watered down Gospel. It is THE Gospel.
So, what is a watered down Gospel?
I stumbled on another blog post earlier that has some very good points. Instead of rewriting what has already been done, I urge you all to read this post: 10 Ways We Water Down the Gospel