Saturday, May 26, 2007


Last night was my penultimate CU meeting at Southampton, and was undoubtedly the worst I have attended. Unfortunately the speaker had obviously signed the Doctrinal Basis of the CU without meaning it, because his talk did not even approach a proper understanding of the Gospel.

He didn't warm me to him right from the start: he first said "that was the best worship session I've ever had at this CU - sometimes when I'm here hardly anyone raises their hands". Yes, because emotional response is the mark of 'success' in worship. After that, he said "I was raised in a conservative evangelical family, but didn't get saved until I moved to Southampton and attended [a charismatic] church". Fair enough, I thought... be open-minded!

But then we were taken on a whirlwind tour of the social gospel, complete with entirely superfluous Powerpoint accompaniment. Considering that our talk series is "Jesus" and the subject of the talk was the gospel, it was amazing how he managed to preach for 30 minutes without even mentioning words like sin, righteousness, judgement or indeed the reason why Jesus came to live and die! According to this speaker, "the gospel is about more than just sneaking into heaven".

Well, I was pretty angry afterwards. A few of us were digesting and reflecting afterwards, and I missed the speaker's departure. It was probably a good thing that he got to his car before I caught up with him - and I was running after him - because at that time I would have roasted him alive. How dare he come and pervert the Gospel with wishy-washy heresy! The real tragedy is that most CU members don't have enough Bible knowledge to even know that anything was amiss. Even diligent Christians like some of my housemates who were saved recently were led astray simply through lack of experience. I had flashbacks to my flirtings with the prosperity gospel a few years ago, and am thankful for more wisdom and discernment by the Holy Spirit now.

I've calmed down a bit now (though I did have to have some brandy when I got home last night). Thankfully the usual calibre of our speakers is higher and their theology more orthodox!

PS: his 'strike-three' was referring to Steve Chalke as his friend. No wonder he didn't mention God's wrath!

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