“The way of God’s precepts! Does not that mean that we ought to be acquainted with the relative position which the precepts occupy, for it is very easy brethren, unless God gives us understanding, to preach up one precept to the neglect of another. It is possible for a ministry and a teaching to be lopsided, and those who follow it may become rather the caricatures of Christianity than Christians harmoniously proportioned.
O Lord, what foolish creatures we are! When you do exhort us one way, we run to such an extreme therein that we forget that you have given us any other counsel than that which is just now ringing in our ears….
Is fidelity to the truth your cardinal virtue? Take heed of being unloving.
Is love to God and man your highest aspiration? Beware lest you become the dupe of false apostles and foul hypocrites…
Oh how easy it is to exaggerate a virtue until it becomes a vice.
There is a way about the precepts: there is a chime about them in which every bell gives out its note and makes up a tune. There is a mixture, so much of this and that and the other; and, if any ingredient were left out, the oil would have lost its perfect aroma.
So is there an anointing of the holy life in which there is precept upon precept skillfully mingled, delicately infused, gratefully blended, and grace given to keep each of these precepts, and so the life becomes sweet like an ointment most precious unto the Lord…” (emphasis mine)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, aka The Prince of Preachers
From “The Student’s Prayer” sermon, delivered 1877 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
You can’t adopt the Church Growth model and remain faithful to the truth of the gospel.
You can’t be “seeker sensitive” and fear God at the same time.
Seeker Sensitive Movement:
no talking about divisive, uncomfortable topics such as hell, sin, judgement, the blood, the cross or repentance;
20 minute sermons on relevant topics such as Self, motivational talks or psychology;
facilities, facilities, facilities
Even though one of the founders of the movement, Bill Hybels, has since repented of his part in creating this model, it has infiltrated and influenced the church across the Western world. Many younger people have no other experience of church but this hyper-loud, blacked out, motivational system.
We need to decide: who do we serve? God or mammon? Who do we seek to please ? Christ or man? Who do we follow? Jesus Himself or some dude with a business model.
The man in the street can see it, but sadly Christians can’t. The man in the street (ie Twitter) is asking why Hillsong charges $379 per ticket for their conference. With over 20,000 people in attendance this week millions of dollars has been raised. When there is that much money and power changing hands over a period of a few days it is necessary to question, critique and judge whether this movement is godly or Biblical.
We are told to “judge righteous judgement “ by Christ. Does this movement stand up to the scrutiny of the Word of God? At the Hillsong conference did they preach the gospel? Was sin addressed? Were thousands of people told the truth about heaven and hell?
And how does it compare to revivals of the past? (Did the Welsh revival charge an exorbitant ticket price to gain entrance?)
“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:5
I’m over it. I just want Christ. I want the truth of the gospel: the bloody, gory, self-sacrificial truth of someone having to die for sinners on a cross. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I just want to see Him glorified. He who is ascended to the right hand of the Father, the One who is coming back and whom will rule the earth. I want to hear about Him, not a church, a system or self.
Friends, the gospel works. The old rugged cross, death to self, Christ and Him crucified: this is what saves people, regenerates people, transforms people. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen prostitutes come to Christ, people saved out of the occult, out of drugs. Not through some self-help motivational psycho-babble but through the truth of the shed blood of a Saviour who came from heaven to earth to save sinners!
It’s time now to make a stand for the truth for which Christ died. We are at a significant point in the history of humankind, whereby we need to decide whom we really serve: man or God?
I don’t know about you but this is what I want to hear one day when I stand before the judgment seat of Christ,
”Well done, good and faithful servant; you werefaithful over a few things,I will make you ruler over many things. Enter intothe joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:21
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