I Had To Meet Them At Their Level

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I have just finished viewing a portion of a YouTube video featuring a popular pastor of one of the country’s leading mega-churches. To the church pragmatist, purpose driven or seeker friendly the following quote may seem somewhat logical. It may also seem like a sensible formula in church planting or enhancing church growth. The problem arises in the fact that this pastor’s “formula” and theology is neither biblical, nor is it even logical in the light of scripture.

It is not my intention to personally attack him or to demean him in any way; however we must hold up to the light of scripture every word of those who claim to speak for Christ.

“So I rang door bells, ‘Are you an active member of a local Church?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Good, God bless you, good-bye.’ By the time I rang three thousand doorbells I found out that not a single unchurched person was asking for what I was offering; namely expository sermons from the Word of God, preached with fervor and stern admonition. And not a single one was asking for the Wednesday night prayer meeting. – I had to meet them at their level” (emphasis added).

The Barna Research Group gives us this definition: “The following is how we define an unchurched adult for our research: an adult (18 or older) who has not attended a Christian church service within the past six months, not including a holiday service (such as Easter or Christmas) or a special event at a church (such as a wedding or funeral).” (http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=38)

However, this pastor defines them as those who are not “an active member of a local church,” regardless of any time element, holidays, special events or age group. Since he describes them as having no desire to hear the Word of God (whether preached with fervor and stern admonition or not), as well as any drawing to prayer, it seems feasible to assign to them a definition according to biblical standards, rather than using a politically correct or any other post-modern term such as “the unchurched”. In reality, they are the lost, those who are dead in their trespasses and sin, the unregenerate. They are neither “pre-Christian”, nor by his definition could they even be considered “seekers”. They are in fact, the enemies of God.That being said, it should be no wonder to any Bible believing Christian why this attitude of rejection of the things of God exists. The life of one who is “lost” is usually void of any worthwhile understanding of God. He will not accept the things of God, he can not understand them, nor does he have any desire to pursue them (1Corinthians 2:14). The God of the Bible does not enter into the equation of his life. He is basically consumed with himself, his wants, his desires, his interests and his ways. Anything else only steals his time and plans to fulfill himself, and this pastor justifies and enforces this unbiblical perception. If, by chance, a spark of religion does exist, it is usually so watered down and out of context that it becomes little more than an instrument to aid him in his personal gain. Or an opiate to help relieve his religious conscience, i.e. “God is love” or “Judge not lest ye be judged”.  continue reading

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