The American Church- "Mistaking Crowds for Churches"

A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...

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Another interesting quote about the state of the American church–found it on MinistryToday Online Magazine:

“The biblical New Testament church is vanishing from society today. Anything and everything is acceptable as long as it builds a crowd. Jesus wasn’t as interested in building a crowd as He was in telling the truth. Our responsibility as pastors and leaders is not to give people what they want necessarily but what they need.”

Bob Pearle, pastor of Fort Worth’s Birchman Baptist Church and president of the Grapevine-based Southern Baptists of Texas, a conservative state convention.

In his latest book, The Vanishing Church, Pearle rails against the growing segment of American churches-particularly nondenominational, seeker-sensitive megachurches-that build their “product” to meet consumer demand based upon churchgoers surveys. “It’s a bankrupt philosophy,” the conservative preacher adds. [, 2/28/09]            *Top

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4 Responses to The American Church- "Mistaking Crowds for Churches"

  1. Here is my only problem with this assessment. Jesus did not have meetings where he taught theology. It is not recorded anywhere that Jesus ever taught through a book of the Scriptures.

    His fame grew as he met “felt” needs (healing, deliverance).

  2. Carl,
    Jesus really did demonstrate for us the complete package. I know you know this–the scriptures tell us that Jesus began his ministry preaching (Matt 4:17) : From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.” Vs 23-24: Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing…news about him spread…”

    What brought him fame? Probably the healing but Jesus kept on teaching, preaching and giving Prophetic words–the complete deal.

    What did they say about his teaching? That he didn’t teach like the scribes and pharisees but as one with real authority.

    Also, when those really smart folks tried to trap him in his words they ended up marveling at his answers and the regular folks loved it! I’m sure all of that added to his fame.

    About the quote above–so many tickle ears to gain a large church but Jesus never backed away from teaching the truth and neither should we. Remember the popular crowd who one day hailed him as King, shouted out “crucify Him” a few days later–even his own disciples questioned what he was doing at that point.

    Jesus did not teach theology? He was theology personified and demonstrated. The Gospels are full of his theological teaching–especially John: “before Abraham was I AM”, “I and The Father ARE ONE”, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again”, “For God so loved the World…”, “God is Spirit”, “No one comes to the Father except through me”, “the Father is in me and I in the Father”, I AM the resurrection and the life…”, and all his teaching about the Holy Spirit in 14-16.
    Without the teaching of Jesus there really can’t be any real Christian theology.

    Carl, maybe Jesus didn’t hold a Bible in his hands and preach from it (since there were none in those days) but he did read part of the Isaiah scroll in Nazareth and he quoted from or alluded to nearly every scroll of the OT in his teaching. He was the complete deal and did far more than just healing and deliverance.

    Actually, I am sure there is nothing I’ve said here that you already don’t know and have personally put into practice.


  3. Pingback: “How to Change Traditional Churches into New Testament Churches” | CHARISMATICA

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