Do you know Willow Creek?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, May 18, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    I read a few negative things about it. If this is true then I don't think it's a good approach. What I read basically said that the guy who started WC learned from Robert Schuller and that he's basically trying to win new people for his church with new methods but basically he's watering down the bible and avoiding stuff which might upset people. The aim of these churches is basically to recruit new members with all kinds of new appealing things such as rock music and multimedia stuff. I don't like this at all and I'm very sceptical of new approaches. Christians do as if the normal church isn't good enough anymore, they new "new churches" which have all kinds of new things to attract people. This sounds like either the churches become more modern and include stuff which people can relate to or the people will all get lost.
    If somebody is serious and wants to convert then he'll also convert in a normal church. This whole stuff which is only supposed to lure people into church is futile in my opinion. And what I also cannot stand is this new evangelism method which goes like:

    HEY! God loves you! :D
    God has a wooooonderful plan for you life! :D

    :rolleyes:

    I cannot stand this stuff.
    Would you evangelize this way? I wouldn't. I think Ray Comfort's approach of showing the people that they are sinners is much more biblical and also better.
    If we only make people convert by telling them that God wants to make them rich then this isn't even a real conversion. But the fact that many christians are jumping on this "we need new churches and new methods to reach the lost" bandwagon concerns me. I have been to a Vineyard church a few times. It was always the same! We always sang the same songs. The whole program was always the same. I already got aggressions when they sang a few songs which started to annoy me real quick. The program was always the same. First of all we sang songs. Then there was a sermon but it was basically motivational stuff and no real biblical message and also nothing about repentance and after the sermon we sang again for at least 1 hour! :eek:
    This wasn't my thing. I cannot say wether all Vineyard churches are like this but I have the impression that motivational stuff is much more important today than anything else. The people shall feel good. I really cannot hear this stuff anymore. This "you don't have to have defeat in your life" stuff. [​IMG]
     
  2. J. Jump

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    xdisciplex welcome to the world of Christendom today. We want the good news to be as less offensive as possible as to not run anybody off instead of just preaching the Word and letting God do the rest. It's a sad day when Christians think that it is up to them to win people to Christ.
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    Yes!

    I am really sick of these new methods of evangelization. These christians do as if you could "learn" to evangelize people as if there was a magic trick or something like this to make everybody convert, as if there was a magic phrase to make people convert, as if being a good speaker or being very convincing and having a strategy makes people convert. At the one church there's an evangelization training where people are supposed to be taught how to evangelize, it's run by willow creek people. I won't go there.
    This stuff would only upset me. I really don't get it but somehow they really seem to think that it's in their power to save people. They think about new methods to evangelize as if God depended on it, as if God was totally lost without our great ideas, as if what the apostels did is too old-fashioned. Sure, the media is a good way to reach people. People can download sermons and watch sermons on their computer but it's not the case that we have to change the church and create new church models. Not everything which is old is bad. Once I read the blogs of a few people which are into this "emerging churches" stuff and they talked about all kinds of things, about how to enhance communication within the church and about how to coordinate things within the church and you could see that they were obviously thinking that they're very clever and that they tried to come up with new concepts and tried to include their knowledge. But I don't think we need new churches with new concepts. Why change something which is good?
     
  4. J. Jump

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    I don't know if it is the same in Germany or not, but here in America evangelism is looked on as a product that is being sold. We have to dress it fancy and say quick catchy things about it and then close people on the sale.
     
  5. xdisciplex

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    I think christians have to be careful not to become too focused on making somebody say a conversion prayer only for the sake of being able to have one more on your list. I think the temptation might be to be only about numbers. It's not worth anything when you simply talk a person into saying a conversion prayer by promising wealth and fame.
     
  6. J. Jump

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    Amen my friend, but that's what it's boiling down to in America :(
     
  7. xdisciplex

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    That's sad. Maybe they get carried away and become addicted to converting people and simply want them to get them to pray a prayer.
     
  8. gb93433

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    Maybe he is watering the gospel and maybe he isn't. But there are some godly folks such as Lee Strobel who became Christians through the ministry at Willow Creek.
     
  9. Claudia_T

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    Id like to know how much more watered down it could get anyway since most Christians today dont even think they need to obey God?

    The only way it could get any worse is if you actively told them to go out and rob banks, murder their neighbors, commit adultery with other people's wives and worship idols.
     
  10. Lagardo

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    I have attended a weekend and a weekday service at Willow Creek and I did not notice the gospel being watered down. Actually, in the weekend service, I was suprised at how blunt the message was given what I had always heard about Willow Creek.

    Willow Creek certainly does some different things, and they do have some things that I do not particually care for, but I will say this from my personal observation of their worship services: I have never seen a church that was trying that hard to share the gospel.

    Before I went there, I had heard everything about them. I expected the casual, "big show" service. I expected a simple message. I expected a big push of evangelism and was ready to be critical of a lack of discipleship. What I saw was a message designed to tell people that Jesus died for their sins. That He loves them and desires for them to surrender their life to Him. I was invited to a "discussion group" meeting for lunch (the nice man who invited me offered to buy me lunch) and looking over their materials, I could tell that this was a follow-up to the message I had just heard.

    There were no quick and simple conversions. Rather, if someone felt so lead to respond to the message, there were places on the way out to talk with someone...I noticed these places were full of people talking and praying...praise God!

    Their "crowd" may come for the high-quality music, the dynamic teaching, a book club, a built-in food court, coffee houses, etc, etc, etc, but I know from expereince that they do hear about Christ.
     
  11. xdisciplex

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    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this, Lagardo.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    I don't know when I was saved! I grew up in the Church of England and always believed the Bible to be God's word and that Jesus died for my sins. I attended a church public school (private in Canada and the USA). It was at my confirmation that I "realized" Jesus as my personal Saviour. Was I saved at that moment, or did I just realize what Jesus meant to me for life and eternity?

    There is no emphasis on a conversion experience and numbers just don't matter to us. Perhaps this is really what evangelism should be all about. We are called to preach the gospel and that is what we do; evangelize and teach the word, counsel and lead the people who attend unto the word and the church.

    Having said this, people have different personalities and different needs. The gospel must be formulated in public services to attract all these differences. In a sense, I can't be overly critical about the various means used by different groups to present the gospel.

    Just perhaps this group satisfies the needs of those people so attracted in their direction. God bless them and may they enjoy fruit for their labours.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. rbell

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    Not defending WC for everything they do...some of their ministry philosophy bothers me a good bit, yet I know of many who have come to Christ through the ministry of WC. And yes, like Lagardo, I've been to one of their midweek services quite a while back.

    I just always try to be careful if I'm criticizing a church or ministry. Is my information third or fourth-hand? Do I really know enough to criticize? I've just messed up before and dogged a church, only to find out later that not everything I had been told was entirely accurate.

    Of course, your mileage may vary...
     
  14. music4Him

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    I see that you mentioned Ray Comfort (Way of the Master) in you original post. I was watching the program just a couple of weeks ago and during one of their salvation talks with a young lady and when she realized that she needed Jesus... the lady who spoke with her told the girl would you like to pray and recieve Jesus as your savior? the girl said yes then the lady told the girl "You pray and talk to God". This so impressed me! That the girl prayed and asked Jesus into her heart so sincerly in her own words.

    But I have to admit that this is the first time I have heard of Willow Creek myself.
     
  15. D28guy

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    I attended a church for a while in a city I used to live in...and that church was very much one of the churches that has patterned itself after the Willow Creek model.(almost a "note for note")

    There where some things I didnt care for, and I didnt stay there long because of them, but they definetly...WITHOUT QUESTION...DID NOT water down the gospel.

    Hardly.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  16. D28guy

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    Jim,

    That interesting. Its wonderful how God works in so many different ways. I not only remember the day I was saved, I remember the precise moment when I was sealed into the body of Christ. I'l never forget it.

    And I was nowhere near a church building. If was about 2-3 months later that God moved me into a true christian fellowship for the 1st time.(I was raised roman catholic)

    Oh man that blessed me to read that! [​IMG]

    I think there are so many fellowships that waste waaaaaay too much time counting. How many baptisms this year. How many in attendance last week. How many in attendance THIS week. How many sitting in bible study classrooms today.

    And then they have "high attendance" day! A day when everyone is told to go out and coerce, and beg, and plead, and invite and "twist as many arms" as possible so we can see if we can brag about a bigger *number* of bodies coerced into the building than last year.

    Uuugh! [​IMG]

    If anyone ever wonders if God has a sense of humor... :D

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  17. J. Jump

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    I don't know that I would agree that they water down the message of salvation by grace through faith. I am sure that they are preaching that truth. It is just the manner in which they get people in with all the entertainment and such.

    What's going to happen when they preach the rest of the gospel message? What happens when they preach that we are to die to self and crucify the flesh, sacrifice our bodies and suffer for the Lord.

    Seems to me that they aren't going to be able to do that, because there's nothing entertaining about that. Dying to self isn't very entertaining or fun.

    I think all this entertainment stuff is causing us to be a nation filled with water downed Christians. And I believe there are a lot of people that have been saved in these churches. Praise God for that. But the manner in which they were brought in is going to make the disciple walk very difficult at best.
     
  18. xdisciplex

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    I think it was Wilkerson who once talked about something like this. He said that the whole mega churches which were supposed to attract unbelievers only drew christians away from their home churches and the home churches couldn't compete with this.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    I thought WC was a good church and Bill Hybel is in fact a very good pastor.

    Any actual news that this is not really true!?
     
  20. standingfirminChrist

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    I am very uncomfortable in a megachurch. They tend to be less friendly, less personal.
     

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