Archive for the ‘Church Commentary’ Category

The state of the church and 3D pastors

Pastor Tony Morgan (right) next
to a holographic figure.

3D pastors. Who would’ve thought?

If the only job of a pastor was to preach, then perhaps this would be fine. However, a pastor must be a shepherd! That is the meaning of the word!

Holograms do not shepherd! In fact, technology is the death of the church! Why do I say this?

It has become way too easy for people to use only technology to make up their daily spiritual diet. Christians no longer come together as the people of God, because the over-use of technology has sent a message of total individualism to the church, making the local church a nuisance to our every day lives. Suddenly, we are more interested in what Tom, Dick and Harriet from across the big, blue pond have to say. Pastors have become irrelevant to modern Christians, because they can simply switch on the TV, or stream a video of a sermon via the internet, preached by a pastor that we will never get into contact with.

There is no longer a need to go to church. In fact, I was shocked speechless at a Biblical Worldview Seminar recently, when a married couple told me that they felt so good about themselves and their “freedom” in Christ since they decided to no longer attend church. They get all their spiritual “nutrition” via technology! I suppose that is why they are more concerned about fluoride in water and toothpastes, and aspartame in fizzy drinks than the people of God.

A church where shepherding, mentoring, true discipling is not practiced, is a failing church. Christianity is not about a sermon, although true preaching is at the heart of the church getting together. No, Christianity is about the gospel of Christ, and how it has changed us, and made a bunch of pagans into the one true people of God! How can we even claim to be the people of God if we do not want to gather with the people of God to worship and hear the preaching of God’s word. A true Christian will love the people of God. We cannot say we love God and not want to get together with the people God elected in His divine love!

The problem with modern technology in the church, is that much of it becomes a distraction. It makes attending church more like attending a movie! It becomes important that the entertaining factor is high all the time. The church is literally entertaining itself to death!

Technology in itself is not bad or evil. However, its use can have effects that we do not always think about when something new comes onto the market. Much of it is faddish, and it doesn’t help the preaching of God’s Word at all. It can distract, and “wow,” to the extent that the message of the gospel is lost in the bright lights, flashing images and loud noise.

Do we trust our preaching of the gospel so little, that we need to “wow” people in order to draw them? This is truly foolish! The Bible does not tell us that if we lift up technology that Christ will draw all kinds of people to Himself. We have to preach Christ, for it is the message of the gospel that will draw people. What did Paul write?

“For we are not ashamed of our technology, for the clever use of technology is the power of God for salvation to everyone who sees and hears our very entertaining techno messages.”

I bet you know that that is not what Paul wrote. Rather, he wrote:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Rom 1:16)

We are to preach the gospel with clarity and not with distractions. For it is not entertainment that draws the ungodly, but God Himself! (Jn 6:44)

So, will holographic pastors add to the preaching of the gospel or distract from it? In the long run, what effects will this have on the church? What message do you preach subliminally when using your new technology?

In the end, it all hinges on how the technology affects the message of the gospel. Technology is not worth it, if it negatively affects the message of the gospel!

HT: Dan Phillips


Global Leadership Summit and the lack of theological discernment in the church

30 September 2010 Leave a comment
Bill Hybels

Willow Creek, headed by Bill Hybels, is one of the largest churches in America. One of its babies is the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) which has been running for several years. Many churches have jumped on this bandwagon of leadership and growing leadership and running leadership seminars and other leadership BLAH BLAH BLAH. Oh, sorry, I drifted off their for a second or two. Must be all this leadership talk!

The modern church is making so much of leadership and leadership principles that in my opinion, it is forgetting its primary mandate from none other than Jesus Christ Himself. In Mt 28:18-20 it is written:

“18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make leaders in your churches from all nations, certifying them as leaders in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all leadership principles that I have commanded you. And behold, I will put great leaders among you always, to the end of the age.'”

That is how it reads in the Leadership Principles Study Bible, available at all poor Christian bookstores near you!

But, this passage actually says:

“18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'”

When the church becomes this concerned with making leaders, then it has lost the plot. The primary mandate for the church is to make disciples, and those disciples must make disciples, recursively.

Enough of this “leadership” talk!

T.D. Jakes

An alarming issue for me is the inclusion of T.D. Jakes. And this is where the theological discernment comes in! T.D. Jakes is a non-repentant, non-trinitarian. That means he does not believe in the Trinity of the Scriptures, hence putting himself outside of the fold of historic, Biblical Christianity. As a result, historically and Biblically, he would be known as a heretic! To find out more on what Jakes really believes you can go here, here and here. You can also read my blog series (first posted at Sovereign Truth) on the heresies of the Word-of-Faith preachers that have invaded the church so deeply.

The problem with all of these false teachers invading the church, is that the church has largely lost its ability to know and express a Biblical theological standpoint! The problem is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not really that important any more!

When asked what is important, these people come up with all kinds of answers that do not really have any link back to the gospel! Things like being relevant, leadership and all kinds of worldly fads. I listened to a sermon by David Wells a while ago in which he said that when the church starts following a fad, that fad is no longer cool!

The church has essentially lost its foundation when it started adding all kinds of other ideas to the gospel and eventually lost much of the gospel. It is for this reason that preachers such as T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer and others have so easily invaded churches with their books and videos. The “essentials of the gospel” have become non-essential!

Due to this lack of theoscernment, many evangelicals have become evanjellycals.

We simply cannot allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to further bring doctrines of death to our churches! Just because someone claims the name of Christ, does not mean that Christ has claimed that person. Christianity is a propositional faith. It makes some truth claims, and some of those truth claims are clearly doctrinal, and without them, your faith is no longer the Christian faith. It is on this basis that we can say that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are not Christian. It is, based on these accepted essential doctrines, that we can say that the WOF preachers and men like T.D. Jakes stand outside of the true Christian fold.

The question is, however, will pastors stand on the truth of the gospel, or on expediency, driven by the urge to be relevant in an age of intolerance.

Doing church our way because God’s way is just too restrictive!

7 September 2010 Leave a comment

With everything happening in the modern church, it certainly feels like is a reality!

Categories: Church Commentary, Video

What is the state of the western church? by Ravi Zacharias

How to find a church

For those who are serious about what they are fed from the pulpit, it becomes a daunting task to find a church where the truth is preached unadulterated. Here in South Africa there is a proliferation of churches that merely skim the Scriptures and never get to the meat. They keep on feeding their people fast-food, and hence their people can no longer handle the true meat of the Scriptures.

So, looking for a church is not easy. Dan Phillips has written a blog post that helps us to search for a church. Unfortunately his post is written very much for the American scene, but there is much to gain from his post.

Categories: Church Commentary

Love is perpendicular

Love isn’t easy. Especially love to those that irritate us. One of my pet peeves here in South Africa is the way people drive, especially the taxis. They are just plain dangerous. I find this very irritating and I truly find it difficult in those situations to show love to people that drive without following the rules of the road and drive like maniacs.

As Christians, we are called to love one another, because this is how the world will know that we are His disciples (Jn 13:35).

The question is, what about those that are not Christians?

The love that Jesus proposed, and demonstrated to us, is way deeper than our own natural inclinations.

43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Mt 5:43-44)

Read Mt 5:43-44 a few times. Make it sink in! We do not always get this. Jesus told us here that our love must not be just for those that are easy to love. We have to love our enemies, even if they persecute us! There is no reward for only loving those who love us, since even the tax collectors do that (Mt 5:46).

It is easy to love those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 21:27) with ours, sometimes even they can irritate us, but what Jesus tells us to do is to love those that are still under God’s wrath!

It is so easy to say that we love God, but how do we prove that? By being zealous? Even zeal can be contrary to God, and be misplaced! John was clear in 1 Jn 4:20-21 that if we claim to love God but do not love our fellow Christians, then we are liars! Just a quick question: How do you measure up against this verse? Jesus made it practical. If your brother comes to you at night and asks for bread, do you send him off with a pat on the back telling him that everything will look much better when the sun rises in the morning?

So, you may measure up well in the love-other-Christians stakes. What about non-Christians? Do you love them? Or are you like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan that simply walked past a man with severe injuries. Are you a true neighbour to those around you? (Lk 10:25-37)

33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  
34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  
35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’  
36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”  
37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Lk 10:33-37)

Do you show mercy to those around you? It definitely is something that I fall short in. I have to remind myself daily that I need to show love to those around me, especially when I am driving. Where I get most irritated is where I need to practice mercy and show God’s love the most!

Love is perpendicular. If we claim that we love God, but do not love others, we do not have God’s love! Proof of our vertical love for God, is our horizontal love for our neigbour! Hence, the perpendicularity of God’s love in our hearts.

It isn’t easy, but is is necessary. I have received the love of God freely; I need to show others the love of God freely.

I did not deserve the love of God, why should others have to deserve my love, then?

Where do you battle with showing God’s love and mercy? How have you learnt to love others?

Categories: Church Commentary, Love

Profaning the gospel for the sake of ‘contextualization’

Wanting to be relevant, the church has become sick beyond repair! That is, repair driven by the church itself.

Pastors, wanting to ‘contextualize’ the gospel have turned to profanity (‘swear words’) in their sermons. These contextualizers, or relevantizers, simply do not believe that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16)

Phil Johnson writes about these types:

“See, I think this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself. If we really believed the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, why would we think it necessary to dress the message in such shabby rags?”

Preachers such as these simply bring disrepute to the gospel of Jesus Christ and show what they truly put their trust in for the salvation of their hearers!

Categories: Church Commentary