I just cannot believe the downward spiral that is modern seeker sensitive churches and their attempts to stay at the "cutting edge" of cultural relevance. RC Sproul was quoted as saying:
If there were such a thing as a seeker, what would he be seeking? The church growth movement seems to believe he would be seeking more of the same. In a world consumed with lighthearted entertainment, we offer up less professional, less entertaining lighthearted entertainment? Why, I keep wondering, would a “seeker” get up on a Sunday morning, and travel to some giant box to hear a third rate rock band preceding a third rate comic giving a third rate “message” that leaves him in the same state that he arrived in?
Hyperbole perhaps, but very close to the mark nonetheless. I can't help but believe that the following conversation has happened at the leadership level of hundreds of Willow Creek/Saddleback style churches.
Senior Pastor: Numbers are falling and those that come fall asleep during the service. We need to do something about this.
Youth Pastor: The key is reaching the youth. We need to get twenty-somethings attending regularly.
Late thirties/early forties Associate Pastor with a mullet and a mid life crisis: How about some 80's music (to reach people born after 1995). After all 80's music was very cool in the 80's!.
Senior Pastor and Youth Pastor together: Wow, why hasn't anyone thought of this before . . . like ever?
Associate Pastor: Why not get our worship team to present a poor man's version of a Van Halen song about suicide. I'm sure a lot of people would relate to that.
Worship Pastor: Right on man! I'll even get the bass player to jump one time during the second chorus. That should shatter the stereotype many people have that Christians aren't edgy and cool! Let's show the general public that we are the equal of any Bon Jovi tribute band going around right now!
Associate Pastor: Hey, and I'll see if I can find some Bible verses with the word "jump" in them! With so many lousy paraphrases to choose from I'm sure I'll find something.
Just check out the throng of trendy youth "getting down" in the church hall. Maybe they really did hit on something here - after all it got 96 hits on youtube!
It never ceases to amaze me that the most relevant thing of all is the ultimate statistic (one out of one people die) and it is also often the most neglected from the pulpit. Death and judgment will strike every man and it is the key to awakening the conscience and arousing our thirst for the righteousness found only in Christ. The law and the Gospel presented faithfully and passionately is as riveting as it gets.
Go On To Part 2