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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  7/30/2014
WEDNESDAY, AUG 22, 2012  |  47 comments  |  1 commentary
US Megachurches Growing, Providing 'Heightened Sense of Spirituality'

A new study has revealed that megachurches in America with congregations larger than 2,000 people are not only growing, but also satisfying the spiritual needs of their members.

"The megachurches movement is one of the leading indicators of how American Christians exercise their faith these days, so therefore they should be understood," said James Wellman, associate professor of American religion at the University of Washington and one of the-co-authors of the study. "And our study shows they're doing a pretty effective job for their members, based on self-reports, contrary to public opinion that tends to pass them off as a type of consumerist religion. In fact, their members speak eloquently of their spiritual growth." ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 47 user comment(s)
News Item8/23/12 5:00 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Mike wrote:
Steve.
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out. Steve. Most "churches" have statement of faiths. But are they teaching it? Are they holding to it? Steve. Again. Warren is all things to all men. The Bible says. " be ye seperate". I am sure if u go on Joel Olsteen website he has a statement of faith also?
Well said Mike. I have seen Kenneth Copeland look the camera straight in the lens and say "Jesus is Lord" The problem is He redefined Him to suit His needs. The same goes for Osteen and Warren. Good comments throughout this thread.
47

News Item8/23/12 4:31 PM
Mike | Florida  Find all comments by Mike
Steve. Again. IF they are holding to their statement of faith, that's fine.. Again. It depends who Ricky is talking to. Steve. Remember not everyone who says Lord Lord, shall enter.
46

News Item8/23/12 1:19 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
John UK,
1. Self determination is so embedded in American culture, economy and government, arminianism is a difficult concept for many new believers to reject. 2. While the complete sovereignty of God is a neccesity in sound Biblical Teaching, I dont consider arminianism the 'antithesis' of the truth. 3. I do see it hindering Gods people ability to enjoy the fulness of his Word.
John UK, he say:

1. Yes, quite. New believers cannot be expected to know much doctrine. But Bible teachers should not teach anything but sound doctrine.

2. By antithesis I mean opposites. Like

Total Depravity v Not Total Depravity
Unconditional Election v Conditional Election
Limited Atonement v Unlimited Atonement
Irresistible Grace v Resistible Grace
Perseverance of Saints v Possibility of Falling

3. Amen indeed!

45

News Item8/23/12 1:09 PM
SteveR | Upper Midwest  Find all comments by SteveR
John UK,
Self determination is so embedded in American culture, economy and government, arminianism is a difficult concept for many new believers to reject. While the complete sovereignty of God is a neccesity in sound Biblical Teaching, I dont consider arminianism the 'antithesis' of the truth. I do see it hindering Gods people ability to enjoy the fulness of his Word.

Mike,
The Epistles of John would be included in my proof texts to accept mega churches that teach Jesus is the Christ. Jesus IS both fully God and fully man, the One promised to redeem his people...That is the STANDARD John uses. Its a standard which(imo) is met in many mega churches statement of beliefs(and prayerfully in their sermons)

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

44

News Item8/23/12 12:41 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
SteveR wrote:
-You righteously jump up on your soapbox & claim to be defending Scripture while you use one of the corrupt versions imagined. Not only was the NASB corrupted in its conception by the work of Wescott & Hort, its harlotry is more unrestrained then its cousins in both the Old and New Testaments.
Even though I use the NASB, I certainly don't mind you using your version and I will use it rather than offend you. Here it is:

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. KJV

I still can't quite understand how you can defend Warren unless you are in fact part of the emergent church movement. But now for your comment that I am sanctimonious. First I am not and I never gave you any reason to say that and secondly, that is a poor excuse to try and deconstruct my thoughts. The reason I refer to Warren as a heretic is because his message "drastically" changes depending on his audience. He is like a chameleon; one day he sounds okay and then the next he contradicts what he previously said. Or you could say he is like a trojan horse trying to hide his true agenda. If you want heretical quotes from him, let me know.

43

News Item8/23/12 10:52 AM
Mike | Florida  Find all comments by Mike
Steve.
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out. Steve. Most "churches" have statement of faiths. But are they teaching it? Are they holding to it? Steve. Again. Warren is all things to all men. The Bible says. " be ye seperate". I am sure if u go on Joel Olsteen website he has a statement of faith also?
42

News Item8/23/12 10:43 AM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
From his website
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.
John Stott used to believe that, until he turned apostate.

One thing is for sure, this chap you mention believes that Jesus Christ has done all he can to save sinners ("...perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men...") and now it is UP TO YOU, folks.

Arminianism is the antithesis of the "biblical doctrines of free and sovereign grace", and opposites are enemies doctrinally. And Arminianism logically includes the doctrines of "salvation by works" and "unguaranteed salvation for those who receive Christ".

41

News Item8/23/12 10:11 AM
SteveR | Upper Midwest  Find all comments by SteveR
Mike wrote:
Steve. this was from the purpose driving life book.
..We find nothing here about sin, grace, repentance, the person of Christ, Calvary, faith, judgment, or the resurrection. do
Did Warren intend for that book to replace or represent the Gospel? If so, then its wrong. However from his Church website on statement of beliefs..watered down? ok, worth damnation? no
btw: it contains several you listed as needed

From his website
"God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again"
there is more w.bib ref

40

News Item8/23/12 10:00 AM
Mike | Florida  Find all comments by Mike
John MacArthur is on target when he writes, “Listening to a seeker-sensitive evangelical preacher today, we’re likely to think it’s easy to be a Christian. Just say these little words, pray this little prayer, and poof! you’re in the club.” [i] Admittedly, salvation is received by faith alone in Christ alone, but it is not received by mouthing a little prayer lacking in biblical content and understanding, with the hopes that you will find purpose in life. As a matter of fact, one evangelical leader is reported to have entitled a sermon in response to the seeker-sensitive gospel, “How to Fill Your Church with Tares.“
39

News Item8/23/12 10:00 AM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
SteveR wrote:
You call it his 'Gospel,' is it? Sounds like an introduction to enter into a covenant relationship with God and a new believers class where the Gospel will be explained.
Ah yes. Just like the Alpha Course in the UK. It's really doing the rounds over here, and producing plenty of tares due to its false gospel. Mind you, Steve, you've got to be pretty sharp to see where the Alpha Course breaks down. I am grateful for the likes of Chris Hand who wrote an excellent review of the Course. Once you go through it and dissect it, it is obvious where the Course fails to do justice to the gospel.

Where was the viper's nest which spawned this counterfeit? Holy Trinity, Brompton. Anglican, charismatic, ecumenical. What else was Holy Trinity up to at this time? Oh, just promoting the FALSE "Toronto Blessing".

I once sat in a "Christian" cafe in Sidmouth, Devon, talking to a chap who had just finished his second Alpha Course. When I asked him how he had got on with it he said, "Oh just great! I so enjoyed it I'm going to do it again."

You do know Steve that the close of the Course is a weekend away called the Holy Spirit Weekend, where you are expected to receive the Spirit and fall on the floor laughing.

38

News Item8/23/12 9:54 AM
Mike | Florida  Find all comments by Mike
Steve. this was from the purpose driving life book.

Warren would be hard-pressed to find biblical backing for this presentation of the gospel. We find nothing here about sin, grace, repentance, the person of Christ, Calvary, faith, judgment, or the resurrection. This is the ultimate in a mutilated, seeker-sensitive gospel: the seeker comes to Christ in order to find his purpose in life, not to receive forgiveness from sin and the righteousness of God. Then, to pronounce someone a full-fledged member of the family of God because he has prayed such a prayer (based on minimal, if any, understanding of the person and work of Christ), is beyond tragic.

Does Warren do any better in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life? A little, but not much. Concerning eternity he tells his readers, “If you learn to love and trust God’s Son, Jesus, you will be invited to spend the rest of eternity with him. On the other hand, if you reject his life, forgiveness, and salvation, you will spend eternity apart forever” (p. 37). There is just enough truth here to be confusing, but the New Testament never tells us to learn to love and trust Christ in order to be saved. We are told to repent (Acts 17:30) and place our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), not “learn to love and trust.” Just how do

37

News Item8/23/12 9:34 AM
SteveR | Upper Midwest  Find all comments by SteveR
Mike wrote:
Warrens gospel presentation.
"Dear God, I want to know your purpose for my life. I don't want to base the rest of my life on wrong things. I want to take the first step in preparing for eternity by getting to know you. Jesus Christ, I don't understand how but as much as I know how I want to open up my life to you. Make yourself real to me. And use this series in my life to help me know what you made me for." Warren goes on to say: "Now if you've just prayed that prayer for the very first time I want to congratulate you. You've just become a part of the family of God."
This is warrens gospel??
You call it his 'Gospel,' is it? Sounds like an introduction to enter into a covenant relationship with God and a new believers class where the Gospel will be explained.
36

News Item8/23/12 9:09 AM
Mike | Florida  Find all comments by Mike
Warrens gospel presentation.

"Dear God, I want to know your purpose for my life. I don't want to base the rest of my life on wrong things. I want to take the first step in preparing for eternity by getting to know you. Jesus Christ, I don't understand how but as much as I know how I want to open up my life to you. Make yourself real to me. And use this series in my life to help me know what you made me for." Warren goes on to say: "Now if you've just prayed that prayer for the very first time I want to congratulate you. You've just become a part of the family of God."
This is warrens gospel??

35

News Item8/23/12 8:04 AM
SteveR | Upper Midwest  Find all comments by SteveR
Frank
- I know two missionaries of Warrens that have set up missions in Africa and Europe, both know the Gospel and havent warned me of him

-Sanctimonious Christians dont continue to grow in the faith, thats why they so often resort to worn out cliches to defend their Church Bigotry

-If you have a specific warning of a false teching promoted by Mega Churches, please share it.

-You righteously jump up on your soapbox & claim to be defending Scripture while you use one of the corrupt versions imagined. Not only was the NASB corrupted in its conception by the work of Wescott & Hort, its harlotry is more unrestrained then its cousins in both the Old and New Testaments.

34

News Item8/23/12 7:59 AM
KJV English speaking-Onlyist  Find all comments by KJV English speaking-Onlyist
Here's a question how bars, nightclubs, drunk stores had to go out of business because of all this "heightened sense of spirituality"
33

News Item8/22/12 9:45 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
choke point wrote:
Is the Reformation Over?
"A series of articles came out claiming the influence of the Reformation is mostly over for Protestantism. When looking at mainline Protestantism [and its utter collapse] and mainstream evangelicalism [50% of evangelicals are now in 10% of churches], we certainly can draw a conclusion that this [question: Is the Reformation Over?] would appear to be the case. Carl Trueman addresses this issue on the Janet Mefferd Show.
"Trueman also speaks to the issue of social justice and evangelicalism making that a primary drum beat, instead of the Person and work of Christ. The danger and concern is that social justice issues, as important as they are, may replace the central teaching and preaching of the Gospel, which is the primary function of the church."
Thanks, I've got the message up and ready to go.
32

News Item8/22/12 9:26 PM
choke point  Find all comments by choke point
Frank wrote:
Ah, the emergent church's argument to deconstruct truth. If everyone doesn't agree on an issue, then truth should be set aside until they can all agree. You do know that Rick Warren is associated with movements theology?
Is the Reformation Over?

"A series of articles came out claiming the influence of the Reformation is mostly over for Protestantism. When looking at mainline Protestantism [and its utter collapse] and mainstream evangelicalism [50% of evangelicals are now in 10% of churches], we certainly can draw a conclusion that this [question: Is the Reformation Over?] would appear to be the case. Carl Trueman addresses this issue on the Janet Mefferd Show.

"Trueman also speaks to the issue of social justice and evangelicalism making that a primary drum beat, instead of the Person and work of Christ. The danger and concern is that social justice issues, as important as they are, may replace the central teaching and preaching of the Gospel, which is the primary function of the church."

31

News Item8/22/12 7:04 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
SteveR wrote:
Then shouldnt all conservative Churches agree on everything? Never mind the TULIP debates, eschatology, or Biblical exegesis, how about the basic sacrament of Baptism? What age should a child of a believer be baptized?
How much of a heretic can you be and still be Elect in your universe of acceptable Christians?
Ah, the emergent church's argument to deconstruct truth. If everyone doesn't agree on an issue, then truth should be set aside until they can all agree. You do know that Rick Warren is associated with movements theology?

But, the scriptures are the word of God and are not going to change to suit the needs of man. In other words, they are not progrssive. Literal where literal, figurative where figurative.

All Christians grow in grace and understanding. I didn't say they grow at the same pace. They will learn more and more about the grace, mercy and justification found in the cross of my Lord and Savior!

I seek unity in truth and not truth in unity!

What would you do if you felt someone was guilty of the following? Not warn them or others?

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

30

News Item8/22/12 5:01 PM
SteveR | Upper Midwest  Find all comments by SteveR
Frank wrote:
Eg,of course you are correct. The Holy Spirit ensures a believer will grow in grace and understanding. Many in these megachurches are persuasive and will mislead many.
Luke 8:18 “So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”
Colossians 2:4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.
Then shouldnt all conservative Churches agree on everything? Never mind the TULIP debates, eschatology, or Biblical exegesis, how about the basic sacrament of Baptism? What age should a child of a believer be baptized?

How much of a heretic can you be and still be Elect in your universe of acceptable Christians?

29

News Item8/22/12 3:32 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
eg wrote:
This is not necessarily bad in itself, but when the content of sound doctrine is sacrificed on the altar of an increasing stimulation, the salt has lost its savor" - From The MegaChurch Phenomenon
"Regrettably, much of what the seek-sensitive churches hold as tenets of their faith cannot be supported by, and often contradicts, Scripture. Worship is not meant to make the unsaved feel emotionally good about themselves, it is meant to call them to repent. Doctrine is not to be based on community opinion, it is to be founded on the changeless Word of God." (C.W.Booth) - From Mega Churches. Post Modern Seeker Sensitive
Eg,of course you are correct. The Holy Spirit ensures a believer will grow in grace and understanding. Many in these megachurches are persuasive and will mislead many.

Luke 8:18 “So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”

Colossians 2:4 I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

28
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