Pssst…I have a deal for you. For only a few dollars I can get you an Opple iPhone or a RIM Blockberry. Yes, the name is spelled differently, but some say that these products are just as good as the real thing. Except of course they’re not the real thing. Just don’t take them to Apple or RIM expecting service because they won’t recognize them as their own.
The same is true with the gospel. There are many versions of the gospel – you can call them gaspels if you’d like. They’re the versions of the gospel sold by shady dealers on tables by the alley. You can get the gaspel as a discount, and some say it’s just as good as the real thing. Just don’t go to God with the gaspel because he won’t recognize it as his own either.
We don’t get to define the gospel or modify it. It’s the proprietary property of God. No knock-offs.
That’s the point that Paul makes in Galatians 1. If we modify the gospel, we lose it. The gospel doesn’t originate with what people think, nor is it even the product of the church. Quite the opposite: the church is the product of the gospel. We don’t get to decide what the gospel is; Paul got the gospel directly from Jesus. If we modify it, we lose it.
Don’t settle for gaspels. There’s only one gospel, and it originates with God. No substitutes; no modifications.