I've got three current illustrations to show that gospel emphasis is more talk than show among professing evangelicals. I could be accused of broad brushing this, but the evangelicals do the kind of thing I'm going to illustrate all the time, and other evangelicals don't separate over it. As a result, evangelicals terribly confuse the gospel. My three examples today are Russell Moore, Dean of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Albert Mohler is the president, Tim Keller, senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and leader in The Gospel Coalition, and then Billy Graham. This piece will briefly explore Russell Moore and Mother Teresa, Tim Keller and Martin Luther King, Jr., and then Billy Graham and Robert Schuller. I believe these examples of major evangelical leaders, and the lack of separation from them, show the fallacy of evangelical gospel accuracy and emphasis.
On his blog, Russell Moore writes: "The next Mother Teresa might be managing an abortion clinic right now." He was speaking of Mother Teresa as a great convert of the gospel. In his book, Reasons for God, Tim Keller writes: "The greatest champion in our era [Martin Luther King, Jr.] knew the antidote to racism was not less Christianity, but a deeper and truer Christianity." He was speaking of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a great and important representative of a true gospel. Billy Graham says to Robert Schuller:
What God is doing today is calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and they're going to be with us in heaven.
How each of these come across to me is as pandering to a particular crowd to earn their favor. They each show how someone might better "succeed" through carnal weaponry. And that's at the least. Mother Teresa did not believe a true gospel. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't even believe in the deity of Christ. He was a theological liberal (like Jimmy Carter). Read his own writings. And for Billy Graham you'll find a host of quotations and many practical examples like the one above. When evangelicals can't even get these right, or will not separate over them (Gal 1:6-9), they do not epitomize, exhibit, or exemplify a true gospel.