Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seeker-friendly Ministries

My issue with "seeker-friendly" churches is that their overriding goal is acceptability rather than a transformed life. This is called "Emerging Church" which uses the social gospel, not the true spiritual gospel. Emergent is a MOVEMENT like any other movements like Word of Faith. Emergent thinkers have came up with their own solution of the gospel from their own perspective rather than God's perspective. Some denominations (which I am not going to name them) "relaxed" God's holiness without God's permission by being pemissive according to the society's standards more than God's. The main problem I had was how they came up with the motto to fit "friendly seeking environment". The way the Emergent Church is set up, some leaders are more than likely to depart from biblical standards and creating their own agendas. It's the very thing Paul is warning in 1 Corinthians 1. That kind of strategy diverts the focus of Christian people who listen to and trusts that ministry, they become concerned about and consumed with things other than the gospel. This is what Paul said about anyone preaching another gospel: "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed [Gk., anathema, "devoted to destruction"]" (Gal. 1:8).

Today, with different denominations, it seems to be just as difficult for us today to understand what is meant by the title or designation of “Christian". The answer for this context will vary from denomination to denomination. This is the difficult and almost unanswerable question of who is a "True Christian".

Christians are to discern and share the dangers of false teachings and wolves. We can't totally protect other Christians, only God can. We are to do our part of sharing the gospel and the dangers while God takes care of the rest. Discernment may be simply defined as the ability to biblically decide between right and wrong, between truth and error, between good and evil. Christians are responsible to exercise caution and discernment, especially in temporal and spiritual matters. Discernment is the means God uses to literally divide light from darkness, truth from falsehood, right motive from wrong motive, selflessness from selfishness. In Hebrews 5:14 we are told that discernment comes with spiritual maturity that the Spirit works in us (diakrisis - Strong's #1253).

We are to worship God from our hearts because we are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16), that God will search us and try us, and know our thoughts.(Psalm 139:23). God knows who we are by looking in our hearts, minds and souls. Like Paul said in Romans 12:1 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy, and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship." God hates SIN and local churches are relaxing God's holiness in order for people to come in and worship "in their sins" rather than "repented of their sins". The true gospel is not about making people feel better about themselves, but about making people realise they are eternally lost and only the true gospel gives them eternal hope. We are so temporal in our lives that we will forget God's eternal promises. We all are torned between our temporal lives and that we should be thinking about our eternal lives.

We should desire to depart our temporal bodies and be with Christ in eternal life which is better by far however it is God's glory that we remain in our bodies (tents) (See: Philippians 1:23-24). Faith in Jesus replaced our temporal doubts with eternal hope. Even though my human body is subject to death (and is dying) because of sin, however my spirit is alive and renewing in Christ. My temorary body is decaying at the same time, my inner being is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16). "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:25. If my eternal hope rested on how I felt physically, which is temporal, I might as well forget eternal spiritual wealth. I have learned that I am no longer "in the flesh": "You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (Rom 8:9). I have learned that "If Christ is in us, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). In other words, our human body is subject to death (and is already dying) because of sin, however our spirit is alive in Christ. We have eternal life in our possession, even though our body is dying because of sin. However, as Christians, our spirits are fully alive and thriving "because of righteousness"--because HE is justified and therefore already has "passed out of death into life" (John 5:24). "My temorary body is decaying at the same time, my inner being is being renewed day by day" (2 Cor 4:16).

3 comments:

whimsical brainpan said...

Finding a good church is hard.

my life with bipolar disorder said...

I am glad you said "The true gospel is not about making people feel better about themselves, but about making people realise they are eternally lost and only the true gospel gives them eternal hope." This is so important. It's sad to know that there are "seeker-friendly" churches whose overriding goal is acceptability rather than a transformed life. So many people are deceived and surely these church leaders will have to answer to God one day for what they have done.

It is really not easy to know who is a true Christian. We can't see the heart of men. Maybe we can only do our best to ensure that we are truly a Christian, trusting in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His blood that cleanses us from our sins, and daily we seek to know Him, love Him and serve Him, in accordance to His Words.

branceaim said...

Amen!

My wife and my children went to Worldview conference yesterday and they were discussing about the emerging churches across USA. There are a group of Deaf pastors, Deaf leaders who will be going to Louisville, KY this coming weekend to work on the ASL Creed and other issues. I will be more than happy to share more info with you outside of this blog.


Sola Fe,
Brance Long
brancelong@yahoo.com