Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pragmatism Illustrated

I am sure that many of you have seen this but it is definitely worth a second look.

We have become so focused on results that the means in which those results are acquired does not matter. Just as long as it works, that is what matters.

"The greatest threat to the gospel specific to today is the indirect challenge of pragmatism among evangelicals". --Mark Dever

I believe Satan has had to put no effort into growing this into our mindset. We want our church to grow. We want to see people saved. But somewhere down the line we have crossed over into secular territory because it appears to work. Of course it works. You are baiting the world with the stuff the world loves. Who wouldn't come to that? Just like mice and cheese. You give the world what they want and bam, growth.

"The most insidious opposition to the Gospel has come from within worldly churches." --Iain Murray

But I think the church is guilty on two major fronts.

1. We are compromising our integrity and purpose as a church. Instead of preaching "Christ and Him crucified" we give them toys, fun, and no words from the Word of God. That might run them off as Schuller says. We continue to give the masses what they want instead of what they need. But as we do this a problem comes in and has to be addressed. To keep this flow of people growing and entertained you have to feed this "machine" of sorts, or it will break down. When it breaks down, God might just "lead them to the church down the road."

2. Supposing that you really do want people to be saved and you really do want to preach the gosepl to them once they are in the door. You have tricked them by deception. You have baited them with fun and activities and now you pull the rug out from under them to preach about sin and salvation. They thought they were coming for fun but you have changed directions on them. This is being dishonest to the people.

Both of these are wrong in God's eyes but the last one is wrong in the world's eyes.

"The biggest mission field in America is professing-Christianity". --John MacArthur


approvedworkman said...

Acts 2:
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Verse 47 is the key. We are to live lives of obedience, which is what worship actually is btw, and let God save people. Jesus commanded us to make "disciples".
God saves, we disciple. Pretty simple,
MacArthur's words are dead on. The church is trying to disciple those who have never professed Jesus as both Lord and Christ, most likely because they have not professed that fact themselves.

Acts 2:
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

I don't think Peter was very seeker friendly.
Many were drawn to the men who "appeared to be full of new wine" but that was actually the Holy Spirit in them,(the true new wine Matthew 9:16-17), and He is what draws men to hear and be saved.
Pragmatism is in reality semi-pelagian praxis, which is another distinguishing attribute of Rome.

Melissa said...

It is a "bait and switch" that is happening today. I had a conversation about "outreaches" and it just seemed wrong - prompting people to come to the "event" with the promise of free food and gofts, then trying to preach to them...It prompted a write-up on my blog of "Outreach vs. Evangelism."

Instead of of having NOTHING ELSE but Christ, the church is giving people EVERYTHING but Christ.

Great post!


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