2 Cor. 4:2,3 – But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
This is a very descriptive portion of scripture. In it Paul says he refuses to ‘tamper’ with the word of God. The word that he actually used was doloo, a Greek word that was often used in referring to wine sellers who who water down, or tamper with the wine. This smells like what is commonly being done today. The ESV Study Bible talks about this tampering with God’s Word.
“Because Paul is not motivated in his ministry by money, and because he does not crave human approval, Paul refused to tamper (a word also used of wine merchants diluting their wares) with God’s word by watering it down or changing it to suit what people want to hear. Rather, Paul’s open statement of the truth commends him to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God as judge and shows that he does not proclaim a “secret” or hidden gospel only to a select inner group.”
Think about it, the anointing was referred to by Jesus Himself as the ‘new wine’. The ministry of the word in the power of the Holy Spirit can and should be strangely intoxicating. The power of His presence causes supernatural joy and peace unless… Unless it is tampered with. The watering down of the gospel of Jesus Christ is at pandemic proportions in our seeker friendly, relevant, hip church today. Why would ministers tamper with or water down the new wine of the gospel? Apparently they have a better plan than staying with the full potency of the gospel.
How are things watered down? The foundational doctrines are ignored. Teaching on redemption by the blood of the cross, sanctification, holiness, propitiation are totally avoided. These historic messages have been replaced with practical tips on being a better you. Repentance is never mentioned. Also the power of His presence is avoided at all costs. It’s as if the presence of the Lord is either not available or just too weird for the modern, more informed Christian. As for me, I need the full strength, intoxicating power of the gospel, no watered down stuff for me. Watered down church produces watered down Christians.