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Comments

Douglas

It didn't go far enough. It should have been a postcard picturing a corpse.

akira Kurosawa

somewhere amidst all of this you seem to have lost your way, Chris.

You are in my prayers.

Chris Rosebrough

Akira,

I don't think we've had the pleasure of meeting and I want you to know that you are welcome to comment here.

That being said I am going to respectfully take issue with your comment. You say that I've lost my way yet you provide no proof or evidence to support such a statement.

I literally listen to 30 to 40 purpose-driven / seeker-sensitive sermons a month. Some of these sermons I review on my radio program. The one thing that they ALL have in common is that they do not teach God's Word in context and instead proof-text self-help, moralistic or pop-psychology principles.

Studies irrefutably show that this 'method' of church does NOT produce true Christian disciples but instead these methods produce breeding grounds for heresies, false doctrine and false converts and that those who are mature christians are leaving church in droves as a result of these methods.

These methods are contrary to the clear instructions of scripture and are literally destroying the church. I have the Biblical evidence and the scientific data to back these claims up.

Therefore, I will not remain silent about the evil that has befallen the church and will contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. If you think I've somehow lost my way then you need to back your claim up.

Rebellious Pastors Wife

If you were seeking for a gross, terrible visual image of what is actually happening to people who are not receiving solid Law and pure Gospel from the pulpit -- youre right...you didn't go far enough.

But the fact of the matter is, this method is just as effective as telling people "You all are going to Hell." It doesn't work. You are showing them a horrific starving person, but just telling them that they are starving without telling them about the food they need, the love that it is provided with, and the table that they are welcome at, this doesn't convey any of that.

I look at that postcard and am just as likely to think that if I go to "your church here," I might be dealing with morbid, cruel, judgemental people that think they have all the answers. They sound worse than where I am now.

In trugh, this is a great illustration when we are teaching our own members who are catechized why they should reach out in compassion to those who are in these churches.

This approach doesn't work with people who don't know they are starving. They are more like anorexics than prison camp victims. They don't see themselves as the person in the picture. They see themselves still as not thin enough, not doing enough. We are not talking about the unrepentant...we are talking about those who ARE seeking God and His forgiveness. This IS NOT COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE FEELING CONSTANTLY CONDEMNED BY THE LAW WHEN THEY GO TO WORSHIP TO FIND COMFORT IN CHRIST. This does not come across as merciful to people who are seeking to please God...it comes across as judging the place where they are seeking to find comfort and has provided the only answer thus far, and as such is judging them, too. If I am correct, this is a picture of a POW from the Civil War. The person in that picture honestly isn't thinking that they are wanting food. When you are telling them that they are horrid and grotesque, why would they want to hang out with you? That is what this picture was taken for -- to show how horrifically the POWs were treated in the Civil
War. Is it a reality to their situation, yes. But lets try to feed them. Not turn it into a circus side-show.

The people you are trying to reach with this don't know that the food they are receiving is bad for them. They need to hear know our love...God's love.

As Professor Weinrich at Concordia Theological Seminary says "Just because you are confessional, doesn't mean you have a right to be a jerk."

This does not work. In some ways, it seems kind of Finney-ish

Chris Rosebrough

Rebellious Pastors Wife,

Now that was a GREAT argument and one that MERITS deep and thoughtful consideration.

First, I will admit that this 'marketing concept' is targeting those who know they are starving in their churches. This is NOT targeted to the false convert who is dead in their sins and doesn't even realize they are not being fed.

The reason I am suggesting these 'marketing concept pieces' is because the studies are conclusively showing that the mature in Christ who are quitting church are leaving church for good. When they leave the are not switching churches they are finding something different to do on a Sunday morning. They are gone for good.

I want to find a way to reach those people and let them know that they have another option rather than 'quitting church'. I want these people to know that there are still churches that exist that haven't bought into the dumbed down methods of the PDC movement and that there are still pastors who understand that the office they hold requires them to care and feed the sheep that God has given them.

So with that understanding I readily admit this is NOT evangelistic.

But, if there is something inherently wrong with sending postcards as a means of reaching these people then can you offer us a different method that isn't Finney-ish? I sincerely would love to hear your ideas.

akira Kurosawa

Chris I would take issue with this statement:

"Studies irrefutably show that this 'method' of church does NOT produce true Christian disciples but instead these methods produce breeding grounds for heresies, false doctrine and false converts and that those who are mature christians are leaving church in droves as a result of these methods."

Some studies do show that, one or two. Many studies also show that the reason people leave churches or stay at churches has to do with the personal connections that they make with other Christians. If they make a connection, they stay. No connection, they leave. It has very little to do with the sermon, most people could not tell you the topic of the sermon a week after it was preached. However, they can tell you the topic of the Bible study they attended, and they can definitely tell you the prayer requests of the people they spoke to that Sunday.

Okay proof that you've lost your way.

Six months ago you attended a gathering at Saddleback church and spoke to Rick Warren. When you returned, you gave a reasoned and well researched critique of what you had found. You listed your concerns and points of agreement. It was an excellent series of articles.

Contrast that with the postcards that you have posted, the word pictures articles, and the purpose driven heavenly rewards calculator, as well as several of your pirate radio broadcasts. After the conference, you said:

"I know that I have been guilty of the very behavior I am decrying in this post and I am deeply sorry for committing this sin and repent of it. That being said, I am appealing to all of my Christian brothers and sisters who have a passion for defending the truth and defending the gospel to repent of ad hominem and personal attacks and let your actions and statements and debates always be seasoned with love, compassion, gentleness and respect."

I do not see "love, compassion, gentleness and respect." can be found in any of your last few posts.

So, I will say again, somewhere in the midst of all of this, you have lost your way.

and I will repeat, you are still in my prayers.

Chris Rosebrough

Akira,

I would again point you to the results of the Reveal Now survey for both Willowcreek and Granger along with Julia Duin's book entitled Quitting Church.

These resources clearly demonstrate that seeker-sensitive methods are driving people away from church and are NOT producing Christian disciples. One study also revealed that the average time a family stays in a seeker church is a little less than 3 years and the number reason these families cite for them leaving those churches is because they were not being fed.

As far a love and compassion. I would like to point something out to you. I am not trying to reach out to seeker-sensitive pastors. I'm trying to reach the victims of their methods. I'm trying to reach out to Purpose-Driven refugees and those who've quit church. So I am showing them deep love and compassion because I believe that what has been done to them and their churches is evil.

If calling a spade a spade is equated with being unloving and lacking compassion then I am guilty. But I operate from a different definition of love. I have always believed and still maintain that repentance is the ULTIMATE message of love.

I am saying what I am saying and doing what I am doing because I LOVE these people and believe, based upon the scriptures that what PD churches and seeker churches are doing is evil, rebellious and wrong. The 'results' of their methods are now being quantified and weighed and it is clear that not only do their methods not work, they are driving mature Christians away from church, creating false converts, false doctrine, and sending people to hell. I do not want to these people or pastors to go to hell and continue destroying Christ's church (to their own destruction as well). My prayer and plea to them is to repent. If that is deemed to be unloving by you then so be it. But if that is your definition of unloving then Jesus was the most unloving man who walked the face of the earth.

Fusion!

Chris,
I saw you when the BiblicalThought guys invited you to teach on the Emergent Church. I have to admit, I was critical of them when they put up a pic of a starving African kid (near death) and said they wanted to feed him the gospel! Being a shock blogger just doesn't get the point across-unless you just want attention. More so, I think if you had taken a more humorous approach it would have worked. A picture of a skeleton sitting in a pew perhaps? But the real issue I have is that whoever it is who's picture you have, once had a life, a family, friends and who knows, maybe living descendants. I don't know how kindly they would react to your use of their pic-however, if you have their permission that is another story. Good to see you taking these things into consideration.

akira Kurosawa

I have seen other studies that disagree with both the Willowcreek and Granger study, but I don't think we will come to an agreement on that issue.

As far as the rest of your post, I think you have missed my point about love.

I think the real question is...

Would Jesus use your postcards, Chris?

Then I think you will see where we disagree.

Chris Rosebrough

Akira,

Don't be so quick to dismiss these postcards based upon the WWJD bracelet on your wrist.

Jesus IS the God of the Old Testament and if you're not familiar with the methods, slogans and messages that Jesus instructed the Old Testament prophets to employ in calling Israel back from her idolatries in then I strongly recommend that you spend sometime in the scriptures.

The prophet Ezekiel literally calls the false gods worshiped by apostate Israel "sh** gods".

Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal and asked them if their 'god' was 'taking a dump'.

Isaiah prophesied naked.

God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute.

Jesus has no problem offending people's 'delicate sensibilities'. My postcard ideas don't even come close to the offensive methods and messages Jesus employed in the Old Testament and had recorded in His Holy Scriptures.

Should we conclude that Jesus was 'unloving' when He commanded His prophets to say and do these things?

Kairos

Akira,

The Willowcreek study and Granger studies were studies that they conducted on their own congregations. There is no study that you can point to that says that the self-study that Granger conducted was wrong or incorrect. Both studies independently verified the fact that the seeker-sensitive methods don't produce disciples. Instead, they produce biblically illiterate false converts and the people most dissatisfied with these methods are mature Christians. You need to get your facts straight.

corey

Chris,
I think the difference is that the starving holocaust victim has no choice but to be where they are while in the U.S. at least, there is another church down the street where the spiritually starving person could find food. And if there are no churches that offer good food, there's a pretty big internet (or even...you know...reading the Bible for themselves). Regardless, to compare a holocaust prisoner to a person who willingly sits in the pews of a bad church is horribly offensive.

Chris Rosebrough

Corey,

Yes I admit it is horribly offensive.

But, what is even more offensive is the existence of churches whose pastors refuse to preach God's Word and feed Christ's sheep and those who say if you don't like it or if you want to be fed then go elsewhere or go find your own damn food on the internet.

No Christian pastor has the freedom to disobey Christ by refusing to preach the word and feed Christ's sheep.

It is extremely offensive that such 'pastors' have become the norm in the church.

akira Kurosawa

Hmm I guess you are right Chris.

And the other posters who seem to find your post cards offensive are wrong too. I mean we are just crazy, your the only sane one here.

corey

Chris,
Sure, the bad preaching is offensive...but it's not the holocaust victim's fault and he shouldn't be used as an object lesson!

Chris Rosebrough

Fusion,

Thanks for stopping by and contributing your thoughts.

Let me first say that it was NEVER my motive or intent to engage in shock blogging in order to draw attention to myself. In fact, the idea came up during a segment of my radio show. I followed up that show by putting the idea together in Photoshop and my first impression of the result was that it was over the top and lacked tact. I even said this on my program.

But, after I saw the storm of controversy that erupted over the concept piece I spent some time reflecting on the piece and sifting through the real issues in play.

First of all I think that being shocking for the sake of being shocking is wrong. That was not what I was doing. That being said I do believe that shocking and startling media can and should be employed if it can be used in a way to confront people with a hard and terrible truth. That is what I was trying to attempt with the original postcard.

The downside of that approach is that can offend people in ways that you didn't intend.

We live in a society that for the most part has bought into politically-correct ideologies and one of the major tenants of PC thinking is that idea that people have a right to not be 'offended'. PC thinking which is pervasive in our society believes that offending people is a cardinal sin and PC thinking is used to silence speech that is deemed offensive.

I agree that piece is offensive. But I do not believe that people have a right to 'not be offended'.

However, I am not trying to be offensive for the sake of being offensive. I am trying to draw attention to a greater offense and a deadlier issue and the picture I chose is ugly and terrible and dregs up very strong and visceral feelings. These are feelings that people don't enjoy and many try to avoid.

Maybe your humorous idea would offend less people but even your idea is offensive because it assumes that what the seeker pastors are doing is wrong and evil. It conveys that message in a more palatable way but it is still offensive.

So the question before us is, do we sugar coat an offensive message or do we go ahead and say it like it is?

Chris Rosebrough

Akira,

That is a lame argument. The reason why it is lame is that it can be turned back on you.

If you read the the comments on the original 'offensive' postcard post you'll see plenty of people that agree with my position as well. Are those people crazy? Are you the only sane one here?

I have shown that it is evil and wrong for Pastors to refuse to obey Christ's clear commands to feed His sheep and preach the word. It doesn't matter a hill of beans if you don't like how I said it.

What I've said is true.

Tim

The disenfranchised serious evangelicals who have uneasily (and probably helplessly) watched as their churches and pastors slowly swapped Christ for crap know something is wrong, but can't quite put their finger on it; they want to be taught, but they are frustrated because no one will teach them.

Far from being offended, these people actually identify with the starving holocaust victim. It's like when a real doctor explains that nagging pain that you've almost learned to live with. It's a lightbulb going off.

your the only sane one here.

There's several sane people here, actually.

akira Kurosawa

It's a lame argument only because you refuse to understand that what you have done is indecent and inappropriate even though numerous people have tried to point it out to you.

You admit what you did was wrong but then rationalize it in the next breath.

Which means you are not listening, and this discussion is over.

It's no wonder no one posts here any more. You blog has become a hate-filled joke.

Kairos

Akira,

You are the one who is not listening.

Tim

You blog has become a hate-filled joke.

1) Speak for yourself.

2) Perhaps it will be less hate-filled without you. ;)

carol

This blog as well as Leaven puts on the computer screen what we and apparently millions of other people have experienced in our churches. Like Tim said, we identify with the picture of this starving man. Bible-preaching churches and pastors are rare and it's very frustrating to be starved for the meat of God's word and not be able to find a church to provide it. We finally found a good church. Others are probably not that lucky and that's the problem.
As for the picture, so many people strive to become the victims of being "offended". They thrive on the drama. Are they going to have grief councelors to get them through seeing this picture? I agree with Douglas, a picture of a corpse would have very accurately described what the seeker-sensitive and purpose-driven churches produce spiritually. Picture that. Grief councelors, anyone?
Good job, Chris. Keep it coming.

Bill

Chris, the holy spirit of God is speaking through you.

Your post is brilliant and the first two comments you answered your critics are theological gems. Paul rebuked false teaching, just like you are doing it now.

I have attended seeker sensitive services and can attest that anybody that is a mature christian would be nauseated by the teaching in those services. Last February, at a Toronto megachurch, I heard the pastor preaching that when we preach the gospel we don't tell non-christians "you are a sinner". there's no need for it, instead we need to win them over to Christ by offering them to mow their lawn, or becoming good friends first. Let us say once and for all that the seeker sensitive methods are not from God's word but from "man's wisdom", and the wisdom of man is foolishness to God like Paul wrote in his letter to the corinthians.

Some of the heretical methods of seeker sensitive churches are:

1) According to seeker sensitive theory the Sunday preaching should be done in a way that non-christians will feel included and accepted. This is clearly unbiblical, since the gospel should be preached and if some take offense so be it, we can not water down the gospel to please unbelievers.
2) Seeker sensitive churches teach that the Sunday service should be an evangelistic service targeted to unbelievers. The bible clearly teaches that the communion / assmbly of christian believers is for christians not for unbelievers.
3) The seeker sensitive movement assumes that the population of unbelievers (the seekers) seeks after God, the bible teaches that none seek after God.
4) The sermon should teach practical advice that any unbeliever can use, according to the seeker sensitive movement. The bible quite the contrary teaches that the unbeliever needs to repent from his sin and turn to Christ, without that repentance no matter how much practical advice is provided the sinner will die in his sins. The sinner needs the gospel, the same way as the believer, nobody needs seeker sensitive practical advice for living.

Sylvia

I have to agree with what is being expressed by the postcard. Starving Christ's sheep is more serious and more deeply pathetic than the horror physical starvation. I think it needs to be understood that a pastor that does feed the Word to his flock is not a harmless "nice guy". He is someone who is doing this to his flock. It's not cute. It is ugly, and these guys are in big trouble. Therefore,I don't think that I can, in good conscience, NOT stand by this.

Douglas K. Adu-Boahen

Mr. Rosebrough,

I love the postcard. I was even thinking of customizing the postcard to use out here in London. People need to take the cotton wool out of their ears and need to actually listen to what these idiots in the seeker-stupid movements are doing.

Semper reformanda et reformata,

Douglas

Eugene Roberts

Chris, how does a well fed Christian look like? What would be the characteristics of such a Christian?

Bryce

I like the image of the starving man. But rather than a POW, perhaps it should be someone suffering from anorexia--their own compulsion and the twisted expectations of soiety drive them to reject healthy food.

Diane Roberts

I think it was appropraite considering your blog's name IS Extreme theology right? .....:)

Paula

It is disturbing but it does not offend me because it is an accurate symbol of what is spiritually going on in these churches. James Sundquist used Martin Niemoller's story of the Nazis coming for everyone else but him and he didn't fight for them because he wasn't part of their group -- and when they finally came to take him away there was no one left to fight for him.

I think the physical atrocities we have done to each other are a good mirror of the battle which is going on spiritually. And which is worse, overall, to these people who complain? Spiritual starvation or physical?

If these people aren't happy, you could always use a very Biblical image of fat hirelings slaughtering the sheep and feeding themselves.

Paula

Chris (R) you could also use the same kinds of pictures Christian Children's Fund uses to promote concern for starving children in Africa. Do those who are offended at this one object to CCF's use of little starving children on TV?

Amy

As a former starving sheep, one who was confused, angry and hurt, who seriously considered not going back to church, I must stand by this postcard. I am horrified by it. It is ugly, but it's the truth. Truth can be very uncomfortable. I am grateful that God led me and my family to a church, a SBC one at that, where we are all fed God's Word with expository preaching and sound doctrine. I have a faithful pastor that has lovingly helped to heal this sheep's broken heart and spirit.

To God be ALL the glory....

Chris Rosebrough

Eugene,

I was wondering when one of you guys were going to show up here.

Your question is a little silly. The postcard is a metaphor sooooooo the obvious answer would be that a well-fed Christian looks like a healthy person as opposed to the skin and bones of a starving person.

But since I don't want you to leave here with such a dissatisfying conversational experience I'd like to ask you a few questions.

John 21:17 says this, "Jesus said to Peter the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

What did Jesus mean when he told Peter to feed his sheep? Was that just a command for Peter to follow or do you think that it is still important to Jesus that his sheep are fed?

In Matthew 4:4 Jesus states:

“It is written, a “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

How do you think this verse relates to Jesus' instruction to Peter to feed His sheep?

Acts 2:42 in speaking about the early Christian church in Jerusalem states:

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

What does it mean to devote yourself to the 'apostles' teaching'? Here's a hint, the greek word that is translated 'devote' is proskartereo and it literally means, "attach oneself to or persist in". Do you think that devotion and persistence in the "teaching of the apostles" is something that doesn't apply to Christians today or should it still be a mark of the Christian church today?

In 2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:4 the Apostle Paul writes to young pastor Timothy:

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2Tim. 4:1   I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Paul also instructed Timothy to "devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching (1Tim. 4:13)

Was pastor Timothy the only pastor who should 'preach the word' and devote himself to the 'public reading of scripture' or are these admonitions normative and binding for all pastors?

In the Epistle of Titus the Apostle Paul lays out the requirements for overseer (pastor) in the church. Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Furthermore Paul tell Titus, "Titus 2:1   But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine."

What is sound doctrine and how is teaching it accomplished? Here's a hint, refer back to the scripture passages I've already cited especially Acts 2:42.

I think these verses lay out VERY CLEARLY what the Biblical mandate and norm is for Christian pastors regarding their responsibility concerning God's Word, sound doctrine and feeding sheep. Furthermore, there are no verses in the scriptures that give pastors leeway for not feeding Christ's sheep with God's Word.

Bonus Question: The Apostle Paul warns us that a day is coming when "people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions"

If I survey unbelievers and ask them what THEY want to hear preached during church and then preach what THEY want to hear, how is that any different than scratching itching ears and becoming a church whose teachers suit mens' passions rather than Preaching God's Word in season and out of season?

corey

Paula,
I think the difference is that the 'starving children in Africa' commercials are actually trying to help starving children in Africa...

Rick Frueh

Pretty much sensationalism, like the kind the seeker churches use to announce a series. A better poster would be:

Have you heard this from your pastor lately?
* Justification by faith?
* The Resurrection?
* Regeneration?
* Etc.

If you haven't, you're not hearing the Bible.

(accompanied by a picture of a bewildered guy scratching his head)

I find that picture utilitarian and at the expense of a real person and his excruciating plight. The Nazi thing? Again, somewhat sensationalistic and self serving. Where does it end?

"Pastors that do not adequately feed their flock are more evil than child molesters! More evil than Manson! More evil than Dahmer! More evil than Himmler squared!"

I mean those statements are for the consumption of people who already believe their pastor feeds them and they lend an air of hubristic condescention as well. You cannot mock the sensationalism of the seeker/purpose crowd if you use the same medium to promote your own message. Most of the pastors who do not preach the Word are either unsaved or deceived, I would doubt most do it with some tortured malice and intent.

Eugene Roberts

Chris, I did not ask that question looking for an argument. I am truly interested in your answer. I may not agree with your assessment of seeker or PD churches but I do think that you make some very valid points and I take them to heart.

I agree with you that a pastor should preach the word in and out of season and your passion for this is exemplary. Though I think your view of how it should be done (only expository) is narrow I don't want to push my view of things here. Getting in an argument with you or people on this forum will not be beneficial to any of us.

I think you missed what I asked so I ask again: what are the characteristics of a well fed Christian? Or let me ask it this way: what will be the fruit of people that recieve good and wholesome word preaching? How will they conduct their lives? How will they make decisions? What will be important for these people?

I ask these questions because I am always assessing the ministry of our own church. It is not my place or desire to judge the ministry of any other person or church for they will answer to God in the same way I will have to in regards to what God has given me to do.

Fusion!

Thanks for the response Chris. I guess after hearing Driscoll's message on cutting words (which do convey harsh images) I am more include to agree. But I still have to say that in those cases it's some kind of direct insult-not a real image of a person who was once alive. You kind of didn't deal with that aspect of my original comment. I think you can create a harsh bitting post card without using a dead man's pic. If those anorexic twins gave you their permission, that would be an interesting card too.

Teddy

Perhaps this is why we find it so hard to be confronted with abortion pictures on pro-life sites. Now that is a truth that can't be denied. Why then are we suddenly so sensitive to a "postcard"
depicting the spiritual condition of so many Christians today.

Kit

I saw the postcard as incredibly telling and I related to it. I suppose because I was able to recognize the point being made, and I agreed with it. I thought of people like me who would like to be part of a group of people who love the word of god, not numbers in attendance.

So Chris, if your point was to try to get the attention of believers who do hunger for the word...you got my attention.


Anon. Lutheran

Chris,

I wish I could have heard your radio program twenty years ago; it would have saved me from more heartache than you could even begin to imagine.

I have every expectation that Fighting for the Faith does (or will) indeed achieve your goal of letting people know "that they have another option rather than 'quitting church'," and that "there are still churches that exist that haven't bought into the dumbed down methods of the PDC movement and that there are still pastors who understand that the office they hold requires them to care and feed the sheep that God has given them."

Having said that, I must also say that these postcards miss the mark. Nothing in the language of these postcards actually communicates good Christian doctrine; rather, they are filled with catch-phrases that any church might use. If I saw these somewhere besides a Lutheran blog, I would have no way of knowing their doctrinal background, and I would probably assume they were fundamentalist.

I am *certain* that twenty years ago I would have assumed they were fundamentalist. If I had seen them with the name of a Lutheran church printed on them, I would have gotten a terribly wrong notion of what sort of Christians Lutherans are, and I would probably have ended up a Roman Catholic.

bill

Eugene: "I think you missed what I asked so I ask again: what are the characteristics of a well fed Christian? Or let me ask it this way: what will be the fruit of people that recieve good and wholesome word preaching? How will they conduct their lives? How will they make decisions? What will be important for these people?"

Bill: "The last program from the Reformed Witness Hour www.reformwitnesshour.org would answer you question. The fruit of the spirit is the daily realization of the christian that he sins and that he needs christ's blood. Daily repentance from sin and awareness of the need for the saviour are the characteristics of a well fed christian. Of course thanking God for every victory over sin is another characteristic of a changed life."

Lane Chaplin

Chris said: "I want to make myself perfectly clear on this point, I believe that pastors who refuse to preach God's word and feed the sheep entrusted to their care (as the scripture commands them to) are MORE evil than any Nazi who ever ran a concentration camp. Nazis could only kill a person's body but rebellious apostate 'pastors' keep people in the bondage of their sins and therefore are literally sending them to hell.

I am not interested in striking a deal with any of these 'pastors' or playing nice nice with them. Instead, I see them as agents of the devil and will warn the church about them and their particular brand of evil while calling these apostate 'pastors' to repentance."


Amen, Chris. The heck with these megalomaniacal Pharisees. God bless you for speaking boldly and honestly about this.

Kelly

Just don't forget Godwin's Law. :o)

Dan

Let's put some of this debate concerning shocking content into an historical context -- since Chris is so keen on keeping things properly contextual :). Here is a link to a woodcut by Lucas Cranach (the younger or elder?):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Birth_and_Origin_of_the_Pope_by_Lucas_Cranach.jpg

In case you cannot make it out, it is the devil "giving birth" to the Pope out of his rear-end (putting it cordially) and then being reared by other devils. In many ways the disagreement that Chris is having with the purpose driven pastors is a modernized version of the reformational disagreements with Rome. Was Cranach's "postcard" too much and over the top? Undoubtedly! Did it get his point across? Indubitably! When dealing with something as serious as the central message of Christianity, and the slipperiness of the devil (acting/influencing) under/with the pastors of the opposition to justification by faith alone, it becomes necessary to make one's point in extreme ways. The stakes are too high, i.e., the souls of our fellow humans! In this sense, Chris is simply carrying on the fight that has been raging since the dawn of Christianity (pre-dating the Reformation), and his postcard is NOT out of line, but in-line with historical precedent!

Brandon

The problem with posting a picture of someone who is anorexic, rather than a picture of someone being starved and tortured against there will, is the that the anorexic person is doing it to themselves. That's not what we're facing here. We're facing spiritual torture and starvation done to people by their "shepherds." I love the postcards message. And I think we need more offensive messages. So many of us have bought into this politically-correct way of life that we want to weed out anything that offends people, even if it is the truth! Christianity is pretty offensive to people who don't believe it. Go tell someone on the street that they are a horrible, unclean criminal to God and see if they smile, nod, and say "Yeah, that's a good point."

Mark

Well said Chris! an utterly clear picture for folks to grasp.

C.H

Bill: "The last program from the Reformed Witness Hour www.reformwitnesshour.org would answer you question. The fruit of the spirit is the daily realization of the christian that he sins and that he needs christ's blood. Daily repentance from sin and awareness of the need for the saviour are the characteristics of a well fed christian. Of course thanking God for every victory over sin is another characteristic of a changed life."

Bill -
This does not really answer Eugene's question. Here again is Eugene's question which I think is worth everyone's reflection:

Eugene: "I think you missed what I asked so I ask again: what are the characteristics of a well fed Christian? Or let me ask it this way: what will be the fruit of people that recieve good and wholesome word preaching? How will they conduct their lives? How will they make decisions? What will be important for these people?"

Bill, your answer only hinted around what a Christian might think and had no real ethical weight. Of the many problems with that answer one is this: You have no way of knowing what anyone in a seeker-friendly or PD church "thinks."

So again: What will a person look like who has been well-fed? What sort of life will they lead? What will shape their decisions? What will be important for them? What will be their fruit?

Perhaps it would be safe to assume, based on Chris R.'s meticulous studies, that the fruit of ALL people in a PD or Seeker church will be rotten when compared to ALL the people in the church's that fit Chris's definition of a steak and potatoes church.


C.H

I also feel the postcard is in poor taste. Obviously, Chris has never actually met a starving person or had a starving mother beg him to take her four kids back to America with him where they might have a chance to live.

I disagree that Jesus would be more concerned about the person who is sitting in a seeker-sensitive church who professes Christ as their Lord (regardless of how doctrinally sound Chris or anyone else thinks they may be) than he would be about the person pictured in the postcard.

fw

keep up the good work Chris. there is so very much at stake here. I get goosebumps seeing a man like you defending the one thing that has kept me alive and given me hope all my years: the message of christ crucified for sinners. I am a sinner. I am included in that then!

consider this:

you had a grandmother who was more dear to you than life itself. and she was electrocuted for crimes she obviously did not commit.

so.... you fashion pendant of grandma bein fried. you do this in gold, and then you PROUDLY hang this around your neck so that you and others can remember grandma right at the moment you most want to remember her at.....

pretty shocking stuff I would say. You would sound pretty derranged no?.... as you recounted to folks who asked you about that gold granny being fried hangin around your neck in gleeming 24 karat?

I daily wear a crucifix. That image is wayyyyyy more scandalous than this starving guy chris has conjured up.

again. keep up the good work chris. there are people out there counting on men like you to do what you are doing.

FrenchLucy29

All people deserve very good life time and loans or just collateral loan can make it better. Because freedom is grounded on money.

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