Sunday, July 08, 2012

Discerning Contemporary Church Slang

1. Wear What You Want / Be Comfortable
What if I feel comfortable in a thong? This kind of talk is usually a dead giveaway for an easy believism gospel, but not always. Actually addressing what one should or shouldn't wear speaks louder than if they had just not mentioned it all. (Matthew 6:31) "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" If Christ doesn't make clothing an issue why are contemporary preachers’s doing it? Also the words "casual" and "Christianity" just seems like an oxymoron to me.

2. Unchurchy Church
Really, an unchurchy church? Going to an unchurchy church is equal to going to an unhospital hospital and getting treatment for an unbroken broke arm. While you’re at the unchurchy church maybe you can get unsaved saved or unbaptized baptized, though it is likely that you will hear the unword word at the unchurchy church. Wake up people for "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going" (Proverbs 14:15). Is not this kind of language the very thing Paul warns Timothy about in 1 Timothy 3:8 that deacons be "not doubletongued"? So just be warned "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers," (Titus 1:10).

3. We Design Our Worship Services / Practical Dynamic Worship Experience
Oh, your church service isn't designed by God? Be sure that if they are taking credit for it then God's not in it. Any so called church that promotes its music worship service over everything else is a clear sign that it is an emotionally driven church that has elevated their experience over the Word of God. "And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed" (2 Peter 1:18-19). What does practical worship look like as opposed to unpractical worship? How about true worship vs. false worship, or maybe that's too divisive. That's the whole point; they want to make you think that the church down the road just doesn't worship as dynamically as they do, in a word it's nothing short of marketing the church to draw in the most consumers. It's the same thing the retail stores do to get your money, if that doesn't raise any suspicions then you’re just not thinking discriminately. I am always skeptical of church's that only describe worship as the music event, this is dangerously close to what the Jews had done by saying "Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship" rather than in "spirit and in truth", all of life is to be worship of Christ not just the musical/praise aspect of a worship service.

4. Your Best Life
If the words "Best Life" appear anywhere in a church advertisement you can be sure it's not a Biblical church even if they say they are, it's a deception, maybe unknowingly but a deception none the less. The Christian life presented in the Bible is one of self-denial and self-crucifixion (Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23, Mark 8:34), just read the book of Acts or just read the historical tradition of the eleven apostle’s eventful deaths or John Foxe’s “Book of Martyr’s”. “You’re Best Life Now” message doesn’t sell in a third world country for they have experienced the realities of life; it’s only a western cultural phenomenon. What’s ironic is that these same church’s proudly say they are about being real, how far from being real is the message of “Your Best Life Now”.

5. Connect or Plugged In
Well the first thing most contemporary church's want you to connect is your debt card to their automated online giving and isn't going to church and Sunday School connecting with other believers, or could I just friend them on FaceBook and still be connected? I have found that what contemporary church's really want you to plug-in to are the needed places of service regardless if you have the desire or gifts to serve in the area they have placed you in, this is not just a contemporary church problem but I have found it to be rampant within good church’s as well. Too often I have seen new believers get pushed into areas of church service where they are neither called nor lead with little or no training. Too many times I have seen a "novice" put in the place of leadership where chaos soon becomes the norm. Again I believe these terms to be deceptive talk in order to keep people busy in the church, like a form of control rather than shepherding and leading the flock.

6. Traditional and Contemporary Worship Services
Any church that says they offer two services one traditional and one contemporary is a church that is all ready divided, and a "house divided against itself shall not stand:" (Matthew 12:25)

7. Core Values
This is just a postmodern contemporary church term that means we don't have a doctrinal statement! If you are attending a church that does not have a church doctrinal statement then stop attending that church ASAP, because without a doctrinal statement anything goes. (Titus 1:9) "give instruction in sound doctrine".

8. Life Coach
Again, another postmodern term that simply means someone who wants Senior Pastor Pay without Senior Pastor Responsibilities; you know the guy who likes to give out advice but doesn’t want the blame if it goes bad. People don't need a life coach to guide them through the moral choices in order to win at the game of life, for they are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and need to be born again with sound instruction in Biblical truth for the saved and lost alike both need a pastor who will preach the Word of God to them for "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

9. Relevant
What they really mean is culturally relevant or better yet what's popular, not what's Biblical which is always relevant. The problem is what maybe culturally relevant to me could be completely irrelevant to the guy sitting next to me, which would actually make their attempt at relevance irrelevant to some. Cultural relevance is not transcendent and does not sound the same wherever you take it, and must be changed depending on its relevance again this is closely related to consumer marketing. Whereas the Word of God cross’s all cultures, races, generations, traditions and never sounds like "a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1) for “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: “ (Psalm 19:7).

10. Missional
Being “missional” is just another word for pragmatism, in other words whatever the church needs to do in order to engage the lost community with a view to winning them to Christ, just as long as it works for our predetermined positive outcome then it should be accepted and implemented. The problem I have with this is when it affects the worship service with worldly concepts, for the church is a gathering of believers who's relationship with God is covenantal by nature and unbelievers have no part with that (at least not yet) and we should in no way adjust our worship or discipleship methods in order to please the unbelieving with hopes of drawing them to Christ, that's God's work for "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44). If we make our worship services look more like a rock concert or a comedy club to win people to Christ we only make our efforts less effective and may actually hinder unbelievers coming to true faith in Christ.

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