The apostle Paul warned that those who pervert the gospel of Christ will be accursed (Gal 1:6–9). Paul also revealed that distorting the teaching of the bodily resurrection rejects Jesus’s bodily resurrection (1 Cor 15:12–19). This disbelief led many in the church to live immoral lives (1 Cor 6:9–15; 15:31–34). Many false teachings and sinful behaviors come by a distortion of the core truths of the gospel of Christ.
For instance, someone who does not believe that Jesus is sinless and infallible dismisses that Jesus is God come in the flesh (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Furthermore, because Jesus is the fullness of God bodily, then Jesus could not sin and His words are infallible and without errors (John 1:1, 14; Col 2:9). When someone does not see Jesus’s words as without error, then neither are the Scriptures inerrant that record the words of Christ, His apostles, and past prophets of the OT. With this view, most if not all doctrines of Christ become open to one’s personal opinions. People merely follow what they want to follow according to self and society as their standard.
Many neither understand nor believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. That lack of faith undermines basic truths including Jesus’s deity. Jesus’s sinless nature means that the consequence of sin — death — could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). If Jesus did not resurrect, then the hope of bodily resurrecting to glory is lost (1 Cor 15:20–28, 54–57). Jesus’s resurrection overcame the corruption and decay of this world for the redemption of the bodies of believers on the last day (Rom 8:18–25). Furthermore, rising from baptism to new life loses significant meaning for salvation and forgiveness of sins if Jesus did not actually resurrect (Col 2:12–13; 1 Pet 3:21).
Dismissing Jesus’s resurrection affects other teachings. For example, many forsake assembling with the church on the first day of the week. On the first day of the week, Jesus resurrected and came to His disciples. His disciples felt the wounds of Jesus’s death marveling with joy as they became witnesses to Jesus’s bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36–49). Likewise, Christians assemble on the first day of the week as believers marveling with joy at Jesus’s resurrection. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the faithful assemble to thank and praise God together and seek to grow in His Word. Without Jesus’s resurrection, Christians would not have a foundation for assembling on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
One should not think that God approves of whatever a person wants to believe. Jesus is God in the flesh and without sin. Therefore, Jesus’s words are without error. He died, was buried, and resurrected bodily because He did not sin. Christ ascended to the right hand of God in heaven. These fundamental teachings about Jesus are essential to avoid error in following the God of the Bible.
The gospel of Jesus Christ: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. That is the core truth of the gospel of Christ.
You are absolutely correct that distorting the gospel of Christ is attacking the very essence of Christianity. Basically, although you alluded to it but didn’t state it succinctly, anyone who distorts the gospel is not and cannot be a Christian. Period!!
There is no doubt the Christian Church in the USA today is operating under the opinions of man. This is called, variously, in the Bible, as the commandments of men (Matt. 15: 3,6,8,9), the traditions of men (Mark 7:8) and human tradition (Col. 2:8). Such machinations are roundly condemned by Jesus and Paul and are considered a sin because they are in opposition to, contradictory to, added to or subtracted from God’s Word. Every such ritual, practice and program is an empty creation of man’s fertile imagination, alone, apart from God.
Even though it not connected to the gospel of Christ, you are spot on concerning how Christians of every stripe have altered and distorted baptism, true worship and the Lord’s Supper. I use a stronger word to describe the current human tradition that has taken the Lord’s Supper captive…desecration.
Briefly, Jesus introduced the sacrament as part of a full-course meal. Sometime during the meal, Jesus took unleavened bread and served it to the Twelve, informing them they were eating His body. After a certain amount of time passed, He took one single cup filled with wine and told His disciples to pass that around, telling them they were drinking His blood and they should do this “in remembrance of me” (Matt. 26:20-29). Sometime during all these activities, Jesus arose from his reclining position, laid aside his outer garments, took a towel and tied it around his waist, poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel. “You also ought to wash one another’s feet”, he said, “For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:1-20).
So how has man desecrated the Lord’s Supper. Go to most Christian gatherings and here is what you will find. A few men pass out tiny wafers of unleavened bread sitting on a round tray, followed by another tray full of cheap thimble-size containers usually FILLED WITH GRAPE JUICE. That’s it! Something so far removed from biblical instruction any New Testament Christian from Jesus’s time visiting a “service” today would have no clue they were among a group of Christians. These present day celebrations are a meaningless creation of man that have no place in Christian gatherings.
Of course, God does not approve of whatever individuals want to believe. God wants individuals to be obedient to and believe the truth. That is elementary Christianity.