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I liked your response, i can see where others are coming from as well. over the last 3 years, i have been looking at NLP and hypnosis as i wanted to see how this all works physically, Biblically and spiritually. when exposing the inner works of this, i am absolutely shocked by how these techniques are very commonly used in many churches. I do not believe that the pastors are fully aware of this and that in their efforts to see growth in the church have adopted these things from other preachers without fully seeking it out from God and the word. These techniques are in use with music, stage settings, speech and actions. I am not going to expose what they are in this post for the sake of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ
| 2015/9/2 13:37||Profile|
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TMK, I mean that by virtue of its packaging it is made different in kind. Think "Jesus Christ" vs. "Jesus Christ Superstar". Think "Your life is to die daily, to mortify your flesh on the very tree upon which Jesus was nailed, to be filled with the Spirit, to live the truth out in close quarters with others, seeing to them and not to yourself, all for the sake of the glory of God in Jesus Christ and not for your own self" vs. "He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. ... Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart beats violently inside of my chest....".
It is hard to get at this thing directly. When you speak of communication technologies and the biases they bring, you are forced into analogy and comparison and hard put to concretely state the proposition that the package is the substance, the medium is the message. But, I think the word pictures above are helpful to my effort.
The church as a package presents its own gospel that is not the NT gospel. It uses the language of the gospel, it references the Bible, but it is not producing men and women who are transformed into the likeness of Jesus. It is producing a generation of self-centered consumers who must return to the well every week or some other interval to get another prescription of the package to convince them that they are "okay" as long as they continue to come to the event and be part of the package where they can hear how God loves like a hurricane, etc., and how important they are to Him.
The gospel of Christ is not that. It is how important He is on His own, and how He has no need of us, and that His love for us is rooted in the fact that it is His image we now wretchedly bear and His motivation is not to love us in pity but to change us into the image of Jesus who is His express image bodily, how that He does not love us for us but He loves us for Himself and only to the extent He will make us like Himself do we have any value or worth at all.
The difference here has a profound impact on how life is lived out in the moments and days of our being. The church package, different gospel counsels me to keep trying, keep coming, keep believing, keep lifting my hopes to Him because He loves me so much that He will secure my way to Him for eternity and He will help me now to feel that love. So, if that's my input, my output is always motivated by my feelings, my need to be loved (as opposed to my need to be changed from the wretch that I am), my need to remember His love for me and how that I'm worth something to Him. I will walk around with an idea of my intrinsic worth, and on some levels I will thus begrudge Him whenever He presents me with the demand to change.
The gospel of Christ, though, counsels me to die, to repent, to seek Him in order to know Him, to rest on His promise of new life and a new spirit and a new mind that is not motivated by my feelings, but is motivated by the fact that regardless of how I feel about it I am a worm and this God who made me for Himself is going to have me for Himself in the manner in which He alone determines, and that is through the process of dying and being made new and alive in Christ as God transforms me from image to image and from glory to glory. I'm worth nothing, and so I give all my nothingness to Him freely because I know for a fact that He takes my nothing and changes me into someone like Himself. He makes me a new creation, and only because of this will I see Him ever. And, the means of that change is entirely different from the means provided in the context of the contemporary package church.
| 2015/9/2 13:43||Profile|
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TMK...what is the difference if you read the bible during a church service in s paper book, a smartphone (that's what I do) an iPad or following the verses on the screen?
My Grandmother used to tell me, it doesn't matter were the living word of God is written, even if it's on a bar restroom wall, it still the same as if you were reading it out of your Bible. And she would end with saying, it probably would have more effect written on the bar restroom wall, than in most Churches. Grandma was an on fire Christian woman for over 80 years, she lived to be 95.
| 2015/9/2 13:52||Profile|
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Thanks Tim- I know where you are coming from.
Thank goodness you didn't quote the original phrase of that song which says "sloppy wet kiss" instead of "unforeseen kiss".
Either way, I about gag whenever I hear that song. I suspect Jesus may be as well.
| 2015/9/2 14:49||Profile|
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by dolfan on 2015/9/2 13:43:16
It uses the language of the gospel, it references the Bible, but it is not producing men and women who are transformed into the likeness of Jesus.
Their deception is that they think it is in their power to transform not only themselves but their church members. Try as they might, with all their programs, it ain't working. The source is wrong and they think they "can be like God". We can fall into the same trap thinking it is in our power "to be like Jesus".
It is producing a generation of self-centered consumers who must return to the well every week or some other interval to get another prescription of the package to convince them that they are "okay" as long as they continue to come to the event and be part of the package where they can hear how God loves like a hurricane, etc., and how important they are to Him.
This I can agree with. They keep coming back to them because they have been taught to be dependent on them. Oh!!! How we need to know that Jesus is more than sufficient in all things. His life will bring to a halt our spiritual ADHD.
Their J-O-B would be in peril if they really taught the truth.
| 2015/9/2 15:28|
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Well spoken Tim,
And what depth !
I appreciate your post.
| 2015/9/2 15:34||Profile|
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While I can definitely relate to your perspectives put forth (including the college football;) and have myself been outspoken regarding this very thing, we would do well not to lump them all together and start throwing rocks. Just as has been stated here on SI before, the Lord has people in most all denominations who truly walk with Him, and no singular denomination nor doctrine exclusively possesses Him. Having said that, I too have been grieved in many of the same ways you have and have prayed diligently that the truth of His Spirit would be revealed to them and they would seek Him and not just play a numbers game while responding to felt needs. Tho I have found that I too needed to see that He is not limited by traditions no matter how holy they appear. Growing up in the CoC they, as you know, denounce any musical instruments, tho many other churches embrace them. I bring this up because they (CoC) say much the same as you are regarding the use of such "modern" inventions and conclude that the message gets distorted if not changed completely. They of course believe they are right and have the necessary justifications to back up their claims...
I admit I've struggled with this over the years and at times still do tho I found after much prayer that even in scripture there has always been this type of variety in people's personal relationship and subsequently their styles of worship. The example that comes to mind in this moment is two of the best known and beloved characters in the OT.
One is soooo conservative that he refuses even a toast to his own promotion in the Kings court, which was disrespectful to say the least, tho because of his reputation for his godly character (and friendship w/King Darius) he was allowed this exclusion.
The next is sooo wild that he not only eats the show bread off the altar but once did what amounts to naked cartwheels in front of the ark as they were bringing it back to Jerusalem, to the dismay of his wife Michal who when she spoke against this behavior was, if I remember correctly, cursed by God and made baron...
Now tho these two men were as different as night and day in their characters they were untied by their love and faith in God and by all accounts He loved them equally and used them both mightily.
But I've wondered if they had lived in close proximity if they would've had anything in common so as to be friends other than their faith.
Perhaps one or both might be skeptical of the other considering the contrast in their expressions of their faith.
So while I do share your concerns and believe you articulate them better than I could, perhaps we should respond in faith towards the Father and not in frustration towards the problem... as our God is an awesome God, and the universe itself cannot contain Him much less one way of doing
Edit for spelling
| 2015/9/2 22:47||Profile|
| Re: Thank you for the responses!|
I so appreciate where Tim has taken this, I must admit that my original post was spawned by a visit to a really dark church where I used to go some time ago- I was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of the dark venue and how it affected me. Tim fleshed it out brilliantly- a better illumination than my guarded sarcasm. (Yuehan saw my post as "leveling accusations," no where near my intentions.) And as Tim skillfully progressed through his explanations, no names were mentioned- that wasn't the purpose at all.
Jesus framed much of His teaching in a context of light and darkness, I believe this is worth noting, and have personally come to prefer well lighted venues for assembling, worship, and responding to preaching. It is just a preference, not suggesting that those who like dark venues are going to Hell.
| 2015/9/3 0:27||Profile|
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I attend a large multi site church and I admit that it is not my preferred "venue."
But the reason we keep attending is because the gospel IS preached and people ARE getting saved and baptized.
I like what TMK has said above. Many so called Christians in USA are justifying the mega Church they attend using similar reasons as TMK as used here.
I am not against mega Churches. I myself was born again or came to know Christ in a mega Church. But I do not believe they are a Church that Jesus is building. I am not saying they do not have a role in Christendom but I am only saying they are not God's plan for a Church. But God still uses them. The fact that a place or a person is used by God does not mean the person is 100% pleasing to God. I can quote so many scriptures to prove this point.
In my view Mega Churches are evangelical conventions. They are mainly there to evangelize large attendees. There is no real fellowship among the believers. All the mini groups that they encourage on weekdays to meet, are the Churches having guts to raise these mini groups as a Church by themselves? They do not because they are scared of losing their revenue. Don't get fooled by the mini weekday groups that these Churches encourage. They are not real fellowship unless they are groomed to become a local Church. Most of these mini groups have no real commitment. Different kinds of people meet based on their availability at different times. They are just prayer groups created to fill the vacuum of lack of fellowship in their mega Church.
God still uses them to save people who come there just to sit there for few hours and escape without being noticed by others. They might have many people being baptized and added to that group. Still they are not God's plan for a Church.
| 2015/9/3 1:18||Profile|
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Lights or no lights the church in Canada with few exceptions has been kicked to the corner and told to shut up. The direct result of a mushy milky message that tried to be all for all people and failed miserably even at that.
| 2015/9/3 10:17|