JESUS WAS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER?
By Paul Proctor
September 17, 2008
The Washington Times reported last week what many of us Southern Baptists have known for some time: Evangelicals are �flocking away from churches� in �significant numbers.�
Based on interviews and research, columnist Julia Duin cited the following reasons:
Sermons geared toward babes in the faith instead of mature adults, pastors who don't get it when it comes to realizing the lives the average person leads, churches that barely tolerate singles (a huge, untapped demographic), churches that have quenched anything having to do with the charismatic movement (which led to significant church growth several decades ago), the never-ending stories of abuse of the Big Three Temptations - money, sex and power.
Do I agree with these findings?
Not so much.
In past columns I�ve covered the many reasons I believe the church is in decline; and instead of rehashing years of commentary on the subject, suffice it to say the reinvented church has become so much like the world, there is little left for anyone to come to that they can�t find in greater quantity and quality elsewhere.
After all, the church didn�t invent entertainment, marketing, recreation, networking, volunteerism and psychotherapy � they simply adopted these practices from the world because the world loves such things � and the church loves the world and covets its love in spite of scriptural commands to the contrary.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." � 1st John 2:15-16
You see, today�s church is reproducing customers, consumers, compromisers and social engineers � not committed Christians � people who seek affection, affiliations and alliances to enhance and advance their interests and objectives instead of being the �peculiar people� God has called us to be.
�But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light�� � 1st Peter 2:9
But we don�t want to be peculiar, do we?
No, we want to be popular. We want to be just like the world around us so the world will like us and join us, when in fact, it is we who are joining them.
Representative Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. raised a big stink last week calling Jesus a �community organizer� in his promotion and defense of Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama; and I would submit to you that this liberal perception and perversion of Jesus Christ has so infected the church today, even among conservatives, that our pulpits are now occupied more by community organizers than preachers of the Gospel.
Why do you think so many churches have done away with biblically or denominationally distinctive names and chosen instead generic and benign titles like �Community Church� to describe their fellowship while embracing a blas� attitude toward sin and rebellion?
Is it not to be more attractive to the world and increase their market share in the community? Is it not to bring people together regardless of their conflicting values, beliefs and religions?
The one thing I did agree with from Duin�s report is that many of those leaving the institutional church today are not backsliders. A large number of them are faithful and mature Christians who are being driven away by backsliding churches and their leaders. They are essentially protecting themselves and their families from a faith-destroying environment of covetousness and pragmatism.
Today�s church has become so obsessed with results and relationships that they no longer have an interest in the things of God � only �building community.�
It sounds so benevolent, doesn�t it?
And that�s just what community organizers do � they �build community� � which has absolutely nothing to do with repentance and faith in Jesus Christ � the One who said: �My kingdom is not of this world.�
�For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.� � Titus 2:11-14