…providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt” (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy—something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22). –Charles H. Spurgeon
Amusement and entertainment, sadly, is exactly what the professing church of the modern day downgrade wants. It’s a rare occurrence to walk into a church and simply hear the hard, truth-filled gospel preached, and this hard truth is almost certainly nowhere to be found at the vast majority of Christian conferences and events.
The professing church has built a golden calf out of “leadership,” often catering to the philosophies of the world and putting a Christian-sounding spin on it; they will host any speaker that names the name of Christ and has a personality that attracts swaths of people to attend their speaking engagements. The 2017 Catalyst Conference in Atlanta this October is no exception. The conference dubs itself as “a leadership event series that unifies, equips, and challenges leaders who love the Church,” it continues, “our key event speakers push the boundaries of leadership and thought practice, and invite you along for the ride.”
The professing church is filled with these so-called “leaders,”–men like Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel who are among the most influential people in the church, yet fill the market with unbiblical, seeker-friendly rhetoric that dishonors God and downplays the actual content of the gospel. Yet their words are pleasing to the world–a world that rejects the notion that men are inherently wicked and in need of a savior (Genesis 6:5, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, etc. ). A world that rejects that there is no other God but Jesus Christ (John 14:6). A world that rejects that unless you repent, you will spend eternity in Hell (Luke 13:3-5).
These are the men leading this conference and these are the people influencing young believers today. These are false teachers who have twisted the Scriptures to suit their own passions–passions of filling the pews of massive buildings and drawing attention to themselves. Andy Stanley has openly rejected expository preaching and downplayed the importance of essential Christian doctrines including the Incarnation and the authority of Scripture. He’s openly stated that Christians and pastors need to “take the spotlight off the Bible,” as well as claimed that if you don’t go to a big church, like his, then you are selfish. He also stated that even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you can have a better life by following His teachings. His church has also been known to play sexually explicit music, and has advocated for and allowed openly gay church membership. To say the least, the truth of God’s Word is not a priority for Andy Stanley.
On the other hand, we have Tim Tebow–a mediocre professional athlete who is widely known for his kneeling prayer pose, coined “Tebowing,” during the game.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven… –Matthew 6:1
But is Tim Tebow a leader? And more importantly, is he a Christian leader?
Tebow is a strong supporter of Clayton Jennings, a failed minister who lost his preaching license after he showed himself to be an unrepentant sexual predator. Tebow endorses and promotes Jennings’ book, Shaken. Perhaps it’s an oversight on Tebow’s part, but Tebow has shown himself time and time again to be undiscerning with his associations. At 2017 Catalyst, he is now teaming up with a multitude of false teachers, including Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, a new age mystic and (false) “apostle” of the New Apostolic Reformation (2 Corinthians 11:13), Christine Caine, a Prosperity Gospel pimptress and social justice warrior who advocates for a works-based religiosity out of Hillsong, Australia, and many others, including music led by Hillsong Worship.
These professors of Christ have long shown themselves to be little more than ear-tickling man pleasers. For many, social justice and the culture war has become the primary purpose of Christianity, but it’s also a good way to make a massive living. Therefore to grow and keep an audience, they remove the offense of the gospel and replace it with entertaining pop culture figures like Tim Tebow, and wash it with some Christian garb to make it sound like Christianity. The gospel they proclaim is devoid of substance–it lacks or minimizes the necessary components of true Christianity which is the Holiness of God, the wickedness of man, and the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ who bore the wrath of God that we deserved on the cross.
Is this who Tim Tebow wants to be associated with? Is this what he wants to be known for? I hope that Tim Tebow will repent of his associations with these false teachers and stop leading people astray.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. –2 Corinthians 11:3-4
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]