Is the gospel an addition to what a person has had, such as the culture, personality, thoughts, attitudes, and philosophy? It is not rare to hear preachers say whoever one has been he or she can accept the gospel without changing who he or she is. They welcome gays without the need to tell them to change their sexual preferences, eventually to be saved. They welcome sinners without the need to tell them about changing their lifestyles to fit the gospel, to be saved. Seeing and hearing them saying so, it is not sure for what reason the gospel is needed for people. They seem just taking its name for their earthly gains but not the essence for its own purpose.
It is almost identical what the Shintoists say–“O you are introducing me another god by the gospel of Jesus. I am glad to know him. I will gladly add him to the shrine of my family.” It is also almost identical with what cultural subjectivists have to say–“Everyone may have his or her own ideas and so he or she has to be equally respected for there is no absolute value or truth, but only relative depending on individual person; therefore, the gospel is just another thing.”
However, it is never true that the gospel is just an addition to what one has had. It is not either true, however, that the gospel denies everything of what the person has had. Then, what does the gospel do in the person who accepts it and obeys it? It washes everything of the person. More accurately speaking, everything of the person has to be washed by the gospel. Everything has to be renewed through the washing, and the person has to be regenerated in every aspect and ‘precessed’ through it thoroughly. The person has to become a new creature through the gospel.