Archive for May 21st, 2007

**UPDATE**

Ingrid did not write this article, a concerned slice reader did.  Due to using ” ” within a quotation (not ‘ ‘), I thought that the readers question ended after the first paragraph.  My apologies to Ingrid for any harm done.  The issues addressed still stands.  This person is basically leaving their church because of music style (that is what they devoted most of their ranting to).  They walked out when Point of Grace performed at their church.  I wonder if they would have the same reaction if the Gather Singers came and performed.  Here is my original article:

Ingrid recently wrote an article on when to leave a church. She explained that “Over the past year or so I have noticed subtle uncomfortable changes taking place at our church and in how we “have church”. Things I never dreamed would ever darken our doors are now welcomed and endorsed.” What evils could have plagued her community of faith.

Worship was affected for one (go figure). However she failed to show how worship, in the true sense of the word, was changing in her church. She simply talked about how contemporary Christian music was entering into the services and how a list of Christian artists were invited to perform at certain events. Point of Grace even performed during a service (isert gasp here)
The only signs that this church was going apostate was that “at this church Benny Hinn is openly endorsed from the pulpit as well as the Crouches of TBN. There is a huge picture of the pastor and Mr. Crouch (together) in one of the church’s main hallways.” We are given no information on how Benny Hinn is supported. The pastor could have simply made a positive reference to him for all we know.

The comments at the end of the article saddened me the most. People leaving their churches left and right to go find communities that better suited their needs. If the emerging church supposedly makes churches more suited for non-believers, the people that read slice desire churches that simply make them feel as comfortable as possible.

I will give Ingrid this… she is asking the hard question of when leaving a church is acceptable. And, she has not rushed to leaving her community of faith, even when she has disagreed with orthopraxy there. However, the article confirms that opponents of the emerging church are as just concerned with music style and methodology as we are.

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Check out this tabloid-esque caption from CRN

America’s Mega-Pastor and PDL Pope Rick Warren claims he is also pastor to billionaire Rupert Murdoch who has been steadily expanding his companies further into the distribution of pornography. But wait until you see in this new piece from Apprising Ministries what else our Christian “brother” Rupert Murdoch is responsible for making available to the public.

That compared with this

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Check out the far fetched article. It seems like Ken can’t let this one go.

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We could probably write a book on having relevant methods in the church today with all the discussion here.  However, over at Slice, Ingrid writes an article against some new ideas for attracting men to church at churcformen.com.  Church for Men is a program designed to make church more balanced when it comes to femininity and masculinity.  Isn’t Ingrid always complaining about how effeminate the church is?

Churchformen.com has some great ideas for new sermon series and special days geared towards men and helping them connect to a community of faith.  In classic Ingrid ranting, she writes

While this group never addresses the real cause of absent men in church, unregenerate hearts, they are big on ideas to lure males to church

I am always floored when I read things like this.  That statement really is at the crux of modern reformed theology.  It basically says,“They are unregenerate trash, and we shouldn’t make any attempt to save their unelect hell-bound souls.”

Even the unregenerate hearts would be attracted to a car show in a church parking lot.  And the goal at churchformen.com is not to start a big fraternity and have car shows.  The goal is to attract men to car shows and present the gospel to these men, who would probably not step foot in a church.  Furthermore, they would probably not step foot in a church not because they hate God, but because the church does a really bad job at presenting the gospel to unregenerate men.  Most unsaved men out there think that church is for girls and weird guys.

The fact is, every church is “marketing” themselves to someone.  That is inevitable.  If a church sings hymns from hymnals, sits in pews, has a 1980 Lifeway poster of Jesus in a gold frame, and everyone wears a three piece suit, they are attracting and marketing to a select crowd.  They have made the marketing choice to attract people who are attracted to those things.  A church that has lots of media, modern music, uses themed sermons and wear jeans and t-shirts are marketing to a whole different crowd.  I am not saying either is good or bad, but both churches have selected a target audience and are marketing to them.  Both can preach the same message, but will have two different groups.

The fact is, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that saves.  But, you have to attract people to hear that gospel.  And I will do whatever it takes (within biblical moral bounds) to attract a group to share that gospel.  If I have to build a NASCAR bathroom to attract NARCAR fans to hear the gospel, I will.  If I have to play hymns on an organ to seniors, I will.  If I have to build a skate park for teens to come and have the gospel presented I will.  It’s not unregenerate hearts that are keeping people from church, it is the church that is keeping people from church.

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