To continue with my thoughts on Rev. Wright, the former pastor at Barack Obama's church...
(Well, after this weekend, I guess it's now Mr. Obama's former church.)
...I have a question about Barack Obama, and Rev. Wright, and now this Catholic Father's whose ranting preaching in the same church has been all over the TV the last week.
My questions is: Do they really know the gospel?
After the first story with Rev. Wright came out, I heard people defending the Reverend and the church. Some of them said the news media was being unfair by playing the clips over and over. If you heard the whole sermon, one man said, it was a really good gospel message.
Okay, granted, I haven't heard the whole message. But I have a hard time imagining how the gospel message could be worked into what I did hear.
You see the Gospel has a very narrow definition. A "gospel message" is not just any ol' message. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. The literal translation of the word "gospel" is "good news," and always in the Bible (where the term came from) it refers to the good news about Jesus the Christ.
Has the word been hijacked by people like Rev. Wright and others to mean something else? Do some of the people in the pews at Trinity United Church of Christ think a gospel message is an inspiring talk? An emotional appeal? Any rant?
The gospel message is that Jesus Christ is God come to earth in human flesh to become the atoning sacrifice that makes us right with God. Anyone who embraces what Jesus did on our behalf and claims it to cover his or her own sins, receives salvation from eternity in hell and will live for ever in heaven with God. That's the gospel message, the good news about what Jesus Christ did for us in God's sight.
In the clips I've heard coming out of Trinity United Church of Christ, I've never heard anything like this. I don't believe I've even heard Jesus Christ mentioned. I've heard God the Father mentioned, but not in a nice way (only saying that He damns America, which ain't true).
When I hear the rantings of Rev. Wright... or as I've now heard this new clip of rantings from guest speaker at this same church, Catholic priest Father Michael Pfleger...I have to wonder if Rev. Wright, Barack Obama, Father Pfleger, or any of the people cheering from the pews even know what the gospel is.