Remember the old days, where churches had steeples and stained glass windows. Remember when there were pews, and a choir that sang edifying hymns to our Lord? Remember those days when people wore suits and ties, and ladies wore dresses and heels, trying to present their best to our God? Remember those days when children used to go to Sunday school classes, and learn the Bible, and families went to service, and the pastor preached a sermon? “Well,” says Andy Stanley, “the greatest thing about all of this, is we don’t have to do that anymore,” he proclaims in his latest sermon, “Brand New.” Stanley is making it abundantly clear that he has no qualms about changes that are being made in today’s churches, and he’s proud of it.
“The things that are holding people back from coming to church are actually the things the church should be letting go of,” Stanley says. But what kind of things is he referring to? Could it be things like clear Biblical doctrine about salvation, sin, grace, etc? Could it be a pastoral teaching from the pulpit? Could it be edifying worship to our Lord and Savior? Just exactly what things is the church holding on to that’s “hindering growth,” according to Stanley?
He goes on to say that in his lifetime, he has never heard anyone say that the reason they don’t go to church is because they follow Jesus.
Seriously? Where has his head been? “The Church should be irresistible except for the fact that we love Jesus,” he says. But according to Stanley, the Catholic church loves Jesus too. Does this also include Mormons? Jehova’s Witnesses? Unrepentant sinners, like Matthew Vines, and others who think living in sin is fine with God?
He goes on to say, “even if you never come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Son of God…or that Jesus is your savior…if you follow his teachings, you will have a better life.”
Stanley goes on to proclaim that Church has become resistible to people because of all of the baggage that comes along with it. Baggage like clear doctrine, and traditional, edifying worship. By removing these things that are “holding the Church back,” we can now make church attractive to people, and give people a “better life.” Much like Joel Osteen, he isn’t concerned with the eternal salvation of people’s souls, but he wants to give people “their best life now.” So lets do away with doctrine that teaches people about sin and repentance, and the merciful loving grace of God. Let’s not teach people about the consequences of sin, Hell, but let’s just teach people to come in and sing Rock and Roll music, and follow some of the red-letter teachings of Jesus about loving one-another, and people can walk out of here on Sunday mornings fulfilled, have a better life, and perhaps, the pockets of wolves like Andy Stanley will be lined with the dollar bills of these goats.
You can view the entire “sermon” here.
** UPDATE **
I just wanted to say, that while the majority of people are discerning, and they can easily see the bigger problem here, I have been getting a few nasty (personal) attacks, on Twitter and Facebook, and in comments on other’s blog sites, stating that I am taking his words out of context, and misrepresenting him. I’ve been likened to a “bitter old man” who wants followers more than the truth. I can assure you, that is far from the truth. I want to be abundantly clear that I do not believe these words are taken out of context. I have posted the link to the entire sermon for anyone to watch. I understand that there are those who actually agree with this seeker-friendly theology, and chances are, you will not be convinced. I pray for you folks. But for those who are on the fence, I invite you to study up on the seeker-friendly, seeker sensitive model of the church, and it’s grave dangers.
If you believe that church is for outsiders, you have a mistaken view on what the New Testament Church is. The Church, by definition, is the body of BELIEVERS. It is the local church’s job to equip the saints to go out into the world to make new disciples. If you are a follower of Christ, you are a member of the Church, and should be a member of a local NT church. However, the seeker-sensitive model of attracting a bunch of goats with Rock and Roll music, light shows, short sermons, and comfortable seats, into a “church” building and teaching them to follow Christ’s commandments so they could have a better life is not a church… it’s a social club, and a spiritually dangerous one at that.
Here are some links to more information on the seeker-sensitive movement.
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