Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When is it...Time to Change Churches? Chapter 1



Welcome, ladies and gentlemen

to the greatest show on earth!

Be prepared to be dazzled, inspired and knocked out as we present to you

“The Gospel according to us!”

Could this happen in a church? Most definitely can and does far too often. How about an example of a pastor allowing an American Idol kind of performance on his platform? And then to top it off, he allows a man to sing a country western song called, “I’ve got friends in low places.” Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away and I’ll be okay. Give me one hour and I’ll be as high as that ivory tower you’re living in. After the song, the pastor stands up and says, let’s all stand now and worship God. They just got done singing a song about the things of Satan and now he wants the people to stand and worship God. It’s all about entertaining people to keep them interested in church and to keep their focus off of the message. The entertainer never has a truly God inspired message to give. Their focus is not on God. It is all about numbers and how can we grow this church bigger.

Here is another example of a pastor that has gone too far. He dresses in jeans that have holes in them (because he feels in order for people to come to church, they must feel “comfortable” before they will listen to a message about God.). He has the status goatee that every “cool” pastor must have and he mocks God in order to get a good laugh. He criticizes “Christians” because they believe it goes against God’s Word to tattoo their body which is the Temple of God. He plays “rock” music so that the hip young crowd will want to come to “his” church. And that is exactly what it is, it is “his” church and not God’s.

So that is only two examples. You say, your church does not do this. How about another church that brought two motorcycles into the sanctuary and drove around the congregation to the song “Born to be wild?” They did jumps on stage to the applause of the people (the same people who came to church looking to be entertained!). To this pastor, God’s Word is not strong enough on its own; it must have some excitement added to it to make it appealing to the people.

Yet, another church plays secular music during their worship time. One church spent six minutes and twenty three seconds playing, “You can’t always get what you want.” Full of electric guitars, drums and high tech visuals to highlight the song, it is completely lacking anything close to resembling a holy worship of God. Instead it looks more like a rock concert. Anything to please the masses!

How about magicians in church? Raffle drawings from the pulpit? Or better yet, see what a mega-church has to offer. Imagine a Starbucks, the beach, a skate park, an art gallery, a gym, and a theater all rolled into one amazing building. That’s what the Refinery is all about and it was designed with you in mind!

And all the while, people will follow the pastors of these churches. They like the modern look and the exciting display of worldly passions all rolled into one building that looks like a church (but in reality is not a church). They like the pastor that is cool, hip, modern and totally not like any other pastor they have ever seen. They want a pastor that will not tell them about their sins and the need for repentance. The entertainer pastor lacks something. Even if he has written books with millions sold, it is not in line with God’s Word. The entertaining pastor will lie and deceive you; and the people will fall for it hook, line and sinker. The entertainer has a way of smiling and entertaining and presenting a gospel message that is not God’s Word (properly exposited), but is actually his own words to promote his own agenda. And what is his personal agenda? To grow the church. Is that a bad thing? No. But when pastors use entertainment, lies and deceit to get the people to come to church, you can be assured that money is the overriding theme.

The entertainer enjoys the thought of being on TV. He wants a high profile in the community as having the church that everyone “wants” to come to. He is constantly asking for money with a promise that you will prosper and receive a “special” blessing. He is a snake oil salesman looking for his next sale. He is a used car salesman that is looking to take advantage of a naïve newcomer (this is not true of all used car salesmen!).

The entertainer takes pride in being able to pray in public, to preach in front of hundreds, even thousands of people. It is his chance at stardom. And through it all, it is not God honoring but self-absorption that is driving this man. People are drawn to these entertaining men. They want to feel good when they go to church and these men do not disappoint.

Look again at what Scripture says…

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth,

and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV

These people who call themselves pastor’s and are only interested in entertaining will most assuredly be missing these three things. REPROVE, REBUKE AND EXHORT. They and the people following them do not understand that their doctrine is not sound and is nothing more than fables. The people who follow these men are guilty of making an eternal mistake…

After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ear; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3

To have “itching ears” is to have your ears tickled. It also means that the person is desirous to hear something pleasant. The entertainer pastor tries not to disappoint on this count.

Seriously consider now what kind of pastor do you follow. Does he try to convince you that this kind of entertainment is necessary to bring people to Christ? Don’t believe him. The devil wants nothing more than to get inside the church and to pervert the gospel message.

For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV

To entertain the people when they need to hear the gospel message, the whole gospel message is to be shameful at the least and damning at the most.

If you want to be entertained, then go to the movies or go watch a ballgame. If you want to learn about God, then go to a biblical church.

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