We need a new vision.
If God is going to shake up his people, it has to happen inside the Church.
Recently, God has shown me that whenever a righteous king took over the thrones of Israel and Judah, two things happened:
- The heathen idols and temples were torn down.
- The broken-down things of God were raised up again.
I think that the Church in America has to start tearing down idols and getting back to the “main and the plain” in living out Christ’s life as believers in the 21st Century.
I believe there are a few idols that must immediately go:
Psychology and Christianity are worldviews. Each has its own set of knowledge and practice. Both attempt to explain how people live. Only one leads to salvation.
Psychology attempts to build up the Self. Christianity deems the Self utterly corrupt and worthy only of death. This is the whole point of the cross. When a person comes to Christ, he crucifies the Self and let’s the Lord give him a new Self, a justified Self, a heavenly Self.
Disciples of modern psychology have overrun the Church, bringing us to a point where psychological theories have equal weight with Scripture. Our sermons are inundated with this syncretistic nonsense.
Transactional Analysis, the Human Potential Movement, B.F. Skinner, Carl Jung – we don’t need that so-called wisdom. We need Jesus. Please pastors, give us a revelation of Jesus! If knowing Jesus is eternal life itself, why are we getting so much Henry Cloud and so little Jesus Christ?
2. Cultural Relevancy
When the Spirit of God departs the temple, we compensate by saying, “Wow! Look at all the fancy gold things in here!”
Our churches have compensated for a lack of true, Spirit-filled preaching, worship, and community by shifting everything to be “culturally relevant”, hoping that by being as hip as the world, no one will notice what is missing.
Instead of being the counter-cultural people that will be hated by popular culture, we have assimilated that debased culture so effectively that we no longer have anything to say to the lost. We look just like what we are supposed to flee.
Here is a simple translation of “Seeker Sensitivity” – take the Gospel and remove the difficult parts (like the cross), promote a Jesus that asks nothing of anyone, mix in a man-centered “theology,” some sort of media overload, topical preaching based on tidbits of Bible verses taken from a hundred different translations, and messages that are three points and a conclusion (because we all know that is how the Spirit speaks.)
What you wind up getting is a “seeker” who never really gets a chance to meet the real Jesus, never understands the Bible, never learns how to let the Spirit lead, and never comes to the cross. In short, there is good reason to believe that this seeker, when he/she makes a profession of faith, perhaps is not putting their faith in Jesus, but in some manmade, syncretistic illusion of Jesus. Perhaps we are making them far more a child of Hell than they were when they walked into the church building.
The best way to be seeker-sensitive is to preach the full Gospel and not try to make it palatable. If we truly believe that the Spirit guides into all truth, then we must rely on the Spirit to work in the life of the seeker and not second-guess the Spirit’s ability to truly work conversion. The best way to be seeker-sensitive is to be utterly counter-cultural and let seekers see that we are the peculiar people, people who have rejected the debauched culture of our day and taken on a new culture: that of the Lord of All.
We now believe that it is about numbers and not real conversion or else we would be more willing to let people walk away. Not everyone will make it. We need to try to reach everyone, but compromising our message should not be the way to attempt this.
Next time, we’ll talk about raising up the broken-down things of God.