The apostate church (Part III): Redefining evangelism
In a recent article from the Charisma News Service, Andy Butcher reported the following:
“With more Americans dismissing the relevance of traditional Christianity to their lives, a growing number of church leaders are saying that it is time for a major change in the way believers try to share their faith…The Off the Map (OTM) movement tries to turn the accepted idea of “evangelism” on its head by inverting the typical church meeting. At OTM events, the pastors and lay members sit quietly in the audience while nonbelievers take the microphone to explain their lack of faith.” Host Jim Henderson says it is the listeners he is trying to convert…”
This is really not as new a practice as Mr. Henderson would like you to believe. Pulpit sharing, “diaprax” and reverse evangelism have been going on for sometime within the seeker-sensitive church growth movement. I even commented on it in my series on Willow Creek a year and a half ago. Here is an excerpt:
“By meeting the so-called ‘felt needs’ of the godless, THEIR voices are heard, THEIR philosophies are made known, THEIR music is played, THEIR religion is taught, THEIR ideologies are discussed and THEIR agenda is carried out virtually unopposed in the corridors, classrooms and worship centers of every ‘seeker sensitive’ church in America. Bottom line is; the REAL students here are the silent, submissive, ignorant, gullible, compromised and compliant Christians who are held at bay by global socialists surreptitiously destroying our religious heritage through the church growth movement.”
This, my friends is just another organization, promoting another network, announcing another movement to persuade more churches to accommodate the world’s self-esteem while shrinks, consultants and facilitators carefully transform our sanctuaries and classrooms into laboratories of experimentation and psychotherapy by addressing the “felt needs” of unrepentant “seekers” with touchy-feely focus groups and slick marketing strategies instead of simply calling them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as we were commanded to do! It is HIGH TIME that the church got back to PROCLAIMING the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world and stopped DIALOGING with the damned for a consensus of how they FEEL about it! Christian psychology is not just an oxymoron, it is an affront to Almighty God!
The Hegelian Dialectic is no longer limited to Willow Creek or Saddleback membership. I can tell you from many hours of research that it is running rampant across every denomination in America from mega-churches to country churches transforming mainstream Christendom into a culture club of coddled consumers. Facts are out. Feelings are in. We don’t want teachers with information! We want facilitators with affirmation! It’s just SO much better on the numbers. As if that weren’t enough, we have parachurch organizations springing up like weeds in the garden of grace with their Delphi techniques, Alpha programs and phallic philosophies to make sure no congregation gets left behind in the 21st century. Even “conservative” and “traditional” congregations that officially reject seeker-sensitive schlock and purpose-driven drivel are “dialoging to a consensus” more and more instead of yielding to the divine authority of scripture. This is the dialectic at work, systematically disassembling and discrediting the doctrines, disciplines and didactic teaching of God’s Word. Unable to recognize or define what is happening around them, many concerned Christians are left scratching their heads and groaning in frustration and disbelief as their worship services are turned into clangorous carnivals for spiritual simpletons.
Unfortunately, most of the offended overlook the disease itself, called “Diaprax” and focus instead on its superficial symptoms like loud music, casual attire, hipster lingo, interpretive dance, dramatic skits, no pews, no cross, no choir, no robes, no hymns, no bibles and NO repentance, in bank-owned “worship centers” clamoring with combos, chants, clapping and confusion. If you find yourself in a worship service like this or “Bible study” with a facilitator focused on shared feelings rather than scriptural facts, vacate the building as if the fire alarms were going off because that’s all the warning you’re ever going to get! The longer you stay, the greater your chances are of getting burned.
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)