Friendly Seeker or Doctrinal Integrity
What are you studying? What is your focus? What is your goal? If your goal is to get the masses into your local church and to do this at all costs while attracting those who will like you even at the cost of "doctrinal integrity," then you have just revealed yourself as one trying to serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters for Jesus said: "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve both God and man." (Luke 16:13, Matt. 6:24)
Yes, even the purpose driven movement is believed to be, by some, "a fad" now behind us. What was a lot of hype at one time has now become only an echo of the past and a pure fad. However, even though it has become low-key only at this time since it's first release in '96, and we are talking about "The Purpose Driven Life " hype by Rick Warren, the residue of the planted and very toxic seeds disguised and packaged well to draw in the masses with a non-offensive message that has lacked the Gospel altogether, are springing up everywhere.
Yes, the seeds planted with this movement of apathy toward The Gospel of Christ and man's need for salvation first and foremost before he can ever become effective in any community or cell group of value to God, became less than secondary as necessary - if heard at all. This friendly seeker movement did a lot of harm spiritually speaking to the soundness of God's Word by the way it's handlers and leaders delivered it.
You, you lukewarm people pleasing church leaders : You will be lured away from sound doctrine by your own people-pleasing- agendas and your modern-day lures that draw in these influences. While your masses of casual seekers are being misled, you continue to be swayed as well. Beware! Even you will be swayed away from the firm foundation of the apostles and prophets who led and taught by The Voice and Will of God.
Evangelism , as Christ intended and as our first church leaders demonstrated with a diligence of confirming and defending The Gospel, was never packaged with a story in mind. And you might be thinking, "that's long behind us," however, the seeds and residue of any wind of doctrine of a story-telling-movement, remain long after the fad has faded. The residue of these toxins remain long after the wind has past.
In contrast, confirming and defending The Gospel of Christ in the New Testament era was always delivered, and contended for, as the Gospel of Christ and not less. If the Gospel of Christ is missing as the focus to draw in and to touch hearts for Christ, then you have failed in serving Christ with the making of genuine believers. You have failed as an authentic leader, teacher, or evangelist. You are, in fact, encouraging the yeast that will infect - and affect, the whole. Beware !
The seeds of deception - even though some of these fads have become low-key only, still infect the whole batch today. Don't be fooled ! Half-baked-opinions delivered by and encouraged by the opinionated masses, led and encouraged by some of our more casual-seeking friendly-seeking pastors and leaders, still slither their way into bible studies and pulpit preaching. With this said, there are always exceptions to every rule, always those seeking God's Voice and Word as it was intended to be preached and taught.
Do we as believers need a WAKE-UP call today? We do, and more than ever. Some advocates of Jesus's return - and this any time now (most agree all things are in order for His Return), influence a kind of mind-set that says: "Why bother? Why think that we need a fresh new move of God, why even talk about revival with a much-needed change in thinking, teaching, and preaching that will touch the hearts of listeners to return to their First Love, Jesus Christ?" Why bother, right? But Jesus commanded to occupy until His Return, and this must be our focus.
If pleasing the masses is more important to you than following Christ and striving to maintain the integrity of Holy Scripture, then reviving the church back to the Truth of God's Word - handled correctly, clearly makes those of us who take God's Word seriously and not as a playground, set-apart from all your fun and games kind of agenda. A clear a message of a much-needed transformation from the inside out, via The Gospel of Christ, must be our focus.
Exposing the lies of the devil and the fog these friendly-seeking churches have put followers in, becomes a very Wind of The Spirit that is the very focus of some us who do hear God's Voice and who do care to defend and contend for the pure and unadulterated Word of God. We take the stand that His Word was intended to be studied by The Holy Spirit in born again believers. Carnal minds in the mix bringing forth half-baked-opinions of how they see chapters and verses, and this without proper correction, taints the whole of The Body. The authority of well-studied bible teachers and leaders that know how to facilitate bible studies in order to gain truth and understanding of God's Word, is a near lost cause so grieving The Holy Spirit of God today. It is time for revival ! It is time to get back to Jesus as our First Love (Rev. 2:4).
Here's a for instance and a Scriptual WAKE-UP call.
Eph. 1:4a - "He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love (The Message).
he important concept, "in Christ," is removed in The Message Bible created by Eugene Peterson and who Rick Warren and other friendly-seeker pastors and teachers follow. The NASB, a reliable bible reads: "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world." One modern-day extremist people-pleaser (Rick Warren), has influenced many church pastors today like little puppy dogs following his well-designed package with a whole lot of truth intertwined with his non-offensive strategy geared at winning the minds of the masses. While encouraging small study groups of half-baked opinionated dialogues, and this without designated, recognized and solid authorities of Holy Scripture, the yeast has not gone away with the wind of a "friendly-seeker" one world religion "Emergent Church" movement, but has grown until it is identified and corrected.
Most of these coffee house study groups are led by those not only encouraging opinionated dialogue without a focus of getting to The Truth of what God intended by specifics of study, but viewing these opinions as carrying a weight of authority and truth. Many, if not most of those leading these friendly-seeker groups, don't have the spiritual equipping themselves to lead while protecting what God intended with specific chapters and verses, and so, all that is left are half-baked-opinionated viewpoints.
Mr. Warren and others like him, take verses as these and deliver them to the general public (the non-believer, drug addict, skeptic, the back-slidden, spiritually injured, non-seeker of Jesus Christ, etc.). These general public members were never presented with The Gospel of Christ in his book: "The Purpose Driven Life" at the onset, and before his community-minded movement of a well-organized direction. He teaches that God's Purpose for creation was a love for all people, and who of us would disagree with this? However, when directing followers into a community mission and friendly-seeking bible studies without designated authorities solid in God's Word, and while neglecting the Gospel of Christ and the readers ultimate need for a Savior, Jesus, and this with a repentant heart and mind for serving Him as their Lord and God, His view presented of God and man as seriously lost without Christ, is highly distorted. In so doing, he and many others like him, have mislead the masses of his followers in the process.
My dear reader and friend: The Wind of such a movement so misleading countless number of true seekers of Christ, may be in the past, but the seeds of this movement have grown and the residue is a stench demanding serious correction while putting on the correct handling of Holy Scripture.
Listen to selective scripture that Warren has chosen in his book, a book geared to the lost and spiritually injured: "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love He predestined us as adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His Will" (Eph. 1 :4, 5). This verse applies to Christians, and yet Warren teaches that God created the world out of His general love for all mankind.
There is nothing in this verse that says God created the world out of His general love for all mankind. Even if that concept were true (and we won't argue God's love for all mankind), the passage does NOT teach this. This verse applies to Christians. Mr. Warren has taken this verse and inserted it in his book geared to, everyone but believers. He does not even try to deliver the Gospel of Jesus Christ as mandatory to receive God's blessings.
More importantly, he never emphasizes that the non-believing readers of his movement understand they need salvation through Christ and a life-change in mind, a change of attitude and way of life - first. Instead, what he has done, and what is some of the yeast in our church bodies even today while infecting the whole batch, is appeal to the appetites of a non-offensive message at the expense of The Gospel. A journey of "self-discovery" and community, de-prioritizes The Gospel of Christ.
And yet, modern-day leaders who follow Rick Warren still twist Scripture to fit a journey of self-discovery that appeals to the general public without prioritizing The Gospel of Jesus Christ and man's ultimate need for a Savior. For Warren and his followers, prioritizing sound doctrine is non-existent altogether.
And why not? It does bring in the masses. More money to fund these churches and their, often-time, pure and innocent desires to give to missions, build and grow their churches etc. It boils down to a tainted mix of pure intents, with deadly toxins in this recipe for disaster. It's a recipe for disaster that the current generation of these toxic mixes may not see clearly but that future generations will be entertaining in leaps and bounds until our churches are no longer prioritizing God's Word and The Gospel of Christ, but a community of something called: "globalized religion" that has so compromised The Foundational Truths of Christianity. In fact, it has happened. It is the tide suffocating the church and the message of The Cross - handled correctly !
The reality is, Christianity is in a crisis - a very real viable crisis while this new spirituality of a cosmic soup pick-and-choose how you want the bible to read agenda, is taking over in swarms. There are many deceived, misled, and well-meaning believers in this soup of non-offensive imagined spiritual heath, many sheep being led astray and who initially set out to find Jesus and His Gospel, but found counterfeit lures instead.
The gospel presented and preached by Christ and His Apostles, was never presented as such a journey of making the masses comfortable with a non-offensive message. Instead, their message proclaimed - not obscured, was one that pointed to a relationship with Jesus Christ at the core of The Gospel preached , not obscured or deleted altogether.
What's Your Focus? Are you all about defending and contending for The Gospel of Christ, or is your focus seeking a fun-loving God who will deliver to you less than His very best for your life, and that "more abundantly (Jn. 10:10)?