- Consistent:: agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory: His views and actions are consistent. (bold added)
So, I was thinking about their special claim to consistency yesterday and remembered an exchange I had with Bob Wilkin about a year ago in which I had asked Bob,"What is the simplest gospel?" He replied:
- My view is that the Lord Jesus told us what the saving message is and we can't err by proclaiming the message He proclaimed.
- Jesus said in John 3:16:
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- note: CFG is fond of pointing out that J3:16 (Jesus' message) does not explicitly mention sin, or Jesus' death, burial, or resurrection and so the lost man cannot be required to believe those things)
- John 4 and the woman at the well is another favorite CFG passage that supposedly demonstrates their minimal content of saving faith.
- Bob Wilkin's summary of this passage as it regards the saving message is that "[Jesus] didn’t tell her anything about His person or work other than that He gives living water which once received springs up in a person into everlasting life."
- Bob Wilkin goes on to explain that this was not unique to Jesus' message to the woman at the well, that "[Jesus] rarely even alluded to the cross or the resurrection in His evangelism"
- Not surprisingly John 6:47, a (in)famous CFG "mini-gospel", does not mention anything about Jesus' person or work either save, of course, the promise of Everlasting Life for those who believe.
- When Bob Wilkin caught our church unaware, his message was "Evangelism: Do what Jesus Did".
- We can't err by proclaiming the message Jesus proclaimed.
- Do What Jesus Did
- Jesus didn’t tell the woman at the well anything about His person or work.
- Jesus rarely even alluded to the cross or the resurrection in His evangelism.
CFG advocates and defenders are adamant that other evangelicals should cut'em some slack -- making statements like "We preach the same message you do: Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection for the atonement of sin". In light of the statements from CFG's own top advocate however, one begins to wonder indeed why they would say such a thing and routinely include those details since that clearly exceeds the message they claim Jesus' himself usually presented. Sure, CFG can provide some (psycho)logical reasons for including add'l info, at least sometimes, but (psycho)logical arguments fall flat in light of their own ultimate litmus test -- namely that "we can't err by proclaiming the message [Jesus] proclaimed."
CFG folks, it's simple -- if it's your view that we should "do what Jesus did", and "[Jesus] rarely even alluded to the cross or the resurrection in His evangelism" (and that IS your view) how on earth do you justify that it's somehow consistent to claim it's "important/critical/essential" for anyone else to routinely do so?
Refer back to the bolded portion of the definition at the beginning of this article and consider this:
- CFG View
- We can't go wrong by proclaiming the message Jesus proclaimed.
- Jesus' message rarely alluded to add'l info such as his deity, death, or resurrection.
- CFG Action
- Insist that it's important to routinely present info that Jesus himself only rarely presented.