As a pastor for 33 years, with 10 years in a megachurch & several church plants, I appreciate the work it takes to allow the Lord to build His church. Any leader who does something exceptional deserves commendation for risk taken and the persistent effort to accomplish it. But if leaders purport to have a message & have thousands of followers, they deserve assessment and evaluation by those who aren’t their cheerleaders. Teachers have a much stricter judgment (James 3:1). The more popular and visible their message and name become, they invite scrutiny. Assessing their message, fruit & values is a legitimate thing the Lord Himself tells us to do as believers so shouldn’t be viewed as judgmental or unfair. (Jn 7:24)
Today it is becoming increasingly obvious (unless one wants to ignore reality and statistics) that the 33 yr old seeker-sensitive, consumer-driven church model promoted by Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and many others in America has significantly failed to produce a spiritual awakening or even committed disciples of Jesus Christ. While these leaders all have far-flung enterprises that doesn’t necessarily equate with fruit that brings about change. Most of the leaders it produces are of the same DNA, bringing the “inch-deep, mile-wide motivational message” they promote and one of the most dangerous trends I see is they actually believe their own messaging even if its unbiblical.
Because of the emphasis today on grace in the body of Christ, when some believers hear any mention of “work”, it’s like someone saying a 4-letter word! Much teaching has come about “rest” and to “not strive”, so that when folks hear the mention of “work”, they tune it out. But when any truth is stressed to the exclusion of other truth, that is crossing over into bringing a false balance and that is called an abomination! This what our media does. It screams out the narrative it’s pushing, to the exclusion of truth. It rushes to make a case on the basis of a sliver of information, then later, when all facts come out, the damage is done and the true story smothered.
The Word of God is a TWO-edged sword. We can only walk on one leg at a time & we do it in a balance with the other. When we’re walking on our right leg, our left is in the air and we cannot stand on it but need each other. Each leg is necessary but we’re crippled if one is “cut off”. The law came through Moses, but Grace AND truth is realized in Jesus Christ. John 1:17.
Pastor Marc Lawson
There are 168 hours in every week. The 166 Factor is the answer to the question: "Who are you the OTHER 166 hours a week when you are NOT in church?" Join the community here as we will be discussing this and other topics related to Reformation in the Church, The End of Church (As We Know It) & The 166 Lifestyle.