How Pop-Evangelicals Undermine God in Evangelism

10 11 2006


As a fairly new believer I attended an evangelistically zealous Arminian Southern Baptist mega-church here in Omaha. I too was zealous for evangelism and for growth. I enjoyed the culture of evangelism that the Senior Pastor had developed and fueled. However, as my theological senses began to sharpen and I began growing in the word, something strange happened, I got frustrated.

The church rolled out a new evangelism strategy that was geared toward reaching and converting more people. There was a slick acronym that the evangelist was to follow and there were key verses that we must use. Additionally, we were all told that we had to go and attend the training provided by this new evangelism program’s guru.

As I read the outline and interacted with the strategy I was shocked to uncover the seed of my discomfort: the avoidance of mentioning sin/judgment/wrath/substitution. So there I sat in visible frustration with this new program. I was even told not to do evangelism at this church unless I adopted this methodology.

With zeal accruing like the national debt I attended an all church meeting launching this new program / strategy. When the Pastor was finished with his promotion and/or presentation he opened up the floor for questions. After a few others gushed with pragmatic testimonies of success in this program I raised my hand. The pastor came over and in front of the 4,000+ in attendance I asked him at what point in the “presentation” we might tell them about sin. He deferred to the leaders of the new program, who began to get a bit loud in refutation of my seemingly silly question. There was no answer because sin was not discussed. Sure it may have been referenced as some type of moral inadequacy but never in terms of direct rebellion and disobedience to the Sovereign of heaven and earth.

As you might imagine I soon left this church. However, the ‘evangelism’ strategy has not. Nor has it left the scores of other pop-evangelical churches across America, who, fail to explain sin in there proclamation of the gospel. This ridiculous practice sounds nice when we don’t believe in biblical sin, but it is ridiculous when we speak in terms of real and fatal disease. Imagine the uproar if medical professionals began skirting the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer or AIDS in favor of making their dying patients “feel better”? It is an unsettling testimony to observe the standards for medical fidelity are higher than gospel fidelity.

As God would have it he saves sinners through the gospel. It is the gospel alone that is called “the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1.16). The gospel as Paul says here is that body of truth that explains God’s character, man’s sinfulness, and Christ’s substitutionary atonement, man’s repentance from sin and reception of the righteousness of Christ by faith (justification). How can anyone understand their need for or even desire a Savior apart from understanding their destitute position before a just and inflexible judge? It is ridiculous and biblically stupid to hold forth a loving Jesus who is tolerant of sin, plagued with a bad memory, willing to be bribed, and so nice that he became God’s spiritual piñata and took a beating that we might get all the candy because we are so good.

To hold forth a different gospel is to hold forth a different Jesus. How about this: it is to lie! You are lying when you don’t tell people that God is angry at sin, that he is intolerant of it and that he is going to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts with rigid righteousness lest we repent and flee to the Lord our Righteousness for loving forgiveness.

This really is perverted. See in effort to accommodate “seekers” or the “unchurched” or the “dechurched”, (unbelievers) they undermine the only message that can truly save their souls. It is no different than the doctor telling the guy with a tumor that he just has allergies. It is gospel malpractice. It is worse than being silent, it is misleading sinners and undermining God. God saves through his gospel of his son and this gospel is not up for revision. Evangelicals who try to get cute and smart (regardless of motives, for I do not know them) undermine God.

So much like sanctification we have in evangelism the following conclusions:

If God saves sinners exclusively through the gospel (and he does) and people do not proclaim the biblical gospel (and they don’t) we must conclude:

1) Many pastors and church members do not know that the gospel is the exclusive power of God for salvation

2) Many pastors and church members do not believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation

3) Many pastors and church members do not chiefly value people getting saved

This is discouraging but true and it calls for Christians to take up Jesus’ gospel and study it, preach it to ourselves, defend it in the church and in the world, and then faithfully share it with all.

How Pop-Evangelicals Undermine God in Sanctification

9 11 2006

tire-slash1.jpgI have found that I have personally become quite exercised about some of the various methods and practices that are employed within the popular American evangelical community. Sometimes I have, through introspection, wondered if my offense was based upon my preference and these evangelicals’ divergent view of ministry. In other words, I wondered if my issue was chiefly my offense or God’s.

So in effort to have clean hands, a clear conscience and pure motives I examined this, and tried to understand what in the world contemporary evangelicalism is doing. And you know what? I’m offended. But now more than ever I feel that my offense is rooted in the attack upon God’s method for accomplishing his own end.

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Gay Police bashing Christians?

27 10 2006

This story caught my attention today. Apparently there is a Gay Police Association (GPA) and they have been less than positive about Christianity in a recent advertising campaign.

…3 curious questions:

1) why are they advertising?

2) why do we need to have a gay police association?

3) can you please wear a rainbow on your badge to distinguish yourselves from the straight cops?

In the ad a Bible was purposely placed next to a pool of blood. The purpose for the advertising campaign, which appeared in the national press, was to enlighten citizens about the drastic increase in the “religiously motivated attacks against gay people” the numbers are up “74 percent in the last year”.

The watchdog group, Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that the ad was offensive to Christians who were implicated as the source of the homophobic attacks.

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What is biblical repentance?

25 10 2006

mac.jpgJohn MacArthur has provided a helpful article on the nature of biblical repentance on PulpitLive! This is much like what he has written so clearly in The Gospel According to Jesus and The Gospel According to the Apostles.

Life is a vapor

24 10 2006

A video like the one below serves to remind us how our lives could end at any moment. And how all of us must be ready to stand before the Lord God himself to give an account…at any moment. This guy is just walking accross the street…he, no doubt had the walk signal.

May an image like this, taken from everyday life, help to refresh a passion for Christ, specifically in holiness, love, and evangelism. If you are not confident to stand before the Lord God, the judge of all the earth, click here…i want to talk further with you.

<<due to some requests from weaker stomaches (kinda like weaker brothers), i’ve bumped the pic to the next page, click here to see the image>>

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Election is not the problem…sin is

20 10 2006

I have been thinking a lot recently about free-will, the nature of sin, divine election and so forth. I have come accross this quote by Packer and was greatly encouraged. If you have not read this book, it is a must.

The Bible never says that sinners miss heaven because they are not elect, but because they ‘neglect the great salvation’, and because they will not repent and believe.

The last judgment will abundantly prove that it is not the want of God’s election, so much as laziness, the love of sin, unbelief, and unwillingness to come to Christ, which ruins the souls that are lost. God gives men what they choose, not the opposite of what they choose. Those who choose death, therefore have only themselves to thank that God does not give them life” J.I. Packer, Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God

The ‘reefer sensitive’ movement goes up in smoke

10 10 2006

FoxNews reported yesterday that a ‘pastor’ in Arizona was recently arrested and told that he could no longer operate his ‘church’. The reason? Because they worshiped Marijuana!

Apparently these folks were pretty zealous in their worship. They were pulled over transporting 172lbs of ‘deity’.

Members of the “church” said “using the hallucinogenic tea during worship helps them gain union with God.” Apparently God has now been redefined as a divine pothead?! Gaining unity with God through getting high…ridiculous. Once again we see the cross insulted. All of that agony, brutality and angst was unnecessary for union, for after all, according to Dan and Mary Quaintance and their church, union may be achieved through a joint and some tea.

Is it just me or does this not sound like something a bunch of burnt out pot heads came up with. I can just hear them tossing ideas back and forth as to how they can out smart the authorities and smoke as much dope as they want. And one genius in the corner pipes up with the brilliant idea to make a weed church where marijuana is worshipped.

This is truly a saddening display of Romans 1 taking root in exchanging the truth of God for a lie, and worshipping that which has been created rather than the Creator who is indeed blessed forever Amen.