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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
By Charles Spurgeon
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More
I am currently reading Bob Dewaay’s book ‘Redefining Christianity’. It is a good primer in understanding the purpose driven movement that seems to be invading Evangelicalism. Today we see highly ‘successful’ and highly publicised churches being paraded in the limelight as the models for church growth. They say that they “do church” for “the unchurched” (unconverted sinners). The statistics of numbers joining is impressive and along with this comes the usual usual prod in the ribs with the jesting question, ‘Hey, is your church growing like ours?’
A rather sobering letter is featured in the opening chapters of ‘Redefining Christianity’ from a church member who is from a church that appears to be ticking all the success boxes. Well all doesn’t seem to be green on the other side of the fence though. You see….
[Letter] There have been major changes at the church. When you walk in, you will now find a MAC machine, a coffee shop where you can purchase donuts, croissants, coffee, you name it. There are also about a hundred tables with chairs to sit and eat. When service starts there is smoke, lights, lasers, and music so loud my ears ring after church is over. This week there was a ten minute service. Then, our pastor demonstrated a soccer move he learned that week. He did a flip and kicked a soccer ball. Then, he set up a table and him and his wife talked to each other about their trip to Africa. On top of this, we no longer use the Bible. We use the ‘Purpose Driven Life’.. …Read More!
There’s never a dull day when Rick Warren gets to tweet ‘pearls of wisdom’. He is the Evangelical pope isn’t he? He is of course America’s pastor and what he says will trend in the high ways and byways of evangelicalism. Ever since we exchanged our bibles for that good, well written and inspired church growth purpose driven manual of his we have never looked back.
Why do many people think that Jesus was the fulfilment of the old testament prophecy and expectations? They think He is the one that the Bible is all about! And I am very happy that Rick put these people back in their place with a very well timed ‘tweet’. And that settles it. Yippee!
If only I could walk with a wise man like Rick on the road to Emmaus and he would exegete Scripture. I would ask him to begin in the Old to the New Testament and explain to me what verses like these ones by (umm Jesus) mean:
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:27)
You search Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me (John 5:39)
Do they want bigger hot dogs? Flavored water or cushions for their ankles the customer is king. This is the approach to successful entrepreneurship. It is sometimes no different when it comes to modern day church marketing only that it is called being ‘purpose driven’. Long gone are the days of preaching the gospel and teaching sound doctrine. It’s not uncommon to hear pastors talk and ask questions like ‘what’s the vision for your church?’ or ‘how is your church going to grow?’ By ‘vision’ they usually mean ‘a purpose driven plan’ or pragmatic approach to church growth.
You see, the purpose driven church movement makes several assumptions but here we will look at 5 common errors and how they deviate from scripture.
1.A pragmatic church assumes that the primary purpose of Sunday morning church services is to reach out to unbelievers who are some times erroneously referred to as ‘unchurched christians’ . In the New Testament, however, the reason the church gathers is for worship and equipping (Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 2:37-47). Evangelism is to primarily take place in the believer’s life context (“as you go”—Matt. 28:18-20) rather than being the main focus of the Sunday worship service. …Read More!
Jim Bublitz takes no prisoners as he writes this blistering
but deeply insightful article- Full Link here
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, after all -who would honestly say that they’ve never sinned? Probably nobody. And since unbelievers already feel guilty enough over they’re past mistakes, then it goes without saying that we should spend the vast majority of our time preaching a positive message of Good News to them, rather than dwelling on the negatives. In this post, we’ll actually go inside of a prison and test-out this theory on convicted felons. If anybody ought to understand their own guilt and sinfulness, it would be real/live rapists, murders, and thieves, right?
Warning: Understanding the things in this video could challenge your entire view of ‘relevance’ in evangelism.
I’ve mentioned before my experiences in the church that I used to attend which, over time, transitioned into a model based on what is prescribed by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. If I were to pick out one key reason why I left that church when I did, this would have been it. I knew there was something wrong when a year of time passes with very little mention of sin. Oh sure, bad habits were talked about Read More
By Charles Spurgeon
Our Savior did not use any means which might enlist man’s lower nature on his side. When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music-hall, and I have felt no joy. When we have heard of crowds enchanted by the sublime music of the pealing organ, I have seen in the fact rather a glorification of St. Cecilia than of Jesus Christ. Our Lord trusted in no measure or degree to the charms of music for the establishing his throne. He has not given to his disciples the slightest intimation that they are to employ the attractions of the concert room to promote the kingdom of heaven. There’s More
This is the extraordinary story of the Late Frank Jenner.
A number of years ago in a Baptist church in Crystal Palace, in southern London, the Sunday morning service was closing, and a stranger stood up in the back, raised his hand, and said, “Excuse me pastor, can I share a little testimony?” The Pastor looked at his watch and said, “You’ve got three minutes.”
And this man proceeded. He said, “I just moved into this area, I used to live in another part of London, I came from Sydney, in Australia. And just a few months back I was visiting some relatives and I was walking down George Street, you know where George Street is in Sydney, it runs from the business hub out to the rocks of the Colonial area.”
And he said, “A strange little white-haired man stepped out of a shop doorway, put a pamphlet in my hand and said, ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?’ But There’s More
Deception has been one of the oldest games since Eve fell foul in the garden of Eden. The most immediate reaction is usually why didn’t God step in at that moment and in one blaze of purple and blue smoking lightning zap the fruit and serpent into an ashen crisp or vapour? Why didn’t God realize that the serpent would be slithering his way into the garden sooner or later? Then how about in the modern day church, why are there heretics with wacky theology thriving in pulpits and on Christian television? Why do they seem to have larger followings, draw higher ratings and yet they seem to be delving in utter rank deception? Where is God when another false teacher or prophet panders his way through the pockets of innocent people? Well, thanks for asking. I came a cross an excerpt from A.W Pink that may perchance shed some light on what scripture says: Read More
“I Finally Got Sent A Hillsong Video That Proves They Preach The Gospel . . . NOT!!” says Cameron Buettel a blogger who set up an interesting challenge. This is the what he found…
To his credit Troy did take up my challenge that no one else has responded to. He went looking for a solid example of someone from Hillsong church preaching the Gospel. I had burdened Troy with the responsibility of substantiating his claim that:
I can assure you that I’ve been to Hillsong quite a few times and have heard the gospel accurately preached. Yes, including the mention of sin and the cross. But There’s More
Its one thing to be a preacher it’s another thing to bring oratorical skills to the pulpit and blend it with perfectly choreographed gimmicks to bring hundreds to their feet beckoning for more stories. Doesn’t it just amuse you when a preacher walks to the pulpit with a Bible and then decides to close it as he begins the sermon? My favourite ones are those “anointed coat” swinging show men who blow into microphones and keep repeating over and over, “I feel the anointing of God is here”. But I must say the deadliest are those slick ones who slide past you and mesmerise you to the point that you don’t even notice that they sneaked into the pulpit without a Bible (not even a pocket Message Bible). And as you try to figure where the sermon is going to come from…BANG! He has hit you between the eyes with a “holy ghost” stunner and you are writhing under your seat with your tie choking the living day lights out of you. Read More
To the ordinary eye this appears to be an era where Christians have had unprecedented success. What, have you not seen the celebrity pastors with personal jets, how about the pastor with the $18,000 poodle or the goofy multi millionaire pastor with a $15,000 espresso machine who raps about the best days in Christian living?
Have you heard about the Cristo de la Concordia, a statue of Jesus Christ located on San Pedro hill in Cochabamba, Bolivia? The statue is 34.20 metres (112.2 ft) tall, on a pedestal of 6.24 metres (20.5 ft), bringing its total height to 40.44 metres (132.7 ft). The statue is slightly larger than Christ the Redeemer (located in Rio de Janeiro), making it the largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world. It is also the largest statue of any kind in the Southern Hemisphere. But to take Christian merchandising to another level, Poland has unleashed the mother of all statues. Read More
An attempt to clear up some of the misunderstandings about Calvinism. This is not meant to be a detailed doctrinal defense of Calvinism’s Doctrines Of Grace.
1) Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism are poles apart. The terms are not to be used synonymously. A Hyper-Calvinist is not just a zealous Calvinist. We both consider each other to be “mongrel” Calvinists. No man will actually call himself a Hyper-Calvinist.
2) Yes Calvinists are split into several factions. But then so are many such doctrinal schools e.g. Dispensationalism, Church Government, Worship – do we sing only the Psalms or use hymns? Which hymns? Do we use music? Which music? Which set of texts do we base our Bible translation on? Is it the Textus Receptus that is important or the (KJV) AV? or both? etc.
3) The term free will needs to be defined to avoid confusion. Calvinists will either affirm it or deny it, depending on what they think you mean. This sometimes leads to charges of contradictions. Consult the standard Calvinist Confessions e.g. the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 9 for a defining of terms. But There’s More
Several pastors are taking deep sighs and smirking as Larry King retires from CNN’s Larry King Live show. The show has in the past left several famous celebrities and pastors red faced. Though critics claim that Larry King asks “soft” questions in comparison to other interviewers, this has not been without a long brigade of pastors getting tongue tied when asked what the Gospel is. Larry’s style has never been offensive, for which I will truly applaud him. It allows him to reach guests who would be averse to being interviewed.
Ever reached late for a fancy dress party and upon arrival in your frilly loin cloth and ‘Jonah’ T-shirt some one whispers to you, “Didn’t you get the last minute memo this morning that it would be a black tie and suit evening party?” That is when it really hits you square in the face. What was I even thinking to get into a loin cloth? I must be a naive goat. That is one of the first hiccup steps to maturity from juvenile delinquency. Read More
The butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. For example, it is said that a butterfly flapping its wings in a jungle in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.
A couple of years ago we leavened up the unleavened bread of Christianity. A little nip here and a tuck there. We created a brand of Hip and Cool Christianity not only smooth but market savvy. Relevant. We used reproducible and successful entrepreneurial church growth models to bring as many people into the church complexes as possible.
However, if the recent trend of events is anything to go by, it seems God has gone on a hiatus and left the youths playing peekaboo in the night. Recent statistics show that there is an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly. Some critics have attributed this yo-yo effect to the perils of hipster Christianity. Read More
The next time you probably ask a stranger on the street what time it is he might tell you the time three hours ahead of GMT. And if you ask why he will tell you he is going by the Mecca Clock Tower. If you ask why, seeing that for the past 125 years, the international community has accepted that the start of each day should be measured from the prime meridian, representing 0 degrees longitude, which passes through the Greenwich Observatory, he may proudly reply we are “Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time. This is the goal.”
For more than a century, a point on the top of a hill in south-east London has been recognised as the centre of world time and the official starting point of each new day. But now the supremacy of Greenwich Mean Time is being challenged by a gargantuan new clock being built in Mecca, by which the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims could soon be setting their watches.
Due to start ticking on Thursday as the faithful begin fasting during the month of Ramadan, the timepiece sits atop the Royal Mecca Clock Tower which dominates Islam’s holiest city. It is at the heart of a vast complex funded by the Saudi government that will also house hotels, shopping malls and conference halls. Read More
Not many people will not recognise the name Harry Emerson Fosdick. Yet the fabric of most Christian Bestsellers, Contemporary Christian Music, Self Help Literature and Pop motivational psychology is dipped in an age old Self Esteem gospel chalice that was popularised by Mr. Fosdick. Speaking of fabrics, remember the Hans Christian Andersen story of The Emperor’s New Clothes? Read More