In Christian Smith’s national study on the religious beliefs of young adults he found that most young Americans subscribe to a form of “moralistic, therapeutic deism” or (as I like to call it) “be good, feel good, believe-in-God-as-a-concept” religion. While no one has an excuse before God, the self-help and behavior-focused teaching in most churches leaves little room for revelation-based, gospel-centered, sacrificial relationship with Jesus.
Most people have as their central goal to be happy and feel good. Many pastors cater to their audience rather than oppose this self-centered form of idolatry. The gospel cannot be stripped of a call to “come and die.”