Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘seeker friendly’

Switching from a Purpose Driven church with entertainment to a bible teaching church may have a few effects, one of which initially is boredom.  This may seem unholy and wrong to admit, but it has happened.  We felt it in our house.  A dry feeling.  But like eating healthy food for once as a normal way of life rather than just once in a while, old habits are hard to break.

Exercise and eating healthy will be difficult for someone coming from terrible habits.  We want to drift back to the soda, we want to taste the sugary sweet candy.  We want to have french fries and greasy hamburgers with lots of cheese.  Why?  We’re addicted.  What do bad eating and exercise habits get us?  Diabetes, heart problems, early death.  We become fat and unable to enjoy life.

This is what happened to us at the previous church.  We enjoyed a LOT of cool programs.  Our kids were entertained.  We felt we were growing in the faith.  Yes, we did grow, but looking back, the times we did grow were when we insisted to study the bible verse by verse in small group.  There were some messages by the pastors that carried truth, so we did learn from those.  However, much was social, much was wrong teaching.  We ignored the problems for a while.  It caught up to us.  We began to see the problems.

When we opened our ears and looked around, we heard the pastors preaching things that were not biblical.  Suddenly, the candy coating didn’t feel good anymore.  We realized the illness in our faith.  We were not being fed often enough.  Yes, there was service, we were served in many ways.  But the teaching was in error just as often as it was in truth.  We allowed the error to go on when we were blind to it, but once we saw it we realized we had to escape.

We eventually landed in a church where the bible is preached verse by verse.  We started out with some initial joy, because our worries about the former church were confirmed.  Still, we missed some of the trappings.  We missed the social time, many people were new to us.  We missed the upbeat music a great deal.  Still, the true spiritual food was making us feel better because our spiritual bodies were getting the right nutrition.  Now my children recognize the former church for what it is, and they do not want to go back to the candy.  We don’t either. 

Of course, we listen and are very careful, we do not want to believe the pastor without checking things out.  It’s kind of like reading the labels.  We want to know what’s going on at the church, what they are truly about.  Is the spiritual food healthy and true?  If it is, then we will see growth and not experience the physical illness.  The hard work put in (not works for salvation mind you, but the study of God’s word and prayer, the service to the body, and the support of those who go out and preach to others…or even maybe us going out some day when we’re prepared…these things are the hard things), will result in a healthy Christian perspective.  Staying on guard is important, reading for ourselves.  After all, it’s supposed to be our faith we’re working out right?  And as time goes on, what was previously boring is actually very exciting.  Scriptural study is not some mundane thing, it’s a wonderful joy to hear and read truth.

note:  If I am saying something wrong by winging it, PLEASE let me know here.  I know these are my human thoughts, not God’s words.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

So tired of looking around and seeking all this seeker friendly/spiritual formation stuff.  I think it’s much like the cults…mormons/JW’s and others only they have walked right into previously decent churches that once did preach the gospel correctly.  However, error was likely there before in small ways.  Then there were weaknesses highlighted.  People wanted to do better, bought into some lies, and then time passed.  Slowly, slowly, these false teachers have taken over.  Our desire for good feelings in church has pushed many to just swallow and follow.  Ugh.  I know I did it.  If I had any inkling there was something wrong I just swatted it away.  So now, we’ve got real problems all over.  The foundations have shifted and we’re not seeing Christ in the church buildings, we’re seeing falsehood.  We forgot our first love and now compromised.  I say we because, well, I was once in this type of church. 

Still, though I know how easy it is to be a party to all of this mess, I am sick and tired of it.

Read Full Post »

I still want people deceived by the teaching of my former church to wake up.  I feel like a cult is taking over American churches and I wish things could be different.  At the same time I do not wish to be numb and cold in my knowledge.  I cannot think of myself as better than those who are deceived, just blessed to have been pulled from it. 

It doesn’t matter where I go, I could be on a vacation weekend or floating around facebook.  I see the same kind of seeker friendly or spiritual formation churchiness everywhere.  Many times a person stands up to speak and be an encouragement to a group…and uses a catch phrase.  Often it seems like a pep rally on Oprah.  That’s when I know a church goer has bought into the “bumper sticker” church.  I sigh, and sometimes feel quite helpless. 

So then I just wait.  Sometime, it might be appropriate to tell a person the truth and point things out.  I pray for an opportunity and hope to not get the “what ever are you talking about you space alien” look when I do share.

Read Full Post »

We spotted one of the pastors who was recently asked to resign from our former church in the church we’ve been attending for a while.  His little family was with him, and I am praying so much for them.  This has to be a confusing time, has to be a hard time.  I pray God will lead them to the best place for them to heal and to worship.  I hope the pastor can also find a place to earn money so he can support his family.  I pray they trust God and don’t become lost in this whole process.

Read Full Post »

A few months back a little church in our area was about to be absorbed by my former church.  I had friends who used to attend there, and they were saddened by this possibility.  Because meetings were recorded online, I was able to hear the dealings and felt very uneasy about it.

The church being overtaken was seeking “help” from my former church.  They were loosing attendance.  From those I spoke to, the attendance went down when a new pastor came in and changed things.  This pastor also asked my former church for help. 

The deal was sweet for my former church.  It would be elder control of the church being helped…including possible economic advantage and control of paid off property to my former church.  There were to be three pastors of this church.  One from my former church, one from somewhere else that the congregation did not know (who the heck found this guy and who chose him?), and the current pastor of the helpee church. 

One wrinkle, the helpee church also had a school.  They were very worried for their school.  My former church was going to make the school a non-profit organization and I’m not even really sure what was to become of the school. 

My concerns of course were that this church was being taken over and run over by my former church without an awareness of the dangers.  My former church had many doctrinal problems in teaching, and this new takeover was going to make the congregation accountable to outside elders.  The school was going to be in the hands of these elders.  The little helpee church voted against this.  Yeah!

I just found out great news.  It seems the little church has gone to a very conservative Presbyterian church in the area and is merging the school with the Presbyterian school.  The Presby church is Reformed and strong.  It also appears there is no economic gain for the Presby church, the merge seems like a good thing.  I’m very happy to see such an expansion/merge occur in an area where many churches are networking that are like my former church…into Purpose Driven/Spiritual Formation/Missional stuff.  Most new church plants are the same stuff.  It’s nice to see a needy church that was nearly swallowed by a Spiritual Formation church actually link arms with a Reformed church NOT into seeker friendly garbage.

Read Full Post »

 

(Okay, for the exact sermon click below…I’m sure you’ll find I missed or added something in my text)….

http://www.redeemer-pca.org/files/Redeemer/Sermons/826.2010-04-04%20-%20Matthew%2028.1-7%20%20selected%20passages%20-%20God%27s%20Greatest%20Statement%20-%20Felich.mp3

Though we’ve really enjoyed the church we attend, we decided to visit friends which put us in another church for Resurrection Sunday.  I spent most of the time in the nursing room since I have a new baby, and that did hinder my experience (as did my younger children when I did sit in the service).  We do enjoy our children, but I cannot listen with a toddler and 4 year old who have yet to learn to sit without pointing things out to me…and with a newborn it’s more difficult. 

The church was a nice Presbyterian church that claims it’s “Reformation roots.”  The pastor spoke about (and I’m paraphrasing so I may miss exactly how he titled it) the most important words God spoke that were recorded in the Bible.  He went from Genesis through the whole Bible pointing out many major statements with events such as the creation, sending Moses and the people to the promised land, promises to Abraham, David, and many others.  He quoted the prophets as they spoke about the promised Messiah.  He quoted the gospels as Mary and Joseph were told about Jesus, a baby soon to be born, and as Jesus was annouced to the shepherds.  Many moments in Jesus’ life were highlighted.  He even quoted “it is finished” stating that it was still NOT the most important statement.  No, the most important statement was “greetings” according to this pastor.  This is because it was the first thing Christ said after he was raised (he mentioned it’s also interpreted as “joy” or “be joyful”).  The reason this is most important is that without Christ raising from the dead, we have no hope and all that came before is in vain for sinners. 

 I rather enjoyed what I did hear of the sermon and most especially that I was challenged to think.  No new information was presented, but highlights from across time were brougth forth in an interesting sermon on Resurrection Sunday without special tricks.  No one was offered a show, there was no fancy song and dance, no skits, no entertainment.  Just a sermon preached from the Bible. 

I am sure it was a stark contrast to the seeker friendly message that was presented in many churches, after all, Easter Sunday pulls in the generally unchurched.  Of course we want to make the message interesting to these people, but as a friend of mine pointed out, the messages at church on a Sunday morning are for believers.  They can be accessible to non-believers, but they are for building up the body.

Read Full Post »

A local church was in the process of merging with my former church (this former church has used seeker friendly methods as well as seems to be going the way of spiritual formation).  The leadership of the little church “asked for help” according to the recorded meeting I heard online.  The little church actually is an older church, paid off property with a private school.  It’s an older church than my former church and has been declining sharply in attenders. 

The plan, as lined out in a meeting opened up to both the little church and my former church, was that the little church would combine with my former church (I’ll call it big church for simplicity).  Big church came in and said they offered to help financially and also would bring a group of people over to little church to attend.  They also were going to have their elder board take over decisions for little church.  Big church was bringing a pastor, and then little church was keeping a pastor.  Another pastor was also coming in.  Little church owned their property outright, and the deed of that property might go to big church…no one seemed to answer for sure. 

Little church would likely have new leadership, new people attending, but also would have a new name.  Things were going to change.  Eventually, big church was going to step back and let little church stand on it’s own (but not until it was successful on it’s corner…after it had been lead by big church elders with two pastors they had not hired themselves). 

The  question of what would happen to the school came up, and I’m not sure what the plan was.  The big church leadership mentioned the school becoming a non-profit seperate from the actual church.  This was complicating things for sure as the decisions about the school came from the little church.  Many in little church worked in the school. 

Well, I began praying for little church.  Other prayed as well.  Little church took a vote,  and it’s been announced on big church’s website that little church has “decided not to accept” help from big church.  Hopefully, little church can now find a way to sustain itself without giving themselves over to a big church with transformation on the brain, or even the latest seeker friendly trend.  I cannot assume that little church doesn’t believe in the same kind of things big church does.  It may have all been based on power and finances.  I can only hope though that little church saw through big church and discernment won out.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »