The Danger of the Church Growth Movement's Compromise

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Lou Martuneac, May 23, 2007.

  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    To All:

    This morning an article I wrote that addresses my concerns over the impact the Church Growth Movement is having among Independent Fundamental Baptists has been posted at Sharper Iron.

    I also wrote two, what are essentially, companion pieces and they appear at my blog site- In Defense of the Gospel They are titled:

    Purpose Driven's Compromise of Scripture
    The Zichterman Issue

    Kind regards,


    L. Martuneac
     
  2. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Seeking Ties with the Roman Catholic Church

    Bob:

    Church Growth movement apologists feel raising concerns over issues such as theological reductionism, the worst sort of deliberate pragmatism, and running roughshod over clear biblical mandates is “nit-picking.”

    If there is one overwhelming example of the Church Growth movements disregard for the Bible it is Rick Warren’s Church Growth/Seeker philosophy which promotes extreme ecumenism.

    Read in the Chicago Tribune incontrovertible proof that Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven organization sought to formalize ties with the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).

    What does the Bible say?
    Bob- Would you agree seeking to establish formal ties with the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is certainly a serious and known compromise of a clear biblical command?

    Church Growth/Rick Warren apologists attempt to blame-shift any responsibility for seeking ties with the RCC away from Warren. The apologist will attach responsibility for the move to those who work (or formerly worked) in Warren’s Saddleback/Purpose Driven ministry. They try to create a picture where Warren either did not know his leadership was organizing with the RCC.

    Church Growth apologists will dismiss the issue by making undiscerning statements such as, "Well, its not like Warren had a RC priest in to preach at Saddleback." The Bible does not see any distinction between going to the RCC to seek ties or having the RCC priest in to speak. Both are known and egegrious erros by men who will not obey the scriptures in this matter.

    Church Growth apologists refers to Warren’s seeking ties with the RCC as a “mistake.” That means little when Warren (or anyone in leadership at Saddleback or Purpose Drive Life) has never denounced it, nor stated it will never happen again. Furthermore, the move to work with the RCC is accompanied by other similar ecumenical compromises on Warren’s part personally. Therefore, this was not an isolated, one time example of Warren’s extreme ecumenical compromise.

    Bob- I don’t believe you would find any attempt to forge ties with the RCC the least bit acceptable, would you?


    LM

    In Defense of the Gospel
     
  3. eightball

    eightball
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    Hope I get some slack here, as I'm new to the board.
    ****
    I attended a non-denominational Christian bible church for many years. At one time in the mid to late 70s, our congregation was around 6,000, but as of now it is probably closer to 500-900 members.

    What happened, and what did our church do to stem the sliding membership, or dwindling numbers of attendees. Actually, I was one of those dwindling attendees too.

    Well, an outside firm that specializes in finding ways to stimulate congregations and motivate staffs was hired to assess the problem.

    The aftermath was to prune staff. Economics of course, and come up with some motivational methods to apply to the dwindling lab rats....us.

    The attendance continued to dwindle.
    *****
    Well, then came Rick Warren and his Saddleback church phenomena and his two books, one for congregations and the other for the church staffs. "Purpose Driven Church" and "Purpose Driven Life".
    *****
    My assessment was this. Just another manmade plan to stimulate attendance via new novel ideas, untried in the past. Whoopee! That's what we need.

    1. Throw out the old hymns written by Fanny Crosby or Wesley...etc... and bring in some contemporary music that Gen X can identify with tempo-wise, and throw in a few "You are worthy Lord"'s, and we will be identifying with the new American culture. They like mantra-like lyrics, then give'um those kind of lyrics. If the world entices them with it, then why not try it?

    Did it work? Like being blindsided at an Amway meeting it worked........Not!!!!
    ******
    Here's my take.......as a lay Christian........The American Christian church whether it be denominational or non-denominational lacks a strong ministry within it's walls centered on maturing it's believers via strong, biblical disciplership.

    Verses from Pauls ministry/epistles such as "When I am weak, He is strong.", are often met with the old, "deer in the headlights" reaction from longtime and shorttime church members. "How can we get anything done around here if we are all claiming weakness?". Well, Paul knew what it meant. Weakness in humanity is a result of God's constant, undying love in the form of Job-like bombardments to show us the we are inherently a dependent creature and not a self-sustained ,this creature called human couldn't respond to the grace that he/she is bombarded with daily by our Maker.

    Warren's ministry is just another fluffed form of "man's works" IMO. It's just packaged a little fluffier and prettier, and more digestible, but still just "works" in order to "be", instead of "works" as a result of "being" in Christ and living that Galatians life of being Crucified to the world as a new creature/creation in Jesus Christ.

    Sadly, so many Christians live out their entire lives trying to "be" what they already "are". Christ finished the work at Calvary. We as believers have been placed in His life. So the life that now indwells us is a crucified, buried, and ressurrected life. The Adamic life never popped up on the other side of the Cross. If it did, we would be a most unfortunate human beings, with dual personalities, akin to Schizophrenia. We are however dealing with daily is the access that old "fuzzy nose" via our fleshly, unredeemed bodies.

    The very poor bible translations that have put "sin nature" in place of "flesh" in Romans has done a monumental disservice to the body of Christ. So many believers live mentally and emotionall torn existences thinking that they are battling their old Adamic nature. Well, Romans 6 says that your old nature passed away, past tense, not when you experience a bodily ressurrection with Christ in the future. Why do we struggle? Paul emphatically told us. We deal with the power of sin that still has access to our mind and emotions via this old Earth suit. Actually God could have eliminated the old earth suit, but the struggle with the power of sin via are flesh actually works to make us more Christlike, as God is always working lovingly to bring us to our knees and "give up" being on the thrown of our lives. Christ may be our salvation, but we must also acknowledge by faith that He is in reality, "everything" to us. He must be enthroned in our soul. We must throw our crown/s at His feet, even here on earth. We will do it again in heaven, too.
    ****
    So what we have here are these great corporate type methods being repackaged to work them on churches to stimulate attendants, or stimulate involvement or carnal/fleshly works IMO.. A Christ dependent life should never experience, "burn out". "Burn out" is the flesh saying, "I can't do it anymore for you God". Problem is that our flesh wants to control and do things "for" God. Yes the one that owns a 1,000 cattle on a 1,000 hills. Is that a joke? God doesn't need us, but He does want a relationship with us, never the less. God desires our lives, but not our bravado for being goodie two shoes Christians. He just wants us. He will fill us with desires to produce good fruit or works, if we are patient, but first He must have us fully. We must relinquish control and let Him manage. We must change are prayer to "have Your way" from, "I'm ready to help you Lord". His way may be less notice by others, less atta boys and atta girls, and maybe just plain old mundane, work. It may not involve preaching, or any visibility to the staff or the congregation. That's where the test of the true works are revealed. Our we just at peace to be His, and wait upon Him to call, or prod, or are we still rearing up to do Him favors to make ourselves feel more accepted or worthy before Him? We are fully accepted. Christ holds us and none of us can or will be spilled from His grip.

    "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God"...James wasn't pushing works when he said that works are evidence of faith. He was also talking about good fruit, not forced fruit in order to do some form of penance, or something to make one pleasing to one's Creator. James was talking about doing works as a natural act of who one is in Christ. Works from the standpoint of "rest" in Christ seems to be a recurrent theme. Unfortunately, so many Christians raise or sense "red flags" when any reference to "rest" is mentioned. The first reaction or thought is that someone is pushing non involvment, or a passivity bordering on laziness.

    If once we were a lion, and we hunted and ate prey, and now we are this new creature called a water buffallo, shall we continue to eat meat and hunt prey. If we do, we are living a lie, as we are not lions anymore. Conversely, shall we continue to live as though we are still part of Adam's lineage that's spiritually dead to God, and ignore our new identity given to us by God through Christ's life?

    When David said, "Cease Striving and know that I am God" in Psalms 46:10, obviously the reference was possibly to a nation or a people, but God's command for us is to live life from the same stance. Knowing God, is to trust God in the context of 46:10, to trust God is to not say, "God is my co-pilot", but to say, He's the "pilot" and I'm his passenger. I'm not worthy to co-pilot, but to rest in his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, and let Him lay out life as I go through my normal lifes motions each day.

    Divine opportunities to share the gospel will come, and won't be forced. Difficulties will come as expected in this life, but it is God who is at the helm, and it is He who carries the burdens of responsibilities to negotiate this sometimes treacherous route.
    *******
    Regards, Eightball
     
  4. eightball

    eightball
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    Continued.......

    Warren's approach is to do the Rah! Rah! motivational technique IMO, but lacks the most important point, and that's a believer's motivation. Is that motivation to fill one's pews/church/tithe bags/missions giving,general fund, building fund....etc.? Is Warren injecting into the flock a strengthening of identity in Christ, or is he strengthening an identity in works and deeds first and a relationship second?

    I once read an interesting story about a Pastor that had a nice middle sized church, and was convicted terribly of his lack of teaching the Cross or one's identification as a believer in Christ's death, burial, and ressurrected life. His sermons were "feel good" messages, with motivational tips on how to win your neighbor and fellow worker. This Pastor dramatically changed his messages to emphasize this important aspect that centered on maturing and building the believers into God-dependent men and women. ( In fact there is an excellent book written by Dr. David Needham, a professor at Multnomah bible college in Portland, Ore., called "Birthright, Christian, Do You Know Who You Are?" An apt title if there ever was one for the state of the church nowadays. I had the pleasure of being one of his students back in the early 80's..).

    What was the result? The attendants starting falling like a barometer before the land fall of a Cat 5 hurricane. Of course panic set in with the elder board, the members, and especially the pastor. Yet, this pastor seemed convicted in his soul to continue to propound the sufficiency of Christ with strong emphasis on the Romans epistle.

    What gradually happened? Well, the fall-off of membership slowed down to a trickle, and started to grow. Only this time it didn't grow at Saddleback church rates, but very slowly, it grew. There was a major difference in this growth, too. The remaining and additional church members were not workaholics "for Jesus", but joyful, rested, workers, that said "no" without regret or guilt, and said "yes" with peace and resolve to needs that they were asked to do. Also this new congregation was impacting the community in ways, the old fast growing congregation never did. This new congregation was man for man and women for women, a place of Christ's Lordship manifested.

    Why? Two men/women can preach the same sermon, word for word, and one congregation will be brought to tears, with contrite hearts and moved in soul to seek a deeper personal walk with God, and the other congregation walks out, like they just watched a type B movie. The Holy Ghost/Spirit folks! One preacher was talking via the flesh and exhorting via his flesh and the other preacher was allowing Christ/His Spirit to speak via this human vessel. We are not talking robotic, preachers, controlled and talking without their cooperation in this.

    Flesh and Spirit just don't, not unlike oil and water.
    They are at enmity with each other. We aren't talking about one Christian living through his/her Adamic nature, but the flesh, which is a condition of not allowing Christ to be at the pilots seat or helm of a Christian's life.
    *********
    So, my church panicked. They are still panicking, and wringing their collective hands in prayer and all kinds of ways to figure out how to survive as a church.

    Last time I remember, the church is Christ's, not ours. Christ is the one who will make this bride presentable, not men/women wringing their hands to find temporal methods that work in the temporal realm/world.

    I often wonder how many of these massive salvations via walking up or down the saw dust trail to the front of the church during alter calls really "stick". How much is emotional moving of one, and how much is the Holy Spirit prompting through the pastor? There may be some surprises.

    I'm personally tired of methods. I don't want to be of Apollos, Paul, Barnabus, Calvin, Arminius, or any man. Though I respect and know that many of these people are/were used mightily of God, they are still men, and they will inevitably let me down. Christ won't let me down. Though my life has valleys and mountain top times, Christ is with me in both places.

    I'm am definitely not of Rick Warren. :)

    Regards, Eightball
     
    #4 eightball, Jun 13, 2007
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  5. rbell

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    I'm assuming, Lou, that you've contacted Rick Warren personally and gotten clarification of his position? I'm confident you wouldn't lob accusations without being absolutely sure you're correct in your understanding...would you?

    Eightball...your second post had nothing to do with Saddleback or Rick Warren. You talked of a church that was doing poorly, implied why they were at fault, and then threw the "Saddleback" red herring in there. At best, crazy logic. At worst, intentional slander.

    I'll make it easy for you: Rick Warren does NOT preach works-based salvation. I've talked to him personally. I've read his stuff. (Believe it or not, I'm not using any of it, so the "apologist" level won't stick here). Bearing false witness against a fellow believer is a bad idea.

    BTW...what is unbiblical about the Five Purposes Warren lists?
     
  6. npetreley

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    I have contacted Rick Warren personally (by email) about his misuse of scripture. He never responded.
     
  7. rbell

    rbell
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    Thanks for handling it biblically.
     
  8. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Don't Listen to Them!

    Hi Eightball:

    Saw your post last night. I will have more later. For now here are some documented, public record issues with Rick Warren (RW) and the Purpose Driven (PD) philosophy and methodology.

    You will have the RW and PD apologists reacting to these, but they see little or no wrong in Warren's philosophy and practices. Therefore, they take strong exception when, those who take a biblical, militant stand against his methods, and warn others of the inhereent dangers in the CGM and Warren. You can already see it. I have not even been here to repwsly to your comments, and because simply of your post, the knives are already out.


    When you encounter the philosophy of and/or apologists for the Church Growth, Seeker and Emerging Church movements such as Willow Creek & Saddleback, remember that these are ministries lead by men who have compromised the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture to build and keep their following. Don’t listen to the voice or printed words of compromise and betrayal.

    Keep the following facts in mind (provided by Dr. Mike Harding) whenever an advocate of these disgraceful organizations tries to pass it off as though they are orthodox and in keeping with the teaching of the Bible. These eight points reveal what Rick Warren, Saddleback and organizations of that ilk really stand for.


    Don't Listen to Them!​



    LM
     
  9. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Article on Dangers of Compromise

    To All:

    The folks at Sharper Iron invited me to write an article, from my perspective, on the Church Growth Movement. The article is titled, Your First Step Won’t be Your Last.

    In the thread that follows look for Joe Roof, Lance Ketchum, Larry, JG and myself in the thread for the IFB perspective. You'll also find John Brown (former Saddleback staff pastor) taking up for RW, Saddleback and Purpose Driven. Paul Barber is one who claims to be a Fundamentalist. Some of his statements, however, and/or refusal to state a position on a key doctrine, namely biblical separation and some very disconcerting opinions on the RCC's sacramental system, made it highly doubtful in the minds of most who interacted with him at SI that he is anywhere close to being a Fundamentalist.

    Be sure to read Dr. Lance Ketchum at post #123. "A perfect example of the outcomes of listening to this foolishness is what happened at...,'"

    I trust you will find it helpful.


    LM
     
    #9 Lou Martuneac, Jun 14, 2007
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  10. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Articles on Purpose Driven & Rick Warren

    To All:

    At my site I have posted three articles on the Purpose Driven Movement. Another is in the works for later this summer.

    Please go to In Defense of the Gospel: Purpose Driven to view the articles.

    My posts above are all I have time for today. I may not be able to vists again until tomorrow. Later today or tomorrow I will link to another thread that was very important to this discussion.

    Yours faithfully,


    LM
     
    #10 Lou Martuneac, Jun 14, 2007
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  11. eightball

    eightball
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    My iniitial and only post took two submissions as I exceeded the board's word limit per post. So my second post was a continuation of my entire reply, in total.

    After finding out that my post was too long for one submission, I had to break my post at a "thought" change or theme change-point.

    So my second post appeared to be a change. It wasn't.

    I'm afraid that your reaction as in "crazy" logic or slander is overreactive, and hurts the possibility of civil discourse between a Warren apologist and myself.

    I personally know many Christians myself. I actually shook Chuck Swindols hand 20 years ago (lol). I guess I know him well. lol

    When I mentioned "works", I don't expect everyone to accept my assessment of Rick Warren's methods.

    Again, I have many Christian friends, and they cover the whole gamut of "disputable" doctrines adherence, as many might/would say about me too. They never the less are good friends, and we have some great discussions about the church, and our faith.

    I have one friend who is a staunch Calvinist. We have agreed to disagree, but this person is an incredibly close friend to me. He also sees me similarly, though he would love for me to jump into the TULIP camp with him.
    *********
    Anyway, Pastor Warren is very public. He's a best seller author, of renoun. I'm not here to question R.W.'s income source, marriage life, etc.. I'm here as a lay person/Christian, that has experienced his methodology on my church that I have attended since 1974.

    All I saw was an increase in busyness in the congregation, but as far as growth goes, it didn't effect a measurable change.

    Infact our church was classified as a mega church in the S.F. bay area of California right through the 70's into the early 80's. It didn't follow or have R.W.'s books as a guideline for growth back then. We also went through a terrible time when our vaunted Pastor commited adultery. Many left the church as they had put all their confidence in the pastor and not in Christ. Some came back, but most didn't. Schisms erupted when a new pastor was appointed. That pastor basically was railroaded out the door after a couple years of genuine, biblical ministry to the congregation, those that didn't see him in the light of the old pastor and his charisma. From there it seemed that all kinds of methodologys were ennacted to stimulate previous growth trends, etc. The younger familes gravitated to other churches or just quit attending. The current pastor was basically a compromise. He was mellow, cookies and milk "safe", and came from an strong church building background in another state. Now the church had a nice good guy who didn't make waves with his messages, and just preached the bible in an elementary fashion, and once a month threw in a convictive one about dwindling funds, and our responsibility to all be living out Christs life to our fellow co-workers, and neighbors. I.E. bring in bodies or we will fold up as a church.

    Works is or can be an insidious thing in the Christian life or body. When folks think "works" they usually think one is being monikered a Pharisee of sorts, but that is the blatant, and extreme evidences of it's existence. Works in a church, often creeps up and bites nearly all of us believers quietly and gradually.

    We all were once lost, but by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we were saved unto good works or fruit that are to glorify God, not ourselves. We have or gradually realize a dawning of our new nature, that we are no longer earthbound dwellers, but are truly "seated in the heavenlies" in Christ in a present tense position. We have the Spirit of Christ indwelling us, and no longer have the old identity of the Adamic nature. We are not "lost". We are adopted literally into God's ownership as our Father. We are secure.

    This insidious "works" reference by myself involves the "birthright" amnesia that many/most of us believers are beset with. I don't believe that R.W. is intentionally trying to mislead or be undoctrinal in little or big areas of his methodology as especially expressed in his, "Purpose Driven Church" book. I don't question R.W. being a believer either. I do however question his methodology as it is interpretted or carried-out by the lay Christian or even the staff Christian when considering biblical methods of ministering.

    I'm not that bothered by R.W.'s use of myriads of biblical translations to make or prove his points in his two purpose driven books, both for the lay and staff Christians.

    I realize that the K.J.'s, ASB, RS, NASB, Scofield, NKJ, NIV, all have their strengths of translation, and their weak areas. In fact it is so important to be as the Bereans, and check out one's doctrine, and not be afraid to reference different respected, theologically scholarly translations to understand a point of scripture in a sound, deductive manner.

    Those that I've talked to that have a problem with R.W.'s use of various translations, is that this methodology is used to solidify a point, and not seek clarification of points. In other words, it has an inductive way or methodology.

    Works: For 2,000 years, the church has survived. It has survived all kinds of abherent teachings, and also subtle ones that were harder to discern from the true biblical ones. We can thank dear Guttenberg and his press for making it possible for the lay person to ascertain and evaluate scripture without the helping hands of popes, bishops, priests.......etc... Never the less, the lay person/Christian can at times be endowed in gift, to be an exhorter, teacher, too. So the need for those that can teach the gospel to us is still a "must" in the church. We have pastor teachers, elders, that often minister to the lay, via scriptural exhortation or other works that encourage, and strengthen us.

    My concern about R.W.'s methodology, is that it's many faceted approach to current culture or to call Gen X into the pews is not so biblical, as it is a compromise biblically in order to "pump" up numbers.

    I know for a fact that those who hold paid positions in my church, experience the same fears that the lay Christian does who works out in the secular world. Their jobs are a "security" of sorts. My wife lost her job almost two years ago, and my retirement pensions couldn't allow us to sustain or stay in our home for long. I was "anxious". Good old Philippians 4:6-7 would resound in my head that I was sinning to be worrying about our or my future. A house is made of wood and glass, but a home is made of love, would ring in my conscience. I was still scared, as I realized that losing our home and changing our lifestyle drastically would be a big change. I had to realize that I was God's, and all things in my life were secure. I had as many of us Christians have......a lot of that "world" in me. Often we don't realize it until something dramatic happens in our lives. Then we find out that we are not as God-dependent as we thought. (Continued on next page or reply)

    Regards, Eightball
     
  12. eightball

    eightball
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    (continued from previous page)
    The Church as a body, also can have it's worldly dependents, and need the refining or disciplining hand of God to purge that, and make the bride more beautiful for the awaiting groom.

    I don't think that R.W.'s methodology enhances or encourages this in both the current church members, and the future ones. I don't think his methodology allows for the church to be distinct from the temporal world's methodology of survival.

    Yes, we must be culture-conscious, but when do we cross the line, and start to become more of them and less of us to call them into the pews. Paul indeed became poor to call the poor, and rich or whatever to identify with the unsaved. We are to be innocent as doves, yet shrewd as serpents when in methodology. In other words, we are supposed to allow God to use us in innovative and often surprising ways, that may indeed go against our inborn or earlier learned tendencies. I just think that R.W.'s methodology, "waters down" our testimony of a risen Saviour, and new life of holiness. We are also a distinct and peculiar people as the world sees us. Should we hide that to bring'em in?

    When Jesus sent out the disciples to the far reaches of the known world, I don't think He was thinking numbers, and growth, from a Jack Welch (G.E.'s motivational CEO) approach.

    I think it is very important that we discuss or come to some scriptural ground about when we are being used of God, and when we are doing it "for" God. God needs no works "for" Him from us. He desires to use us and iniitiate and bring to completion His work through us. Obviously not as automatons, but useable from a given-in/given-up of our ways attitude. This can only be accomplished when we are scripturally accepting, and living out our lives in a state of total acceptance of Christ's Lordship, and God's ownership.

    We as Christians, before salvation lived a life of survival in our own instincts, previous learned behaviours, from functional and dysfunctional backgrounds/families. Life for some was easy, and for others a struggle. Never the less, a time came and we received the Holy Spirit as that downpayment from God that we were now adopted into His family.

    This was not the end of the old suitcases or packaging of life that we had before salvation. As Romans 12:2 succinctly says, it is time for renewing that brand new mind/nature. Out must go the old and in must come the new download of holy software to replace the corrupt software. Sadly, R.W.'s methodology, I believe enhances a lot of that side of our lives that needs to be left behind as Christians. His methodology IMO encourages or scripturally tries to push the belief that all the Christian church or body must and will explode in numbers if a particular methodology is followed. I think that this is teaching the "bride" that her destiny is in her hands and not the Grooms. That's where my "insidious" works angle comes from.

    We are so ready to do for God, instead of let God do in us.

    I've sadly seen so many instances where a new believer's ebullient personality and new found life in Christ is misinterpretted for "useability" by the staff or long time church members who are the "shakers" of the congregation. I've seen new believers who barely have their new baby feet in Christ coordinated to take step who are thrust into service positions as deacons, or other areas of work pre-maturely.

    Sadly, new member or believers are often looked at like they are fresh slabs of meat to be used to enhance or feed the church and keep it running, not unlike a factory machine needing fuel or maintenance. This is not unlike the corporate world. The dynamic and energetic get the positions. God works to the antithesis of that worldly philosopy. He takes the "weak" and makes them the "strong" in the body. It is by His might, not ours.

    God often wants to use Christians via His endowed gifts and not their pre-Christian abilities that gained Kudos in the temporal world. I attended a bible study where the gentleman that led it told me that he desired to never teach, or talk before people. He was a very inward person, yet when God used him, it was in the very opposite of his innate or natural abilities that he deemed important. His ministry as a bible study leader/lecturer was incredible. Many men both saved and unsaved were touched greatly by God through this man.

    Last comment: In the Purpose Driven Church, R.W. encourages churches to back off on the convicting messages at the services as this will chase off or discourage the unsaved from desiring to hang around. They need to come into the church and be able to identify with their type of music, hopefully, minus the temporal lyrics, and just let them feel accepted and comfortable. Once they are massaged into be accepted, they can then be plugged-into more scriptural intensive exposure via Sunday School classes......etc..

    Actually, this is not unlike how many cults introduce new or possible coverts. They hit them with Mom, the American flag, family values, and Apple pie. Must we use that approach? Is God's Word inept or insufficient?

    Please don't hit me with, "Your calling R.W. a cultist.". Far from that. I'm just saying that there is a similarity of approach, but a different intended outcome of this initial process.

    All along, the mature or current Christian member/believer is to endure these corporate services and just grit their collective teeth. Sermons mimicking or not unlike Paul's reference in 1Cor. to only being able to stand baby food, is what the mature believers are to accept. It is for the sake of getting "them" in the pews to be saved. Never mind that Romans 12:2 says that the current believers need to be exposed to challenging truths that help them to mature and become true disciples or ambassadors of Christ. We the current believers are to seek out other means within the church..i.e. Sunday school, self studies ( I assume) or get ourselves "plugged in", and matured in Christ. Actually, the words that are used such as being "stretched", "plugged-in", are just plain getting old, and redundant IMO.. Often these are just code words for bringing out the old desrie to "please" God, rather than to allow believer to grow first in learning of their new found relationship with God through Christ. Everything is hastened, to the Glory of who.......the church or God?

    Regards, Eighball
     
  13. eightball

    eightball
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    So much silence from my previous double page post, but I think it is so important.
     
  14. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    'Balance'. That's all I have to say.
     
  15. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    Eightball, I've read both posts and they both contain great messages! Sadly, I wish that I would have known these truths about 2 years ago when I was converted. Chuck Swindoll in his book Moses : A Man of Selfless Dedication is the one who finally convinced me of the truths that were contained in your posts, mainly, not becoming a 'doer and a shaker'.

    It is so great to rest in the Lord, and to know that I cannot contribute anything to the kingdom by my wit, charisma, or appearance. Thanks for the great posts, I really enjoyed. :)

    NOTE : Even some churches that are adamantly against CGM and RW have a man centered, de-supernaturalized approach to ministry. My old church, for example, made it mandatory that woman who teach kids wear dresses, that hymns only would be sung, and preaching would only be from the King James Bible. Yet this church enstilled in me a pragmatic attitude toward ministry, ESPECIALLY in youth ministry. Just wanted to say, your post applies to even fundamentalists.
     
  16. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I am still waiting to see an answer to rbells question...

    What is biblically wrong with the 5 purposes?.. (they are found in the early church)

    Worship
    Evangelism
    fellowship
    Discipleship
    Ministry

    We've been down this road before, and all it does is slander a brother in Christ that is building the kingdom.

    If you don't like CCM or RW, or PD stuff, fine...

    But it is my God given right as a pastor to use whatever God shows me to use, and no one has the right to tell me to do otherwise...

    When someone shows me that the 5 purposes are wrong biblically, I will stop using them....

    But as for now, I will continue to worship, evangelize, disciple, fellowship, and do the ministry God has gifted me for....


    Edited to say... "That's all I will say about that!"
     
    #16 tinytim, Dec 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2007
  17. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Men:

    If you want to see just how far Church Growth men have departed from biblical orthodoxy read-

    Warren & Hybels: Islam


    LM
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I think you are missing hte point. It has nothing to do with whether or not the five purposes are biblical, but rather with the way in which they are pursued.
     
  19. eightball

    eightball
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    Or possibly applied?
     
  20. Dr. L.T. Ketchum

    Dr. L.T. Ketchum
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    Brother Lou,

    I posted an article on this on my blog a few days ago.
    http://lineuponlinedmm.blogspot.com/2008/01/christs-method-of-dealing-with-seekers.html

    I think it is also interesting that at least Bill Hybels has admitted the failure in this unbiblical philosophy of ministry.
    http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2007/10/willow_creek_re.html

    Yet, sadly, there will be thousands infected by this philosophy that will have to learn it for themselves while they heap to themselves the lives destroyed by the pragmatism they teach.
     

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