Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm Getting Old

So I played ultimate frisby yesterday against my better judgement, and I was right. My nice friend Rhett and I were warming up and went up for the same frisby and I'm pretty sure his fit went through the back of my rib cage and touched the backside of my heart. I could barely lay on my nice comfy bed last night, how do u know if you bruised a heart/rib?

I've had so many great conversations lately and filled the last few days speaking with people one on one and learning, hanging out, and just having "real" conversation. Today was a good day.

"IF YOU KNOW JESUS, THIS CHURCH IS NOT FOR YOU!" (Quote from a pastor in NC)

I got home tonight and listened to part of a sermon series by a pastor in NC. I think I almost crawled out of my skin listening to it. His main premise was the church is for non-christians and creating an army of people to go out and reach lost people. He explains to his people that they are not going to teach theology but only preach Jesus. His aim is good, he wants souls to be saved but he "downplays theology and God."

This is a trend among modern churches to only focus on evangelism at the sacrifice of teaching doctrine/theology. There is this huge misconception that if you are teaching theology, you are not teaching evangelism. Theology is the study of God basically. Could it be that studying God could lead us to reach people? Instead many churches are promoting themselves and hoping to create a large mega-church at the sacrifice of discipleship and teaching. This pastor says that teaching theology is like feeding people so they get fat and never do anything. I really must stop typing this because my skin is falling off onto the keyboard because I am typing so fast.

We are going to continue into this downward spiral. We do not measure church growth by the number of people coming to our church! Could it be that people leave church, evangelize, and those people that get saved go to other churches?!?!?!? Of course. We are so inward focused in the modern church and I know it's so easy to pick on churches. I want to be warning people of this trend and for people to know that we must be on guard of this. Next thing, all of our churches will be like Joel Osteen who can't even confess on national television that Jesus is the only way. Pastors are flocking to his church to "learn" from him when this guy can't even figure out what he believes.

God spent a lot of time to write the Bible and we would rather tell happy stories and insert Bible into it. Eventually people are going to need more than milk and the happy meal sermons are not going to cut it. There is just this misconception that if you are teaching the Bible, you don't care about evangelism. So not the truth.

I seem to be in the minority in thinking this and as time goes by, it will probably get worse.

Could it be that teaching people how to evangelize will send them out and they can witness on their own. Does this have to happen in the church? I'm not against the church evangelizing from the pulpit, but does it have to happen every week? As a lost person, would you rather hear the gospel from a Christian friend or some guy you don't know? I think I'd rather hear it from someone I know and I can see if their life backs up what they believe.

The church is to MAKE DISCIPLES! NOT CONVERTS!

Here is a good link to listen to.

And who in the world thinks that Christians shouldn't hear the gospel? I realized, well really realized in the past few weeks that I pretty much am crap outside of the Holy Spirit inside me. There is nothing good in me. I need to hear the gospel and be reminded.

I am ranting and must go do something else :)

Pretty funny video about many of the speaking styles of post-modern preachers today.

6 comments:

Laura Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Ashley said...

Justin,

I don't know if you remember me or not, but I am good friends with Erin Sanders. I enjoy reading your blog whenever I have free time. Walter (my husband) and I have several friends who attend the church that you are writing about in this post. Since so many of our friends raved about this church we started researching and listening to some of the sermons. You are not in the minority! I completely agree with everything you are saying in this blog. Honestly I feel that a lot of people get hyped up about going to this church because of the "unique" and trendy ideas that are presented there. I could rant and rave for hours about how angry I am that so many people just believe what this pastor says without studying and comparing what he says to the Word or challenging him at all. And honestly to me it seems like the pastor preaches as if his church is the only important church to God and they are the only ones who can reach the lost. The point in church planting isn't to become a MEGA church so that the church's name can be glorified!...anyways enough ranting. Recently my husband was talking to a friend of his (who attends this church) about how he is planning to attend Covenant Theological Seminary in June. This friend responded by saying, "our pastor said seminary is basically a waste of time". My husband responded by saying, "That's like saying a teacher doesn't need a college degree or a doctor doesn't need to go to med school." This makes me so sad. Bottom line: I wanted to let you know you aren’t the only one that feels this way. I am sad for my friends because I feel like they are being deceived.

Laura

PS: Sorry I wrote a book!

JT said...

Laura!

Of course I remember you. Thank-you for your thoughts. My intention for writing this was not completely to diss this church or this pastor, but to point out we need to be careful when we discount teaching and say we should only focus on "evangelism." A huge part of evangelism is to teach and train other evangelist in the scriptures. Sometimes I feel like church has become this "come and see the crazy stuff we are doing" that no other church has ever done instead of a place to learn about the Word, Jesus, etc.

Your point about teachers getting a degree and doctors going to med. school is so right on. We don't want a carpenter banging around on our house unless we know he can handle a hammer. I don't want a pastor screaming at me on Sundays if I don't know he can handle the Word like Paul encouraged Timothy to do!

Keep pluggin along and I don't think any of us have this figured out, but there are a few things we do have figured out!

GE is me said...

Justin, good post. I agree with what you are saying in regards to the downward spiral of focusing on evangelism at the sacrifice of teaching doctrine/theology. I've heard it said before that the church is a "hospital" for sinners. We must be careful to make sure we are welcoming the lost, but we must also teach them.

Huli said...

"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing."
1 Timothy 6:3-4
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
2 Timothy 4:3-4

miss pickel said...

Right on Justin!! or more correctly- "right on God" for putting that on your heart and verbalizing it. My roommate and I have discussed this in the recent past it was cool to see that you blogged about it. It's very encouraging!