Here is a great response by Negrodamus to the following question by blog reader "Me"regarding True and False Gospel:
Negrodamus, (great name btw)
As a matter of curiosity, and i mean this will all due respect, what Gospel were you preaching at CBC? And I request specifics because I know the Gospel I heard preached while I was there. I know and have had very personal conversations with Pastor Frank, Doug and Donna Lasit, Ken and Glenda Malmin, Lanny Hubbard, Asim Trent, Marc Estes, Jack Louman, Brian Dahne, and many many others. Also, while at PBC and CBC, I was also in leadership in Gen Church. I never heard any Gospel that I couldn't read in the Bible. So i earnestly ask what it was you were preaching, and if you feel as though you were taught that or somehow formed it on your own. Please if you've time, explain a bit more.
I'm glad you ask. Here's what I was preaching, a gospel of works. I don't know if I can keep it anymore simple. Hence, take one of Frank Damzio's newest books, say, "The Unshakable Life" http://www.citychristianpublishing.com/books/?isbn=1-59383-039-4, the comments from Frank read as following:
This book is written for those in the trenches of real life. It is written for those who experience challenges, surprises, disappointments, successes and failures that shake up their days. It is for those who are ready to build an unshakable life-a life that is anchored, immovable and indestructable. Join with the author as he develops each one of these Seven Declarations for an Unshakable Life, based on the unshakable Word of God: I will live life strong. I will love God's house. I will hold my head high. I will have an overflowing heart. I will turn to God at all times. I will walk on a level path. I will not lose heart.
Me, do you seee what's wrong with the premise here? The onus, the weight, the burden of living an unshakable life starts with you, not Christ. Look at how many times Frank says "I will", count them, it's seven. I will live, I will love, I will hold, I will have, I will turn, I will walk, I will not lose. Do you see that? It's all about I…I…I…I… The gospel always starts with Him…Him…Him…Him… The unshakable life is not found in a set of principles, it's found in a person, JC. Now of course, you could combat this by saying "Well, Frank does talk about Jesus in the book!" Of course he does, but only as an after thought. Christ is never the hero of the book, we are. In fact, they nicknamed Frank amongst his peers as the Porcupine Preacher because he was good at giving so many points and principles. I remember listening to those sermons back in the day like "wow, how in the hell did he find so many principles in that one passage???" He would take a biblical story like David and Goliath and teach on "how to face your giants?" He would say stuff like David didn't just have one stone, he had five other stones because David had brothers. I would sit there, clutching the pew in front of me totally mezmerized as I hung on to every point Frank made. Frank would say "do you know what those five stones represented?" I would think to myself "No, but whatever they are I need them to face down my giants!"
So Frank would go on point by point, he even had sub-points within the points and I would walk out of the domes that Sunday morning with a fresh commitment to living out those points. I think if you added it all up he gave something like 15 points that morning. Then I would go next week and there would be another 15 points if you included the sub-points and by the time I finished year one of listening to Frank's sermons I had something like 720 principles or points to cultivate in my life in order to have an unshakable, over-flowing, spirit-filled, set the atmosphere, leaving my past behind me, breakthrough, successfully achieving, financially providing, leadership developing, spiritual warfaring kind of life. And the list went on and on.
After a while I would be like "how in the world can I do all this????" Christianity became too exhausting, I wondered to myself "Where is the peace and rest that Chrsitianity offered?" I weighted and burdened the youth at CBC shoulders with principles and points that were impossible to keep. To put it simply, I burdened them with the law because I didn't get the point of the law. I used the law as a system of salvation. It became my savior. If I was keeping the law, the principles and the points then I assumed I was succeeding spiritually, but if I failed at any one of those 720 points Frank preached then I was crushed spiritually and emotionally. I didn't realize that I was saved from the law and yet saved for the law. I was saved from it in the sense that I can find my rest in Christ, my perfect life is found only in him. There is nothing I can do to get God to love me more and yet there is nothing I can do to get God to love me less. He loves me period. My role is to accept His acceptance of me. I am saved by grace and changed by grace. He met every point, every principle, every standard for me, so I can get off this treadmill of works, expending energy and yet ending up nowhere. And yet on the other hand not do away with the law because it is a good guide to life.
Now, back to Frank's David and Goliath point. If he, we and all the Christianas in that building would have seen the real hero of the story that fateful morning, we would have walk out liberated, not burdened because we would have looked to Him and not ourselves to defeat our enemies. Christ stood like David as our representative, he faced down our giants when we were cowering in the hills like Israel's army defeated by our foes and He and He alone stares down, faces down or better yet beats down our ultimate enemy-sin and death. This is the heart of the gospel, not some man-centered gospel that brings into focus us when we approach a biblical text, but rather the true gospel of the bible all brings into focus Him, period. If Christ is is not the hero, than we make Him merely a helper but not a savior.