The Gospel According To Mayberry
Ask any baby-boomer about the name Mayberry, and most likely the response you’ll get is a small fictitious town in North Carolina, that was the locale for a TV series called the Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968).
The focal point of this fictitious town is its resident sheriff/sage Andy Taylor. He’s easygoing, always carries a smile if not a gun, always has a right word at the right time, that includes his handling of prisoners. Even though there are no “real” offences in Mayberry, except for the occasional escapee from the state prison, or bank robber using the town as a hide-out, or con-man (or woman) seeing the town as easy pickings, the townsfolk offer no real problem; for example, Otis the Town Drunk, after downing a snootfull of whiskey, checks himself in and out of the jail. In one episode, Sheriff Taylor lets a prisoner go free for a while to bring in his crops, with a promise to return to be re-incarcerated. The jail itself looks like a “parlor” for visitors, and many times offenders get arrested so they can enjoy Aunt Bee’s picnic-basket lunches complete with fried chicken and pie. Sheriff Taylor’s character and brand of justice offends no-one, not even the town’s “hardened “ criminals.
There are Andy Taylors preaching in our pulpits, pastoring churches, helming and running ministries, offering a good-ol’ boy, slap on the back, wide-smile, watered-down version of the Gospel that offends no-one. It is a gospel that declares a person to be okay just as he is. It is a gospel that rarely mentions God, denies the deity of Jesus Christ, if he’s mentioned at all. It is devoid of the “fire and brimstone” message that forces a person to examine himself. It treats the truth of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as just one of a collection of biblical stories, totally devoid of any real value. It is a gospel that allows for self-interpretation, instead of allowing for the Holy Spirit’s interpretation. It is a gospel that makes allowances for sinners, because “God knows that I’m a weak person, and he understands.” It teaches that all men are going to Heaven, because God would never send anyone to a place like Hell. It reduces the Bible to nothing more than a self-help book, having no eternal significance. People flock to church, fill up pews having itching ears to hear this type of preaching.
This type of camp-fire - lets hold hands and sing Kumbaya - I’m okay, you’re okay type of Gospel should be avoided.
Christ’s messages were unpopular with the masses, especially those that were in authority. He upset the status-quo, and was sought to be killed for it. His gospel shed the light on all those that were in darkness - which included everybody and he was rejected because of it. Jesus stated that he came not to bring peace, but a sword, for his gospel divided even families. With the Gospel, everything is either black or white; no grey areas, no compromises.
The Master’s blood was shed because of the words he spoke - as well as the Apostles, and many who believe in the unadulterated Word of God, who will awaken
in glory, to be with Him. Those that follow this new “Mayberry” gospel, and the “preachers” who deliver it are in for a rude awakening.
The wise man doesn’t seek to adapt the gospel to his lifestyle, but allows his life to be changed by its truth.
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