The Double Minded Man
One Sunday, as you settle in the church to listen to the sermon, you here things that don't jibe with your knowledge of Christianity. The pastor is preaching things that don't match the Bible; in fact it contradicts the Bible over and over again. he preaches on the virtues of selfishness, of self gratification, and that feeling good is the most important quality in your life. As he continues to preach, elevating man above all else, you realize that you've wandered into a church of Satan.
So here's my question for you: Would you feel comfortable there? Would you feel welcomed and accepted? Would you believe you could make this church your home?
Or would the fact that their ideals and values were so different from your own make you leave that church as quickly as possible, never to return?
That's what I thought.
So why on earth are you swallowing the profane notion that we as believers should make make our churches more appealing to those who still serve the enemy?
Isn't it obvious that the only way to make them comfortable would be to adopt some of their values, their beliefs, their priorities at the expense of God's? Do we really believe that God is calling us to prostitute his church just to land more butts in the seats?
There's a church in Sevierville that recently raffled off cars to kids who joined the youth group, because apparently, they believe that the offer of eternal salvation isn't attractive enough. God neede them to sweeten the deal with a new ride.
The congregation is very proud of the gimmick, and rave about how many kids were saved by the pastor's creative promotion, but there's a huge flaw in this notion. I hate to be the one to break it to this pastor, but he didn't save anybody. Pastors don't save people. Congregations don't save people. LAy ministers don't save people. Apostles, disciples, ministers and saints do not save people.
Only God saves. We who are called are saved by His Grace through faith, and as Paul said, that faith does not come from ourselves, but from God. We are called to spread the Gospel, but God is responsible for the increase, and I don't think God needs us to help by handing out party favors.
Jesus said that His Father's house should be a house of prayer, and begging God to let me win that car isn't what He had in mind.
"But Rich, if even one kid was saved by this stunt, wasn't it worth it?"
First, if anyone was truly saved during this foolishness, then their name was already in the Book of Life, written their before time itself, and they were called by God to be saved, not lured there by material gain. Do we really think that greed is the road to salvation? We also have to look at the other side. While there was one winner, their were many losers. How many of them will decide that since God didn't want to give them a car, maybe He didn't want them at all. That's the problem with the Gospel of Prosperity; if you don't prosper, then God must not be with you. SO let me turn the question around. If even one kid turned away from God because of this stunt, was it worth it?
Our commission is to preach the Gospel as given, despite it's harsh truths. It is those harsh truths that give it power. When we try to sugar coat those truths, make them more palatable to the world, we've adulterated the Word, and that last time I checked, that was considered a bad thing.
The essential divide is spelled out for us by James:
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
The more attractive we are to the world, the less so were are to God.
I don't know what is in this pastor's heart. I don't know his intent or purpose and I won't speak to that. I can speak, though, to his actions, and the fruits of those actions and say emphatically that they are not Biblically sound. I'm not writing to sow dissension or cause turmoil but to cast a light where I believe it is desperately needed.