Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren was interviewed earlier this year by John Piper. A report had this to say:

"Piper, surprisingly, did not find any major problems doctrinally in the book. 'When I read the book, I thought "what's the issue here?"' he said. And with 20 pages of notes, Piper said he read the book very carefully. Some of what Warren had to say in the bestseller even made Piper's 'spine tingle with gladness.'"1

I have to disagree with John Piper. You don't have to read this book carefully to see the problems, in my opinion. They are glaring. I became acquainted with this book when I was asked to teach one of the purposes - purpose number 2. So, I read the preliminary chapters in addition to the chapter I was to teach.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What is wrong with The Church Growth Movement?

What is wrong with the Church Growth (CG) movement is that it is pragmatism. It defines what is good as that which works. It denies the power of God and relies on man-centered methods to increase numbers in the church. More are ...being brought into the visible church, but more are ~not~ being brought into the kingdom.

The gospel is not preached by CG for fear of making 'seekers' uncomfortable. CG dictates that we must make 'seekers' comfortable at all cost. There is no mention of Hell and punishment for sin. The only gospel CG teaches is 'God loves you.' That is the CG gospel message! Anything beyond that may make people uncomfortable and turn away 'seekers'.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats? by C. H. Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church.  If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) That is clear enough  So it would have been if He had added,  "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The "Simon the Sorcerer Test" for sign gifts

I have discovered, in scripture, a quick and easy way for me to test sign gifts. You may use it also if you would like. I am what has been called Open but Cautious with respect to the sign gifts.

I have witnessed many 'new things' like speakers claiming to be observing people being transported up into heaven right then and there, declaring portals on either side of the stage and picking certain ones to stand at these locations where they commence to laugh uncontrollably and jerk around, and I have seen folks staring at each other's hands squinting for tiny flecks of glitter/gold dust.

Is this real? Is it not real? I always suspected it wasn't. I have long suspected that ministers in these circles are pressured to come up with some signature new thing in order to promote their ministry, or themselves. Like I said, it has only been a private suspicion. How does one know for sure?

There may very well be a scriptural way to test these signs, and it is what I call the "Simon the Sorcerer Test."