I recently read in the paper about a “successful Christian outreach” where many “accepted Jesus as their savior”. The problem, as with most of our modern culture’s take on “salvation”, is that there is little clarity about what these folks are acquiring “salvation from”. The article described the “celebration” as giving some people “a new process in life”, others as “feeling refreshed”, and still others who were “struggling” as receiving “hope”. The article’s last line stated that the event left attendees with “a good vibe”. Such secular reporting would hardly be worth noting, were it not that most “Christians” provide similar descriptions of these types of “successful” events.
It appears Christianity is being redefined. Biblical warnings of God’s coming judgment are being replaced with concerns about emotional hurts. The Spirit’s stinging conviction regarding guilt and sin are being exchanged for heartwarming stories about rejuvenation and optimism. The Bible’s call to repentance and self-denial are being surreptitiously switched for appeals that leave people with a good vibe. We cannot allow such shifts to be imperceptible among God’s people. Such redefinitions must set off alarms in our hearts and minds. Temporal “salvation” from bad feelings does not square with Scripture and must never pass for “success”.