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Stumbling through the plethora of “religious” information, articles, and sermons online, I can’t help but have this inescapable feeling that, a new, seeker-sensitive, money-driven, word-faith, self serving-evangelist pops up nearly everyday.
It is because of this, I am extremely cautious when it comes to “liking,” “following,” or listening to any hip new face on the modern church scene. We are living in an age where postmodernism thrives and religious ideals and theology are held in contempt while the reverence and respect for the authority of scripture is nearly lost as the church is falsely regarded as a dilapidated confining structure that needs to be, if not torn down and rebuilt, at least repaired. It is because of this common belief that there are now more non-denominational churches nationally than there are any other denomination. Something else I have noticed is there are less and less churches started today as “satellite churches” and “sister churches” and more begun as the result of an angry or disappointed former member of a church that left over some sort of moral/illegitimate dispute they felt they were justified in while believing the current leaders were in the wrong. This simply continues to proliferate the postmodernism movement when these new pastors don’t desire to have an Elder board or Deacon board to hold them accountable for what they teach.
I feel clarity should be offered here on the matter of “postmodernism,” and the best definition i could find was from Wikipedia
“In its most basic form, postmodernism is an intentional departure from the previously dominant modernist approaches such as scientific positivism, realism, constructivism, formalism, metaphysics and so forth. In a sense, the “postmodernist” approach continues the critique of the Enlightenment legacy, fundamentally seeking to challenge the traditional practices and intellectual pillars of western civilization just as the Enlightenment challenged tradition, theology and the authority of religion before it.”
Lets make a pie… A post modern gospel pie, (which are always lite in theological calories and biblical protein.)
1. Mix one part Non-offensive, so called, evangelical preacher, making sure he is a southern Baptist grad of some sort in order to help bible believing mature Christians let their guard down.
2. mix two parts water so the truth of the gospel can’t get in the way of reaching the lost.
3. Throw in a pinch of exegesis to make up for the lack of vital spiritual nutrients longed for by the God fearing weak wheat stalks that are scattered throughout the congregation, but not too much because we know that particular spice is the same to non-believers as garlic is to vampires.
This is a common recipe used in most seeker sensitive churches today. However, if all of the above fails, they can always resort to apologizing to visitors for how the “church” has treated them in the past. Although I Do agree that many legalistic churches have the tendency and reputation of leaping onto gossip, like a waiting lioness stalking her prey, and ostracizing fellow believers due to certain sins the leaders have come to consider worse than others, (i.e. homosexuality, adultery, divorce, etc.) I don’t agree that we should, as a body, apologize to believers specifically, for what another “church” may or may not have done to them. For all we know, these “hurt” people visiting today, may have been dealt with biblically and they left their prior church because they refused to correct their behaviour.
Living in sin and struggling with sin are two different things.
The Apostle Paul knew the struggle with Sin, though he would (1 cor. 9:27) “discipline his body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others he himself should be disqualified,” he also wrote, Romans 7:19 – For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
In regards to fellow believers, We have to remember to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 because guess what…take a whole bunch of sinners and group them together in one place and, lest we embrace an Ephesians 4 attitude, things are bound to get messy. That’s no excuse though to forsake the full message of the gospel so as not to scare away unsure/nervous “seekers.”
The bible was written for believers (2 tim 3:16-17 focus on 1st part of 17) and therefore, we cannot make every sunday an outreach event, or else we will inevitably see the true followers of Christ become spiritually anemic and eventually leave the church in search of one offering a feast on Sunday rather than crumbs. We need meat and potatos.
Although there are many buildings on street corners today that bear the name “church,” It’s unfortunate that there are no regulations when it comes to false advertisement amongst those whom inaccurately call themselves such.
I will close with this:
I feel many Pastors today are failing at being shepherds. Shepherds do what? Tend to sheep. Jesus Himself said, “you love me? Feed my sheep.” If all a Pastor does is attempt to create a non-offensive outreach service, he will fail to feed the flock. Seeker Sensitive models create numbers, not Disciples. I’d rather have a church of 50 disciples than a building of 3,000 lukewarm bodies.
Feed the flock. Do not get lost in trying to connect with gen x; with wearing the latest, coolest clothing so as to show outsiders we’re not “weird.” Christians are weird. We believe in absolutes. We believe one God created everything in 6 days. That’s weird to people on the outside looking in.
I love God. I love His bride, the church. I serve Him by serving His church. If I ever stop serving and sacrificing, I will no longer be the man my wife married. I will cease to be the Father I pray my son comes to respect. It is because of those three people:
that I will not quit. I will not stop. I will not shut up. I will not conform. No matter how many times I get called an old fashioned, wilderness Christian, or out dated theologist.
I WILL persist. I WILL continue DAILY to pick up my cross and strive to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Will you stand with me?