by Hillary McFarland
What is good news?
What is good news?
Good news brings joy.
Good news brings relief.
Good news gives us something to anticipate, to talk about and plan for. It gives us hope. If you are in jail and receive word that you are to be released, that is good news! If you are hungry and someone announces, "Dinner is served," that is good news! Good news addresses the heart of your need. It is the answer your soul craves...even, sometimes, when you don't know you crave it.
Good news transforms you.
The word gospel means good news. Glad tidings. Good message. This is what Jesus came to preach to the poor. He came to preach a good message to those in need of a good message! (Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:19-19) He came to meet needs, to proclaim salvation! And He came in grace and truth.
Recently I talked about the good news of grace. While reflecting on life, the gospel, my purpose to not take sides but to be at Jesus' side as He ministers to those He gives me in need of glad tidings, grace, healing, and liberty, I came across the following passage which reveals so clearly to me the heart of issues that arise through speaking and writing about spiritual abuse, authoritarianism, and patriocentricity. I cannot emphasize the following words enough:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel [good news!] contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal.1:6-10, ESV) (emphasis added)
In Christ is simplicity. Do not be deceived by those who would distort the gospel!
I shared this on Facebook last night but it is an important reminder for all those who are passionate against spiritual abuse:
One feature of spiritual abuse is the often-unintentional quenching of the Spirit in the lives of those within one's care. Author Frank Viola (Pagan Christianity, The Jesus Manifesto) has compiled a list of what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. This shows why quenching the Spirit, and ultimately, spiritual abuse, are such grave matters. See 50 Things the Holy Spirit Does.