The church is not called to be a “safe place” for seekers. We are meant to be a gathering place for believers.
There are specific things the scriptures say that the church organization must supply to those who have identified themselves with Jesus Christ and His salvation. It does not say the same for those who are lost.
If we purposefully try to draw unbelievers into the church, expecting they will settle down for the long term and blend in, we are putting the body at risk. At least to the extent that we think our teaching and language must be tailored to make them feel more comfortable. To keep them around as long as possible.
While we cut back our necessary teaching in order not to offend them.
Evangelism on the Throne
The problem that continues to plague us is how evangelism has been given first priority in the church. Many believe that by bringing people to Christ we are doing the most important thing that God desires. Above all other considerations.
And that to accomplish this end, we must be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary.
So, the church continues to put its purity at risk. Which is done by changing our style of worship, changing the Bible text itself, and holding back the necessary teaching of the word. All to appeal to a lost culture rather than to build up the believer in doctrine and truth.
This basic change in focus has dramatically endangered the church’s ability to glorify Christ; which is God’s first true priority.
The Real Purpose
This is not about purposefully making people uncomfortable. Nor is it about purposefully offending people. It is just about clearly understanding what the purpose of the church is.
The church is not a half-way house for unbelievers.
Sorry, but that is not what we are supposed to be.
We cannot afford to trim back what God has called us to teach and preach for the equipping of the saints in order to get unbelievers to visit us and then hang around long enough to decide to trust Christ as their Savior. Until they decide to repent of whatever sins they may be practicing and justifying.
Yes, we are sinners saved by grace. And no, we are no better than anyone else. And no, we should not look down on other people who struggle with sin. Because we are still struggling with it all the time.
If we are honest.
The New METRO-Strategy of Evangelism
But nowhere are we called to approve sin. Not in ourselves and not in unbelievers. Because, God has a no-tolerance policy with sin.
We must be very careful not to presume that His way is too harsh and cold. And we must not adopt some new way that is more loving and sensitive than the Lord Himself has been revealed to be in His word. (Which is exactly what modern Christians think.)
Because He commands us to speak out about what is both good and bad. And not to hold back on speaking of specific sins because we think our “seekers”, who may be prone to a particular type of sin, will be offended.
Because, they decide to tolerate the promotion of a sin within the congregation until after people come to Christ. Then the leadership will tell them it is wrong. And then the new believers will see it is sin and will repent of it.
That is a big “maybe” on both counts.
A New Strategy Regarding Sin
This is a new strategy that has developed in recent years. And it is being practiced by some very famous metro pastors that are writing books that are influencing Evangelical leaders all over this country.
And the unspoken little trick I see being promoted by these famous pastors is to diminish specific sexual sins by citing the list of all sins a person might do. So that gossip or sowing discord or having a critical spirit is said to be just as bad.
That all sin is the same.
While there is some truth in this as it relates to the way God views sin, it is not the whole truth. God has reserved some severe punishments against sin that are dangerous for those who practice them as well as for those that “approve” of them.
Nevertheless, there is an agenda behind this shift in sin focus that is not being discussed.
The shift taken is to move the gospel back to a works salvation. Such as in, “We are saved by works plus faith”.
And one way of pushing this is to say that one who is “doing justice” and meeting the needs of the poor is just as much doing God’s work as a one who is believing in right doctrine. Thereby substituting good works and “love” in place of believing the truth.
The effect of this is that one can believe what they want as long as they are doing good things. Even if they are also practicing fornication, pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, etc. As long as they are “loving” people. As long as they are doing “works of love”
This is a clear and aggressive shift away from faith, doctrine and morality towards a tolerance of promiscuity combined with “doing justice” in the name of Christ. Immorality plus good social works.
Which is a false gospel.
To Be Continued . . .