How do you know when someone doesn't get the gospel? For one, they have to prove something. They must say or do anything to demonstrate to others that they are right, they are pure and they are holy. To further demonstrate their rightness and the certainty of their rightness, they must also constantly attack others who they know to be wrong and relentlessly keep a watchful eye on their inconsistencies, their hypocrisies all the way down to their spelling and grammatical errors. You will never find such an individual admitting a mistake or even questioning his own certainty about things. He takes pride in his rightness and certainty of everything because it is his own righteousness and vindication. This is why many of the big mega church pastors who are the targets of so much criticism blame pastors of small churches like myself for picking on them out of jealousy. They are partly right. Their numerical success and notoriety become a real temptation for them in which to find their righteousness and vindication. Because a pastor like myself with a small church cannot point to my "success" for my self justification and vindication - apart from the gospel - I have to look elsewhere. I can vindicate myself and my perceived failure in the mega church pastor's eyes, by pointing out all of his faults. Since I can't vindicate myself by making others come hear me in my church building; I can make myself feel good about myself by knowing that more people will hear me through my blog and comment threads on other people's blogs! This is why they have to minimize the gospel to no longer be the matter of first importance because it would destroy their means of justifying themselves. The gospel must become only one spoke in the wheel with every other teaching being of equal importance. This is how they put the gospel in it's place instead of the letting the gospel put them in their place.
I recognize my own propensity for this every day when I am challenged by someone on my interpretation of Scripture or when the Sunday attendance is a disappointment. I am either forced to flee to Christ for my justification, acceptance and vindication or I have to find it in my blog, my church's numbers, the love and affection of my congregation, the popularity of Facebook friends, the amount of "Likes" on Facebook posts, the number of readers on my Stat counter, the number of comments I attract per post, my scruples that are impossible for 99% of others to keep like I can, the onslaught of criticism that I interpret as persecution for the truth...the list goes on and on.
Of course, if you're like this, you're probably telling yourself that you are trying to defend the truth and give glory to God because what God is most concerned about is being right also as if He actually needs you to defend Him. You are also telling yourself that God would not be pleased with you unless you can honestly say you know exactly what is right in every situation as far as your finite mind can comprehend. You will win a trophy for being more right than others and lay it at Jesus' feet in utter humility....right? Uh huh.
By the word "Reforming" I am speaking of "reviving and renewing" The essence of this kind of reformation is the enrichment of understanding God's truth, arousing the affections Godward, and increasing devotion to Him. - J.I. Packer