Now, in the end, you’re either saved or your not, right? So I'm not falling off the apple cart here. The question is if everyone in the church is saved, and if every church is itself standing inside the Gospel which saves. It would be a much less complicated world in which to deliver the Gospel if there were only "Gospel churches" and "unsaved people" and nary the twain shall meet but on the mission field.

What we actually have is a diverse spectrum of entities manifest in this world that stand in some relationship to Christ – with varying degrees of flaws among them. From inside the scope of the Gospel, we ought to see that many people affected by the Gospel are more affected by the culture than by the Gospel – and they gravitate away from the Gospel and toward the culture.

But what that looks like from outside the Gospel is that there are some people who say they have the Gospel who are willing to be cooperative about the matter and "tolerant" or "civil" about it, and some who are inflexible and intolerant and show no good will. To those outside the Gospel, not only does the Gospel look like a bad idea, but it seems to them that many who bear the Gospel are not very good at sharing it because if they were, they'd be more like these ones over here that work hard to make peace with the culture.

That's where the question, "How do you create good will for Jesus?" comes from. It comes from the perception that Jesus ought to offer some kind of concession to people in order to get a fair hearing. If He were reasonable, and if His servants were people who really cared, they'd be finding ways to be more like me – more like I want them to be – rather than whatever it is that they are.

Listen: before I crescendo here, it is important to "get" something. One of the clear admonitions that Jesus gave to the Disciples was that they should love one another. We were not saved in order to create a pro wrestling circuit of drama and violence. There is no doubt that, on balance, Christians could be more Christ-like to one another.

What that does not mean, however, is that "Christ-like" equals "your clubbing buddy Jesus". It also does not mean "your very sensitive creative buddy Jesus". It also does not mean "your ethereal pseudo-buddhist goth buddy Jesus". "Christ-like" means something other than "like me and my friends": in fact, it means the opposite of "the kind of person I would hang out with".

The matter of Christ-likeness is fairly shattering because we can only understand Christ in the context of the Gospel. The Christ like whom we ought to be is the Christ who died for sins, and had the authority to take up his life again. He is not someone who imitated anyone but was in fact the standard which we ought to imitate. And in that, Christ's death teaches us that opposition to sin for the sake of righteousness is worth dying for. There is a sacrificial aspect to that statement, but there is also a love of justice in that statement which is completely lost on the contemporary observer.

And the worst case is when that observer is someone in that gray area in my diagram who thinks they are in the church, but the Christ they advocate is a Christ who doesn't oppose sin but simply overlooks it – in order to make people feel OK.