Yesterday I put a sneak preview of the front and back cover for my next book up on Facebook.

It’s called, ACCIDENTAL PHARISEES.  I thought I’d post it here as well. I’m really pumped about this one as I believe it’s the most important book I’ve written to date. It’s also a message that I’m passionate about.

I’ve been concerned for quite a while about the latest pendulum swing in the body of Christ. We’ve gone from the goofiness of a health and wealth gospel to the goofiness of a poverty gospel. Instead of, “God wants to bless the socks off you,” (and make this life so good that heaven will be a let-down), the new message is, “God wants us to suffer,” (and if we don’t intentionally choose the road of suffering while here on earth, we might wake up to find out that we aren’t even on the road to heaven).

I’m finding that lots of good people who love Jesus, love the Bible, and mean well are confusing our call to accept suffering with a call to choose suffering. And I’m also finding a new legalism that replaces the old legalistic standard of, “What’s in your refrigerator?” with the new legalism of, “What’s in your driveway ?” and “How big is your house?”

In many ways, it’s simply a return to the dysfunctional American gospel of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Back then it was assumed that anyone serious about Jesus would head out to the mission field unless given a specific exemption by God. And that those on the mission field were told that putting God first meant shipping their kids off to a boarding school to be raised by strangers.

Instead of a Jesus who offered rest, a lighter load, and an easy yoke to the downtrodden, Jesus was portrayed as demanding it all, accepting only the most committed of the committed, and delighting in snuffing out spiritually bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.

I distinctly remember my mom telling me that she struggle to give it all to Jesus because all of the sermons she’d heard had convinced her that Jesus would take it all and step on it  – and then send her to all the places she least wanted to go.

Sadly, I’m afraid that many are inadvertently preaching that same message once again. And I also fear that the end result of this latest pendulum swing will not be lots of Jesus-like disciples. I’m afraid it’s more likely to produce Pharisee-like disciples deluded by pride, exclusivity, and a disdain for those at the back of the following-Jesus line.

What do you think.