DON'T CHURCH ME BRO!
By Paul Proctor
January 11, 2008
For those who regularly follow my column, it's no secret that I have a real problem with many from my own denomination - the Southern Baptist Convention - especially those in leadership positions from other affiliated entities who disseminate misleading information and unbiblical teaching, practices and principles as representative of the SBC. Having said that, it should also be understood that my efforts have always been to expose the lies, warn the flock and redirect the naive back to God's Word - nothing more.
It's not about condemning leaders, but rather about sparing followers. If you don't see this as an act of love, then go find yourself a Willow Creek or Purpose Driven church to join and leave the rest of us alone. There are certainly plenty of them to choose from.
Now, on to the business at hand�
Here's the latest bunk from The Baptist Press - an excerpt taken from an article written by "Saddleback Spin Doctor" and Rick Warren hand puppet, Mark Kelly, titled, Unchurched adults: Turned off, yet open:
A majority of unchurched Americans are turned off by the institutional church and don't have a biblical understanding about God and Jesus, yet they believe Jesus makes a positive difference in a person's life and would enjoy an honest discussion with a friend about spiritual matters.
So, according to LifeWay, the institutional church turns people off. OK, if that's true, why then do we as Christians continue to try and institutionalize them - especially when there is no biblical directive to do so?
Who do you think church leaders are discussing when they talk about the "unchurched?" Obviously they're not referring to the un-saved because many of those polled by LifeWay consider themselves to be Christians. No, they're talking about those who don't regularly attend a religious institution for worship, service, study and fellowship. In other words, they're talking about the un-institutionalized.
These are the "unchurched."
Come on folks - that's not even a real word and yet many use it now like they were quoting Jesus Himself!
American Heritage Dictionary defines the word "institutionalize" this way:
To place (a person) in the care of an institution.
Isn't that what most Christian leaders are about these days? But, is that why Jesus came and died on a cross - to help us all get institutionalized - to get us all churched?
Did He commission his disciples to "Go ye therefore into all the world and church people?"
Then why has that become Job One?
What might be even more revealing about this unbiblical obsession with churching people is the definition for "institutionalize" found in Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary:
To place a person in the care of an institution, especially one providing care for the disabled or mentally ill.
Don't many of today's liberals, humanists, communists, agnostics and atheists consider Christians, especially those who hold to the fundamentals of the faith, to be mentally ill?
Doesn't that make you question the spiritual legitimacy and overall agenda of some in charge among Southern Baptists? If it doesn't, maybe it should.
On January 10th, 2008, Fox News reported that Joy Baher, rampant liberal and co-host of ABC's The View, stated the following on a recent show:
"I have a theory that you can't find any saints anymore because of psychotropic medication. I think that [in] the old days, the saints were hearing voices and they didn't have any Thorazine to calm them down.
Of course, preachers aren't dispensing mood-altering medications to church members (at least not yet, or not that I know of) but many are, without a doubt, dispensing a wide array of mind-altering notions and nonsense that didn't come from the Bible, but instead from books and authors beholding to one or more religious institutions - organizations with extra-biblical goals and plans that end up distracting and confusing many who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and sending them astray.
I mean really - haven't you noticed that psychotherapy has, for the most part, replaced the Word of God at church today resulting in a lot fewer real saints? Is it any wonder churchgoers are considered hypocrites by the outside world?
Think about it. How many of today's "worship services" and "Bible studies" look more like therapy sessions where we all sit in circles expressing our feelings and emotions - sharing personal experiences and religious conjecture rather than learning, teaching and acting on God's Word as the Divine Authority?
Is it possible that Ms. Baher has accidentally stumbled onto something quite revealing here about today's "Christianity?"
Generally speaking, what is the first order of business for most secular institutions? Is it not to grow and sustain the institution itself for the sake of its cause or objective? Is it not to preserve, promote and help the institution by contributing in some way to its increase in revenue? And are not those who are hired by such institutions primarily interested in securing, protecting and advancing their own careers within that institution, thus making them servants of it? Moreover, don't many so-called "Christian" institutions do much the same thing even though they claim to be advancing the Kingdom of God, the Gospel of Christ and/or some "ministry?"
But really - how can they possibly do both?
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24
You see, until we stop trying to church people and start hearing, believing, proclaiming and obeying The Word of God, the only thing that's going to grow in number are the enemies of Christ.
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." - Proverbs 30:5-6
� 2008 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale
Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�
Of course, preachers aren't dispensing mood-altering medications to church members (at least no yet, or not that I know of) but many are, without a doubt, dispensing a wide array of mind-altering notions and nonsense that didn't come from the Bible...