Let's say that you meet someone who is not a Christian. After talking with them for a while you learn that they like to get drunk on the weekends and have sex with their girlfriend. How do you respond? Is your first response to tell them to clean-up their life--stop getting drunk and having sex outside of marriage? If so, you're preaching the false gospel of moralism. Granted, drunkenness and sexual immorality are both sins. But a non-Christian doesn't need moral improvement--they need the good news that Jesus saves sinners. Albert Mohler recently put it this way:
Continue read Dr. Mohler's blog post here.
In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this -- the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.