Do I Believe A Gospel That Comes From McDonalds?
What is the most effective weapon of mass destruction? Historically it is not an atomic bomb or even a biological weapon. The most effective weapon of mass destruction is nothing more than a simple piece of paper… a counterfeit bill.
For almost two thousand years countries destroyed their enemies by destabilizing their economy through the spread of counterfeit currency. For example, during the Civil War, the north destabilized the south by spreading counterfeit confederate currency. Jefferson Davis, president of the southern confederacy, shared this with the confederate congress in 1862, “Soldiers of the invading armies are found supplied with large quantities of these forged notes as a means of despoiling the country people by fraud out of such portions of their property as armed violence may fail to reach.”
Counterfeits work because they mimic the real thing but have no real value. Today, the same thing is happening in the church. Counterfeit gospels are destroying the church by mimicking the real gospel but leaving us with something of no real value.
One of the counterfeit gospels we need to watch for I call, “The Happy Meal Gospel.”
Who doesn’t love a Happy Meal. The brilliance of the Happy Meal is not the greasy chicken and soggy fries. It is not even the free toy in every box. The brilliance of the Happy Meal is the promise of happiness. For an exhausted mom with a bored child, the promise of happiness works every time. Sociologists who study the Christian faith tell us an increasing number of Christians believe Jesus came to make them happy. Jesus came to give peace of mind, a Happy Meal, rather than peace with God.
We often see this when young couples face a difficult marriage. An alarming number of young couples are quick to divorce claiming God doesn’t want them stressed in an unhappy marriage… Maybe a difficult marriage is the anvil God plans to use to pound out our pride. Maybe a difficult marriage is God’s plan to teach us to be kind when it is hard. Maybe God doesn’t always want us happy. The Bible tells us God puts hard times in our life for a reason.
James 1:1-2 tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” God uses tough times to help us mature.
How do we know if we have fallen for the counterfeit Happy Meal Gospel? Check your prayer life. Are your prayers consistently asking God to take away the tough times so you can be happy or are they asking God to help you act more like Jesus in the tough times so you can better reflect him in your circumstances?
Were you fooled by a counterfeit?