A New Goddess for Baptists?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    The Great Goddess "Numbers"

    Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. --1 Corinthians 3:12-13

    The emphasis today in Christian circles appears to be on quantity, with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality. Numbers, size and amount seem to be very nearly all that matters even among evangelicals. The size of the crowd, the number of converts, the size of the budget, the amount of the weekly collections: if these look good the church is prospering and the pastor is thought to be a success. The church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches.

    This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess Numbers is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as arbiters of all questions, the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in every Christian endeavor.

    A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another than scriptural judgment. It is to admit the validity of externalism and to deny the value our Lord places upon the soul as over against the body. It is to mistake the old creation for the new and to confuse things eternal with things temporal. Yet it is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone notices the deep and dangerous error.

    (copied)

    We condemn Billy Graham's "numbers" and Willow Creek "numbers", but have you read the Sword of the Lord or the "numbers" prevalent among SBC or IFB? Thoughts?
     
  2. David Mark

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    I've seen it with my own eyes.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Ouch! What a post Dr B. I am in a struggling pioneer church work and am under pressure to produce "numbers" in a short amount of time. Thanks for the post!
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    I submit that if the numbers imply 'souls saved' then numbers are good! Our church has baptized over 100 each year for the last few years and yet a gross amount of our county is unchurched!

    My friend has attended the same church since birth. It's less than 1/2 mile from my church. They run 60- 75 on a good attendance Sunday but have NO outreach programs. The only baptisms in their church is when a child born to a family in the church is saved. About the time one is saved, someone passes away. Membership hasn't changed in YEARS. No programs other than Sunday School.

    Which church is doing a better job for the kingdom of God? One who is satisfied with the 'old family' atmosphere or one that has 1,000 members and sends out 25- 30 adults into the community to witness every other Tuesday night and brings in unchurched children on a Greyhound sized bus on Wednesday nights for choir, supper and AWANA? Plus, it takes money to run those programs! [​IMG]

    Those were MY thoughts... and now I must prepare for a church 'Fish Fry' we're having as an outreach social. [​IMG]

    Click here for a little bit bigger picture of my church.

    Diane
     
  5. donnA

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    I see people constantly complain about a church growing, and that coinfuses me. If people are being saved they have to go to church somewhere. I am not sure if is fair to place all churches under one title, if they grow in numbers they aren't growing spiritually. So does that mean 0 growth = spiritual growth? I don't think so. If a group of people are growing spiritually they are going to witness more, they'll want to. That will equal growth. Tere are certainly churches who only think about growth, and do nothing to build the christians they have, but not all. Just becasue an SBC church is growing does not mean they are not paying attention to the spiritual growth of it's memebers. But one fact is you can have all the teaching oppertunities you want, you can not force people to learn and do.
     
  6. Salty

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    Dr Bob,
    (You sure have a great name) Once again you have hit the nail on the head. We often are more concerned with QUANITY then QUALITY.

    How can Rev Smith pastor a church of 5,000 members. Well, you may answer that the church has 15 associate pastors. In that case, Rev Smith is not a pastor, he is a CEO! A sheppard watches over his flock, not over associate shepards.
    It is not uncommon for many to drive 30-100 miles to be under the teaching of Rev Smith. When you must travel such distance you cannot be effective in a local church.
    IMHO when a chuch is running about 150 or so, it is time to consider a mission start. I think sometimes Rev Smith would rather have a mega church, so he can maintain control. By starting missions which would soon become independent of the mother church, there would be no more control. Lets see, how does the saying go, absoulte power corrupts and power corrupts absoultly.
    On the other hand we could just go back to NT times and simply have home churches.

    I trust I will never fall down and worship the Great Goddess Numbers.

    Rev Bob
     
  7. David Mark

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    Every time I review this thread I have this silly reocuuring imagery in my mind. It's about an Animal Planet show I saw. [​IMG]

    A financially poor woman had (rough estimate) a hundred cats in her home. The conditions were horrible for them (the cats) and it was very sad. The police had to step in for the sake of the cats. The woman was heartbroken and had to choose candidates to give up.

    I like cats (they are just too cute), I have had this one fellow for 14 years. It's all I can do the keep him happy, healthy and feeling important.

    If I call you my friend or say that I love you, then you can bet that I'll treat you (at least) as well as I treat a cat. :cool:

    Quality first!

    Dave [​IMG]
     
  8. Artimaeus

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    Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    Numbers matter when each one of them is a soul.
     
  9. USN2Pulpit

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    Good numbers can be a symptom of "good church health" or the quality that we're after. But then again, small numbers doesn't neccesarily imply ill health - as long as they're not static.

    Numbers are an indicator, a "metric" of good health, so to speak. But numbers can be up for the wrong reasons, so the numbers aren't the only indicators we should be looking at.
     

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