Wednesday, February 27, 2008

...seeker-sensitive mega church guy

The seeker movement has been all about style over substance; 
attraction over gospel proclamation; relating over biblical revelation.
The audience is approached as sovereign, rather than the Lord God.  
The purpose of church worship should be primarily the glory of God; 
not about attracting or appealing to lost people.  WE are to 
go to a lost world and tell them about the gospel of Jesus Christ; 
but in our worship to the Lord, something "otherworldly" 
should be taking place. Unsaved people should feel welcome 
in our churches; and unsaved people should feel loved in our churches.  
But unsaved people should never feel comfortable in our churches.  

Watch this video with that in mind.

"By those who come near me, I will be treated as holy,
and before all the people I will be glorified." -Lev. 10:3


ScriptureZealot said...

I am reminded of this post:
Previous Post

SJ Camp said...

I agree when it comes to a distortion of sound doctrine, the sinfulness of sin, or denying an essential of the faith (i.e. the gospel of sola fide, the character and ministry of Jesus Christ. the authority and veracity of Scripture, and nature of the One Triune God.)

I saw this as being satire of a style of doing local church. I am sorry if it needlessly offended you - that was not my intention. Do you think I have a blind spot on a video like this or is there some merit in my reasoning?

My greatest desire is to honor the Lord so please let me know further your thoughts.

Grace and truth,
2 Cor. 4:5

Michael Covington said...

Funny that scripturezealot would point that out. I just finished searching through the archives to find this quote from that same post:

"what we don't need are Christians trying to make fun of; sport of; by humor that is designed to only degrade another person or just make fun of ones beliefs so that we can appear as being more righteous ourselves."

I am not offended by the video, or your posting of it necessarily, I only offer up an observation. You seem to make a strong case for an orthopraxy that is informed by and equal to one's doctrinal acuity toward a Reformed brand of theology.

Therefore, if orthopraxy and orthodoxy are so intertwined, then how is it that to level sarcasm at doctrinal error is wrong, but when leveled at methodological "error" it becomes satire?

This is an honest question, and not sarcasm:-) I really am curious. Thanks Steve, I so appreciate your ministry and
"cut my teeth" on your music nearly 18 years ago after I was saved.

SJ Camp said...

Therefore, if orthopraxy and orthodoxy are so intertwined, then how is it that to level sarcasm at doctrinal error is wrong, but when leveled at methodological "error" it becomes satire?

Good question. It is something I am wrestling with and don't have a clear answer for.

All that I can say is that no one individual was being "taken on." This video was not singling out and making fun of such and such seeker pastor we would all know. That to me would be different. Also, this is not addressing heresy or the tragedy of moral failure. I see those things as being different and went to the nature of my previous post.

With that said, this video is depicting in satire, truthful elements of a movement in a general fashion that are concerning to the greater evangelical landscape. That to me is different also and something I think which is in the bounds of this kind of humorous expression.

Does that make sense? I appreciate your comment greatly.

Grace and truth,
Col. 1:9-14

John said...

For what it is worth--I wasn't offended and laughed all the way through it. Thanks,

Gunnar said...

Jesus was definitely NOT seeker-sensitive. Consider Mark 10:17-22. A man comes running, kneels before Jesus and eagerly asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. After a brief conversation Jesus tells the man, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." (vs. 21)

In the cultural context in which this event takes place, the meaning of "take up the cross" was excruciatingly clear.

This is just one example, but Jesus always emphasized the cost of following Him.

As for the validity and appropriate use of humour to draw attention to truth or error, Jesus Himself used humour (Luke 18:9-14; vs. 11, "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself..."), and also sometimes said things which might be considered sarcastic, ( John 10:33* The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” 34* Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? )

Yes, of course we must be careful that that we do not “degrade another person or just make fun of ones beliefs so that we can appear as being more righteous ourselves", but humour can be an effective method of underscoring a truth.

Thank you Steve for your ministry.

rosemarie said...


I put this on my blog too, because it is the method that is being satirized, not a particular person or ministry. It's really funny until you start thinking about the truth of it.


Michael Covington said...

"Jesus was definitely NOT seeker-sensitive."

Why do we demonize terms such as this one? I believe Jesus was tremendously seeker-sensitive, but I guess it all depends on the meaning you pour into the words. With the rich young ruler, Jesus pointed to the man's self-righteousness and piety as not enough, works are never the answer in the salvific sense, exactly what he needed to hear, I would say that was sensitive, wouldn't you? What about the adulteress, was Jesus not sensitive in telling her that she did not stand condemned before him? Was he not sensitive in pointing out to each of those holding the stones that just because their sin had not been "found out", they were just as guilty?

As for the video, as I stated previously, I took no offense, I find humor in it as well. Although, I will say that while the point is made that no one's name is mentioned specifically, the reason we find humor in it is because we can all think of people it resembles, people whose practices we disagree with. You can't tell me that the Hawaiian shirt comment wasn't aimed at Rick W. or the Starbucks comment at Bill H. or the tight jeans comment at Mark D. Personally, I find this fascination with these things bordering on obsessive. I agree that error in teaching should be confronted in love and according to the biblical mandate for correction within the church and if the person doesn't respond you should treat them as you would a non-believer (with Grace and Truth). Public correction within the Body is acceptable, public "calling-out" in front of the world (or blogosphere) validates a divisive picture of the church in the minds of unbelievers.

donsands said...

It's an alright video. Makes a point with humor. Good stuff.

The seeker-sensative thing is being redone at Willow Creek BTW. It still looks like a Human-Cenetered church though.

I love a church that says it's all about Christ. And that's not popular today. Or we are sold out for God and the Gospel. It's not about us, and it's not about people, not even the lost people who are on the road to destruction, it's all about Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth.
He died for us, so we live for Him. To borrow a Degarmo & Key song.

Seems when the church talks this way we are labeled Fundamentalist and goody religious people. And there are those who are, but seems that the new way to serve Christ is to care about people more than naything else.

Jesus said to Peter, "Do you love Me?" Not do you love these people?
It's as if the Lord was saying,
"If you love Me Peter, then tend to My sheep. Go and Love them, feed them , and teach them of Me, and tell them the Father wants to be glorified in their good deeds, and nothing done in the name of Jesus Christ will be in vain."

SJ Camp said...

Thanks you all for your wisdom and encouragement. This is very helpful and I appreciate the wisdom displayed and discussed here.

Grace and truth,

Gunnar said...

' "Jesus was definitely NOT seeker-sensitive."
Why do we demonize terms such as this one?'

michael, I am not arguing against you; I agree with your comments. You have asked questions and I seek to answer.

Perhaps I should have said "seeker-sensitive as generally applied today". For the most part, it is the creators of the lukewarm, mushy-grace, seeker-sensitive 'churches' who have poured the meaning into the term. Of course Jesus was sensitive and compassionate. etc. in the true biblical sense.

Speaking in generalities, today's seeker-sensitive church would fall over itself to usher the rich young ruler into one of it's comfy seats, and it would not have told the adulteress to "go and sin no more" and might even suggest that she invite her adulterer friend to come and join them.

Yes, Jesus was very sensitive. His sensitivity was empowered by the Holy Spirit who was able to reveal to Him what was in the heart of the seeker, and thereby enable Him to speak to the real issues of the heart, which were not necessarily the same as what the seeker presented (i.e., the woman at the well, Jn. 4). This is the kind of sensitivity which I seek and which has been modelled to me by my pastor.

ScriptureZealot said...

I liked Michael Covington's first reply and your response right after that, especially 'that no one individual was being "taken on."'

I'm not offended by the video at all. I'm on your side in everything posted here.

I just thought I'd point that out. There seemed to be some possible incongruity.

I wonder if the seeker-sensitive, emergent (emerging, whatever) people have satirical videos of us.

As far as Jesus being seeker sensitive--The pharisee who came to Jesus asking Him what he needs to be saved was possibly the ultimate seeker. And Jesus basically turned him away! Although He did feel for him and maybe He knew he'd eventually come to repentance.


littlegal_66 said...

The video is no more offensive than the
"Drive-Thru Church Video,"
which isn't "taking on" any specific seeker-sensitive church but rather, satirizing a generalization of the seeker-sensitive, "have it your way" worship "experience" approach.

littlegal_66 said...

A word of caution regarding the video I just linked to on "youtube":
In case some of you are unaware, the comment threads there are open-forum, unmoderated, so the comments can reflect strong language. Read the comments at your own risk.