Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Quote:Overseer, this is your opinion and youre welcome to it, but I disagree.
"Directly or indirectly, this philosophy of ministrychurch should be a big box with programs for people at every level of spiritual maturity to consume and engagehas impacted every evangelical church in the country."
[b]This philosophy of ministry[/b]? As Christians we are to have a "theology" of ministry and never a "philosophy" of ministry. Apostate churches and movements are marked by using philosophy (leaning on their own understanding) rather than theology (trusting the Lord with all their hearts). Philosophy is man's best thinking; theology is God's revealed wisdom!
"The methods they are using are unbiblical." Amen!
Grace and peace
| 2007/11/6 11:11||Profile|
Cache Valley, Utah
It would be nice for the leaders of this church (and the thousands who copy their philosophy) to first realize the damage done to the Body of Christ by resorting to the virtual "begging" of people into the Kingdom. This "giving-people-whatever-they-want-to-attend-fellowship" doesn't seem to be depopulating Hell in the least.
I don't see where begging people into the kingdom is at all against scripture. If we concider Pauls urging and exhorting. I do agree with the giving whatever people want idea, being rooted in selfishness.
| 2007/11/6 11:57||Profile|
Quote:I suppose there is a difference between pleading with unbelievers to consider the eternal condition of a life without Christ and begging people to join a Christian fellowship that operates a lot like a social club designed to meet socialogical "needs" in a modern world. Paul didn't work or preach to get people to enter the congregational door of a local mega-church. He preached to have people turn to Christ (and thus, turn away from sin) and enter the Kingdom of God.
I don't see where begging people into the kingdom is at all against scripture. If we concider Pauls urging and exhorting.
| 2007/11/6 12:05||Profile|
Satan loves when we spend our time fighting eachother and not him.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
[b]For he that is not against us is on our part.[/b]
| 2007/11/6 12:22||Profile|
| Re: Willow Creeks say They are NOT Repenting...|
Willow Creek thinks there is no sin involved so no repentance is necessary.
Reveal Now is the website they put together for this whole issue.
below is taken from their website:
2. Willow Repents?
The Leadership Journal blog started with this question, and the answer is NO. Repenting, in my mind, deals with confessing sin. There is absolutely no sin involved in this deal. Just good, old fashion learning. What you are seeing is a set of leaders coming to grips with some new facts and deciding to do something about it. This is nothing new for us here at Willow. We are passionately committed to learning. Redeeming this broken world through the love and power of Jesus Christ is just too important for us not to be in a constant state of learning. Weve always been a church in motion and REVEAL is just another example of Willow trying to be open to Gods design for this local church.
| 2007/11/6 13:59||Profile|
My response to the willow creek is the pastor is responsible for FEEDING the sheep. Jesus charged Peter to feed the sheep and he tells all shepherds to do the same. Since their people say they are not feeding them, what does that say to them? hello!
| 2007/11/6 14:02||Profile|
So long as the people involved in a discussion treat one another in love of Christ, I see no problem with continuing to search the scriptures and see what the Lord says on the matter.
| 2007/11/6 14:05||Profile|
| Re: Is Willowcreek really just kidding themselves?|
It seems that Willowcreek was examining the level of spiritual maturity in their flock, and surely we aught to give them credit for that! I know of churches whose surveys proved to them that their churches were spiritually healthy while, really they were dead. They had asked the wrong questions! At least Willow Creek asked a good question, and are admitting they blew it. No cover-ups here! These leaders have done what few do: begin to surrender their [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7446&post_id=56714&order=1&viewmode=flat&pid=0&forum=35#56714]Most Sacred Idol [/url] - ie, their "righeousness". They are not in complete denial, that's for sure.
True, they have a long way to go, and dont seem to have arrived at the core problem: the human bent to trust in religion and self instead of God. (That problem is not unique to them!) Perhaps they are still in the distant lands, like the prodigal, covered with the stench of the world. Maybe they are, just maybe...starting to change direction. Is that not the beginning of repentance: to change direction.
Jesus said: It is not the healthy who needs a doctor but the sick.
Are they beginning to see their need for the Doctor? Will the leaders at Willowcreek cry out to Jesus, and seek wisdom from above?
Lets pray that they will. This could launch them into revival, could it not?
Do you think that the Lord could do something with their present aim like adjust their mindset, lead them to seek HIS solution for sin, etc?
That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how hes asking us to transform this planet.
(I admit, I am out of touch with this whole scenario, so I really have no idea what God is seeing right now. Still, when it comes to the work of God, how often has he surprised the sceptics? )
| 2007/11/6 14:19||Profile|
Good perspective, Roadsign...!
I will certainly be praying for God to have His way in WillowCreek and other mega-Church empires.
My problem with the mentality of such mega-churches is that they typically feel that it is a God-breathed desire to have thousands of people in attendance with their local congregation. I have some friends who are pastors of such churches, and they willingly admit that their church "[i]is all about the numbers[/i]." They will do whatever it takes to get these numbers in the door (usually with a sincere desire to see them meet Christ). They create program after program designed to facilitate a comradery within the congregation and constantly add new members (since many come, stay for a while, then leave). Most of these congregations literally PARADE their various programs (typically referred to as "ministries" on stage in order to bolster involvement). If people are involved in ministries, the leaders suggest, they will decide to stay and get involved.
The question is whether or not this is truly an example of what God intended for a local Church. Did God really want organizations to grow into little corporations? Is God truly pleased when we will use any method in order to attract people to a Church? Are we even supposed to be attracting unbelievers to a congregation -- or are we supposed to simply introduce the gospel of Christ Jesus so that the multitudes will fall in love with God? Has the "good news" been relegated to proclaiming a "vibrant local institution with programs for the whole family" instead of proclaiming Christ's exemption for a world heading to Hell?
Perhaps this study identifying a lack of maturity within the congregation will cause the leaders of such institutions to rethink their strategies and mission. I will certainly pray. God is certainly able to perform wonders in this situation!
Several years ago, I read about an entire cultish denomination that was transformed when the leaders decided to seek the Lord. They freely proclaimed that the founders of their denomination were in error, and the new leaders wanted to serve the God of the Bible. It would be interesting if some of these mega-churches realized that "the end does NOT justify the means" and changed their views.
Change is the natural metamorphosis that occurs when a person is born again. To disavow that change should take place is to rob the Holy Spirit of his convicting power. We should NOT compromise the holiness of God in order to attract people to a Gospel that negates any responsibility of holy living from the believer.
| 2007/11/6 15:01||Profile|
John Macarthur begins one of his sermons in this way...
In this Age of Show Business, truth is irrelevant; what really matters is whether we are entertained. Substance counts for little; style is everything. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the message. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking rules the church as surely as it does the world.
A. W. Tozer wrote these words in 1955:
For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it wasa device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. For this she got herself abused roundly by the sons of this world. But of late she has become tired of the abuse and has given over the struggle. She appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his powers. So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theaters where fifth-rate "producers" peddle their shoddy wares with the full approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it. 2
By today's standards, the issues that so inflamed Tozer's passions seem trifling. For example, churches were attracting people to Sunday evening services by showing Christian films. Young people's rallies featured up-tempo music and speakers whose specialty was humor. High-energy games and activities were beginning to play a key role in church youth work. Looking back, it may seem difficult to understand Tozer's distress. Hardly anyone these days would be shocked or concerned about any of the methods that seemed radically innovative in the fifties. Most of them are generally regarded as conventional today.
Tozer, however, was not condemning games, music styles, or movies per se. He was concerned with the philosophy underlying what was happening in the church. He was sounding an alarm about a deadly change of focus. He saw evangelicals using entertainment as a tool for church growth, and he believed that was subverting the church's priorities. He feared that frivolous diversions and carnal amusements in the church would eventually destroy people's appetites for real worship and the preaching of God's Word.
He was right about that. In fact, Tozer's rebuke is more fitting than ever as the church approaches the end of the century. The incipient trend he identified has come into full bloom in our generation. What the church was flirting with thirty-five years ago has now become an obsession.
Driven by Pragmatism
There's no denying that these antics seem to workthat is, they draw a crowd. Many churches that have experimented with such methods report growing attendance figures. And a handful of megachurchesthose that can afford first-class productions, effects, and facilitieshave been able to stimulate enormous numerical growth. Some of them fill huge auditoriums with thousands of people several times every week.
A few of these megachurches resemble elegant country clubs or resort hotels. They feature impressive facilities with bowling lanes, movie theaters, health spas, restaurants, ballrooms, roller-skating rinks, and state-of-the-art multi-court gymnasiums. Recreation and entertainment are inevitably the most visible aspects of these enterprises. Such churches have become meccas for students of church growth.
Now evangelicals everywhere are frantically seeking new techniques and new forms of entertainment to attract people. Whether a method is biblical or not scarcely matters to the average church leader today. Does it work? That is the new test of legitimacy. And so raw pragmatism has become the driving philosophy in much of the professing church.
Pragmatism is the notion that ideas may be judged by their practical consequences. A pragmatist concludes that a course of action or concept is right if it brings good results, wrong if it doesn't seem to work.
What's wrong with pragmatism? After all, common sense involves a measure of legitimate pragmatism, doesn't it? If a dripping faucet works fine after you replace the washers, for example, it is reasonable to assume that bad washers were the problem. If the medicine your doctor prescribes produces harmful side effects or has no effect at all, you need to ask if there's a remedy that works. Such simple pragmatic realities are generally self-evident.
But when pragmatism becomes a guiding philosophy of life or ministry, it inevitably clashes with Scripture. Spiritual and biblical truth cannot be determined by what works and what doesn't. We know from Scripture, for example, that the gospel does not usually produce a positive response (1 Cor. 1:22-23; 2:14). On the other hand, Satanic lies and deception often are quite effective (Matt. 24:23-24; 2 Cor. 4:3-4). Majority reaction is no test of validity (cf. Matt. 7:13-14), and prosperity is no measure of truthfulness (cf. Job 12:6). Pragmatism as a guiding philosophy of ministry is inherently flawed.6
Nevertheless, an overpowering surge of ardent pragmatism is sweeping through evangelicalism. Methodology has replaced theology as the main issue many church leaders are concerned with. Pastors are turning to books on marketing methods in search of new techniques to help churches grow. Many seminaries have shifted their pastoral training emphasis from Bible curriculum and theology to matters of style and technique.
Perhaps most telling is the growing number of churches that now feature drama and entertainment instead of traditional services where God's Word is proclaimed. The new pragmatism sees preaching as passé. Plainly declaring truth is deemed too offensive and utterly ineffective. We're now told we can get better results by first amusing people and thus wooing them into the fold. Once they feel comfortable, they'll be ready to receive biblical truth in small, diluted doses.
just a thought...
| 2007/11/7 3:06||Profile|