Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The "Feel Good Church"

The Emerging (feel good) “Church”
Sam Morris

Passages: Matthew 7:21-23, Acts 13:10, Acts 20:29-31, Romans 1:21-23,25a, I Timothy 6:3-5, II Timothy 3:1-7, 13
Matthew 7:21-23, “ Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness.’”
Acts 13:10, “O full of deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all unrighteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?”
Acts 20:29-31, “For I know this that after I depart savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”
Romans 1:21-23,25a, “Because although they knew God they did not glorify Him as God nor where thankful, but became futile in thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image of corruptible man-and birds and four footed animals and creeping things…who exchanged the truth of God for a lie.”
I Timothy 6:3-5, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to the wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with the godliness, he is proud knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which comes envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From which withdrawal yourself.”
II Timothy 3:1-7,13, “ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despiser's of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away with various lusts, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

These are all passages that speak of this up and coming movement known as the “Feel-good Church” wherein the “pastors” teach their huge congregations that Jesus came to die to make our guilt, monetary issues, social problems, suffering, and self-esteem problems disappear. However this is not creating genuinely saved people, it is only making moral lost people. This blasphemous teaching method will be sending myriads of people to hell, and is crippling the Church. That the men teaching this lie are being labeled as “America’s Pastor” is a travesty. We as Americans are giving ourselves over to this lie, and thinking that nothing is wrong with it, allowing them to live their lives thinking that they are okay, but in reality they are still lost and still damned to the gates of Hell. We NEED men to rise up in the Church to lead a movement against this blasphemy, if none are able to be found then the Church of America has utterly failed, and the hope of the world hearing of the saving redemptive news of Christ, lies with another country. The world has yet to see the power of a man truly on fire for the cause of Christ.
Christians are promised to suffer, that is one thing that we as Christians can count on. “Suffering with Christ is not strange, it is our calling, our vocation” (Piper). In Hebrews 13:12-14 it is said,
“So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”
We are called to, “go outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” Suffering is not something that will just magically disappear after we accept Christ. “We fist step onto the battlefield the moment we accept Christ, and we will never leave the battle until we leave this earth” (Pruitt). Suffering fro Christ is not an oddity; it is the Christians job until we go to Him. Life will not be any easy thing it will not be a cake walk, we will suffer for the sake of our Savior, but for those that are truly converted we are be able to take solace in the fact of God is allowing us to suffer for His glory. There is so much biblical evidence to support the Christians suffering that to exclude this from teaching would be like taking half of the New Testament out, and almost completely disposing of the Old Testament. Matthew 10:16-18,22-23,28,
“Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles… And you will be hated all for My name’s sake. But he who will endure to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city flee to another. For assuredly I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes…And do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear the Him who is able to destroy both body and soul.”
It is made very clear in the passage that Christians will be hated! We must move from city to city to escape, because the persecution has grown so strong. This, however, will not be a unprofitable suffering, we will be blessed to have people convert to the faith, and come to the awakening knowledge of the Redeeming Lord. That Jesus’ death was not a death to free us from low self-esteem and monetary issues, but to save this wretched people from the damnation that we so justly disserve. Before our sanctification we want nothing to do with God, we want no part of His glory, “We are worms groveling in the dirt, holding in contempt the Majesty of heaven” (Edwards).
The “pastors” that preach this blasphemy are in dire need of being shown the truth. They are unknowingly leading thousands upon thousands of people to hell. Charles Spurgeon best describes my thoughts on this matter in the book, “Lectures to My Students” Lecture 1 “The Minister’s Self-watch.” “A graceless pastor is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophizing upon light and vision, discoursing upon and distinguishing to others the nice shades of and delicate blending sod the prismatic colors, while he himself is absolutely in the dark! He is a dumb man elevated to the chair of music; a deaf man fluent upon symphonies and harmonies! He is a mole professing to educate eaglets; a limpet elected to preside of angels…Alas! The unregenerate pastor becomes truly terribly mischievous too, for all the causes that create infidelity, ungodly ministers must be ranked among the first. I read the other day, that no phase of evil presented so marvelous power of destruction, as the unconverted minister of a parish, with a 1,2000 pound organ, a choir of ungodly singers, and an aristocratic congregation. It was the opinion of the writer, that there could be no greater instrument for the damnation out of hell than that. People go to their place of worship and sit comfortably and think they must be Christians, when all the time their religion consists in, listening to an orator, having their ears tickled with music, and perhaps their eyes amused with graceful action and fashionable manners; the whole being no better than what they hear at the opera - not so good, perhaps, in point of aesthetic beauty, and not an atom more spiritual. Thousands are congratulating themselves, and even blessing God that they are devout worshippers, when at the same time they are living in an unregenerate Christless state, having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. He who presides over a system which aims are nothing higher than formalism, is far more a servant of the devil than a minister of God.”
This is the dire situation the Church, in this present age. We must have an urgent state of mind, that if this teaching is not put to death, then myriads of people will be receiving their just damnation. Godly men must stand, now, and fight against this raging flood. There is no greater calling than to take the knife and put it to the throat of this teaching. My soul cries out that if nothing is done then, the American Church is failed, and is no better than this blasphemy. This burns as a fire in my bones to rebel against this horrid speech, are there others that have this same feeling or am I alone?
Christ did not die to free you from your guilt, and low self-esteem, but rather to save you from your sins Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His love for toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” There is nothing more beautiful than this one truth that Christ died for us, to save us from our sins. Why would this teaching ever be taken out of the Church? To make His death into some source of feeling good, is nothing more than blasphemy, and should be treated as such. That the glory of the elect being able to sing,
“Amazing grace,
How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now I am found,
Was blind but now I see.”
Is taken out of the Church is an outrage, and should be given no heed, ever.

1 comment:

Crete said...

Well written article.