SIN MANAGEMENT IS BIG BUSINESS
By Paul Proctor
August 23, 2006
I caught an interesting article last week from LifeSiteNews.com that highlighted the frustrations of a disgruntled AIDS activist by the name of Martin Sempa, who was commenting on the absurdity of a recent international AIDS conference held in Toronto. As I read his rant I discovered some rather disturbing parallels between the AIDS movement and the church growth movement in how they both handle "disease."
Here's just some of what he had to say:
Well, since the "church" closely follows the culture these days and imitates it for the sake of the "Kingdom," it should come as no real surprise that "disease" is quickly becoming big business for the brethren as well, thanks to all of the hard work and dedication of Pastors Rick Warren from Saddleback Community Church, Lake Forest, California and Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church, Barrington, Illinois, who co-sponsored their own AIDS conference at Warren's church last year called: "Disturbing Voices."
Well, I submit to you that AIDS and the "church," as Warren defines it, are both growing exponentially for much the same reason: There is no clear call for repentance - only a call for "love" and "compassion" - which, in reality, perverts the Gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ into an irresistible, permissible, unaccountable, compromising, gratifying, no-fault, humanistic faith and practice that not only allows open rebellion against God and His Word into the church, but also welcomes it, as evidenced by the following quote, taken from a Pastors.com article covering a recent two-day Ecumenical and Interfaith pre-conference gathering in Toronto:
Now where do you suppose Pastor Warren came up with this dialectical diversion away from biblical truth? Well, in an another article chronicling Saddleback's 2005 "Disturbing Voices" conference, written by Whitney Kelley, entitled: HIV/AIDS Conference Shifts Focus From Education To Action, Rick's wife, Kay Warren reportedly said this:
First of all, Jesus Christ is God incarnate and is therefore omniscient; so, He "never asked anyone how he or she got sick" because He already knew!
Secondly, is Kay Warren suggesting here that AIDS really isn't anyone's fault? - Or that holding people accountable for their behavior is somehow wrong? And is she also saying if Christians so much as suggest that AIDS IS someone's fault, and teach that each of us ARE accountable for our behavior, that we are not being compassionate and are therefore "Pharisees?"
What about the "go, and sin no more" command from Jesus Christ to the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11? Does that make Him an uncompassionate "Pharisee" as well?
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20
And we wonder why the fire is gone from today's pulpits and the church is looking more and more like the fallen world around us with its lukewarm Laodicean "love" and "compassion." You see, if there's no sinful behavior at work, there's no need to repent; and if there's no need to repent, then there's no need to change our ways or our ways of thinking; so the seeker sensitive, Purpose Driven, church growth "Christian" simply carries on unconcerned, unfettered and unrepentant in the name of Jesus. That's why today's "church growth" looks more like a cancer than a cure.
Willow Creek's senior facilitator, Bill Hybels obviously agrees with the Warrens, judging by these following remarks taken from a PurposeDriven.com article by Shannon Baker entitled: Saddleback Hosts Historic Church-Based HIV/AIDS Conference - a report on that same "Disturbing Voices" symposium in 2005:
Again, no mention of sin and no call for repentance - just acceptance.
So, by "lovingly" focusing only on the symptoms and side effects of sin rather than on the cause and cure, the "church" not only sustains it, they capitalize on it to grow their numbers while Hell retains the reservations of the unrepentant, leaving them to conclude that because sin is merely a "disease," it's not really their fault - that they're just a good person with a bad problem who, by joining the co-opted and camouflaged liberal UN agenda of tolerance, diversity and unity, via the "Christian conservative" church growth movement, they miraculously find a "purpose" in life ("transformation") and a people who will generously stroke their self-esteem while "compassionately" strolling them into spiritual ruin by telling them exactly what they want to hear.
Considering the eternal consequences, just how is that being loving and compassionate?
Certainly not everyone who contracts AIDS engages in sexually promiscuous or deviant behavior; but the overwhelming majority of those that spread it, DO. Moreover, according to scripture, "�all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) leaving no excuse for preachers of the Gospel to sit silent about "the wages of sin" (Romans 6:23) even for the sake of church growth.
Mega-churches, para-church organizations and their many ministries, affiliates and support groups now seem to have programs for almost every psychological ailment, addiction, disorder, disease and distress known to man. But the one thing that is noticeably absent is the biblical call to repentance.
Could it be that those in sin management don't really want such a message preached? After all, if their prospects and participants actually turned to Jesus Christ in true repentance and faith and experienced His healing, deliverance and life-transforming power, many of their popular programs would be rendered irrelevant; and that would spell disaster for the sin management industry called the "church growth movement" and subsequently put a lot of people out of work or, if you prefer, out of "ministry."
At that same pre-conference gathering in Toronto, "The People's Pastor" went on to say this:
What kind of "transformation" is he talking about - into a UN compliant Purpose Driven puppet? Where's Jesus Christ in all this? Where is the Gospel and the call to repentance? It simply isn't there; and THAT, my friends, is the real issue.
In spite of Warren's dialectic call for "transformation" (into being Purpose Driven) the fact is, most sinners today aren't being transformed, aren't being delivered, aren't being healed and aren't being saved because they aren't repenting and surrendering their lives over to Jesus Christ; they're only getting treatment and therapy by sin management specialists who frankly, are enjoying a rather booming business right now.
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." - 2nd Timothy 3:5
Until each of us individually acknowledges just who and what we are in the sight of Almighty God, and our sin is confessed and repented of in brokenness, humility and total surrender before His ONLY Begotten Son, Who paid for it on a Cross 2000 years ago - with or without AIDS - we ultimately face an unspeakable and unrelenting torment that no man or program can treat, comfort or cure.
Jesus said: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." - Luke 5:32
If you want to see a perfect example of just how the church today undermines the Gospel by imitating the world for the sake of growth, reread the lengthy quote near the top of this article, taken from LifeSiteNews.com and simply replace the word "AIDS" with the word "sin" and the word "abstinence" with the word "repentance." I think you will find the egregious parallels between the AIDS movement and the church growth movement compelling.
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." - 2nd Peter 2:3
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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.
Well, I submit to you that AIDS and the "church," as Warren defines it, are both growing exponentially for much the same reason: There is no clear call for repentance - only a call for "love" and "compassion" - which, in reality, perverts the Gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ...