How the Seeker-Sensitive, Consumer Church Is Failing a Generation
The millennial generation's much-talked-about departure from church might lead those of us over 30 to conclude that they have little interest in Jesus. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, their spiritual coming of age has coincided with many Protestant pastors relying on a consumer business model to grow and sustain their churches. This template for doing church and the millennials' hunger for authenticity has caused an ideological collision.
Seeker-sensitive services originally promised to woo post-moderns back into the fold. Out the stained glass window went the somewhat formal 45-minute exegetical sermon, replaced by a shorter, story-based talk to address the "felt needs" of the congregants while reinforcing the premise that following Jesus would dramatically improve their quality of life....
Salvation is not attained by a mans labour. Men are born with sin nature.
Once a man is saved from the condemnation of the law a man will labour for the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas before all his labours were for himself.
That is why Paul speaks of labouring. It is unavoidable - we have to work.
Confusing the work a Christian does after being saved with that of a person who is striving to be saved from the condemnation of the law and can indeed please God is unhelpful.
There is labour before salvation - work. There is labour after salvation - work. (Jesus did not come so that men could recline).
The labourer, after the event of the realisation they are no longer condemned by the law, labours now for the Kingdom, not for their right standing with God.
Those who are not saved will condemn others for not keeping the laws and requirements of the church.
Those who are saved (by Gods generosity alone) encourage others to come out from under the condemnation of law, not by the old works of obedience, but to new work. (Since they are now not labouring for themselves) Labouring, not for ones own righteousness in the eyes of the rest of the church, but for the spreading of Gods generous offer before the period of grace runs out.
TB wrote: John UK from Wales, "If you are glorying in him, you will speak much of him. If you are glorying in yourself, you will speak much of yourself." This is the truth -- but has nothing to do with this case. In this case: If one is glorying in the amazing doctrine of an altogether good God who loves us, then you will speak against the errors of Calvin.
I continually speak against the errors of Mr Calvin, but then you didn't know that, or you would not have said it.
Mind you, he has far less errors than Mr Arminius; indeed, I cannot find anything really good to say about Mr Arminius, as he would load poor folks down with working their way to heaven by keeping the law.
And then, my brethren the Fundies, whom I love in the Lord, they have also quite a few errors and are imperfect in this world.
And then there is you and your errors, whom I know not.
And then there is me and my errors, whom I also know not.
But one thing I do know for sure - the whole world is accounted guilty before God, dead in trespasses and sins, and many die in such a state, never hearing the gospel of God's grace.
I'll reserve thanking you for prayers when I get to know you better.
"I would love, love, love to be able to do things like this."
Christopher000 -- We can do all things through Christ who dwells in us. Commit it to the Lord, ask for pure motives, then step-out in faith with the goal of honouring Jesus and seeing souls snatched from destruction.
"Anyway, boy, did this thread blow up. TB, I was impressed with your posts back to Lurker...all of the verses, that is. Man, I wish I could do that when asked a question...ha-ha"
My secret is a decent KJV app with search and copy/paste on my phone. Punch in "labour" and voila, zillions of good verses. God bless.
GS, one thing you need to remember regarding Adam and Eve, they were never conceived and born in sin. They had the ultimate choice over all mankind. Since the Fall, we now are born dead in our trespasses and hate The Light. I was always one who believed we he free will to choose God or not. However, there were always so many "problem verses" that spoke of His election. Plus, if we have free will, as i used to understand it, I have the power to thwart God's plans. It was frustrating! And then, what to do with Romans 9?! It took time for God to help me lay aside my pride and allow Him to receive all the glory, and myself absolutely none. Just something to think about...
TB wrote: Just a few examples of the normative standard of "labour" we should expect as we enter into the divine labours.
Prostitutes labour on streetcorners too. What makes you so different? Claiming the God worshipped by Reformed Christians is a 'fictional' god isnt the work of a spotless bride, its the work of a harlot. Want to discuus Justification, Ok. Want to pimp this corner, sorry JohnUK already does
Ezekiel 16:30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; Ezekiel 16:31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire; Ezekiel 16:32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband! Ezekiel 16:33 They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom. Ezekiel 16:34 And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.
TB Wrote: "The other day I was on a street corner pleading with the lost on Christ's behalf, telling them that God commands them to repent and believe the Gospel."
I always admire people who can do this, and I saw John said he has done it as well. I wish I had the knowledge to field questions and give answers to those searching as well as to the hecklers. I would love, love, love to be able to do things like this.
Anyway, boy, did this thread blow up. TB, I was impressed with your posts back to Lurker...all of the verses, that is. Man, I wish I could do that when asked a question...ha-ha. Not yet. Going back down to GS, I understand exactly what he means because free will vs election is a very difficult thing to comprehend. Especially if it's all you've known, I'm sure.
TB wrote: Until then? How did you come to be in a position to judge whether I am glorying in myself or him?
If you are glorying in him, you will speak much of him. If you are glorying in yourself, you will speak much of yourself.
I gave you a text to read which will help you out, but you have not understood it. Meditate upon it, and see where our sanctification, redemption, righteousness and wisdom comes from.
If you are striving and working and labouring and witnessing, especially if you are glorifying the Lord in doing so, then know that he is working in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure.
One of the best things I ever read about Martin Luther was his involvement in setting free a troupe of nuns from their monastery. After he got them all out, he found Protestant husbands for each one of them. But there was one left for whom there was no husband, so Martin married her himself, and she turned out to be a most excellent wife. So I don't know where you got it that he threw out the book of James. His house was always full, and he fed a lot of folks from his wife's veggie garden out back. A man to be respected. His works proved his living faith. And his treatise on the will's bondage shows deep understanding.
Just a few examples of the normative standard of "labour" we should expect as we enter into the divine labours. If you want more just search "work" or "trials" or "tribulation" or "suffering" or "persecution" etc. Should be abundantly clear that you were not called to join a country club but rather to strivings.
Hebrews 6:10 For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Revelation 2:2-3 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
1 Corinthians 3:8-9 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
1 Corinthians 4:11-12 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace [which was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
-- Don't know exactly to what "that" refers to, but it cannot be the Christian walk. I would fear that anyone whose walk that does not include a great deal of "effort" and cooperative "work" in crucifying the flesh with it's passions and desires has not even begun to walk. "Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." It was with great effort and work that he purchased our redemption -- what folly to expect that we will not likewise toil in the divine effort to become the spotless bride. "The servant is not greater than his lord."
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 KJV..."
Great passage, thanks. That said, it's not charitable to strawman the non-Calvinist into someone who is his own saviour.
"When you can glory in the Lord alone, you will have correctly interpreted the Bible. Until then, may God bless your Bible reading and prayers."
Until then? How did you come to be in a position to judge whether I am glorying in myself or him?
TB wrote: "John UK from Wales writes: TB, you are now coming out with stuff which no-one here will agree with." Don't know what exactly this is supposed to mean. But I agree with your statement as to justification being all about what Christ did on our behalf and trusting in that alone. Perhaps the problem you might have with my position is that unlike Luther I'm not prepared to throw out the book of James? Faith without works is dead. Dead faith is not saving faith.
That's fine TB.
But even that is not by effort or works.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 KJV 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
If you meditate on this text, every word, every phrase, you will see the glory of God. You will appreciate the immense work God has done when he saved a sinner. And you will appreciate the ongoing sanctifying work in the heart of the redeemed, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you can glory in the Lord alone, you will have correctly interpreted the Bible. Until then, may God bless your Bible reading and prayers.
TB, you are now coming out with stuff which no-one here will agree with."
Don't know what exactly this is supposed to mean.
But I agree with your statement as to justification being all about what Christ did on our behalf and trusting in that alone. Perhaps the problem you might have with my position is that unlike Luther I'm not prepared to throw out the book of James?
TB, you are now coming out with stuff which no-one here will agree with.
Here is what I think, from the scripture. The commission is to tell people what?
Mark 16:15-16 KJV 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Preach the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ and what he has done. The good news about forgiveness of sins through his atoning blood. The good news of imputed righteousness (from Christ) as a gift through faith. The good news of freedom from eternal punishment, and the good news of an eternal home in heaven. The good news of the love of Christ in dying for sinners, rising for sinners, and coming again for saved sinners. It is all about Jesus, his work, his life, his sacrificial death, his glorious resurrection, his second advent.
And salvation is by simple childlike trust in HIM and in nothing else. If you add aught to Christ's work, it is no gospel but a false one.