October 5, 2009

Tchividjian sounding a bit seeker oriented


this one has a 2 minute video so you can listen to the interview with upset Coral Ridge church members.


that sounds like more of the "why can't we all just get along" whining that I heard from Rick Warren when he was more under the gun than normal for his bad behavior.

and here... this is what really bugs me:


Interviewer: "If you were an unchurched person reading about dissident church members trying to oust their pastor, how open would you be to seeing Christianity as the answer for your life?"

Tchividjian: "Not very open. Francis Schaeffer once said that division inside the church gives the world the justification they're looking for not to believe.

This conflict ensued because those who had a grievance did not come to me or the leadership of the church, but they took it to the street. They did not follow Matthew 18.

As a result of not handling their grievance or their complaint biblically, conflict ensued and we gave the world the justification they're looking for not to believe the gospel."

That's raising a lot of red flags in my head. Don't you dare beat the sheep and make it their responsibility any more than yours, for anyone not believing the Gospel. That's not leadership.


Last week, singers at a choir rehearsal were told they would have to recant their opposition to Tchividjian in order to stay in the group. Many took offense at that.

``They had a big stick over our heads and said, `If you don't like it, leave,' '' said Lorna Bryan, a past president of the choir and a Coral Ridge member for 13 years. ``No pastor should scatter the people. That is what this pastor has done.''

Hmm where have we heard tactics like that before. Well, Dan- "People-Who-Disagree-With-Me-Are-Leaders-From-Hell" Southerland Church Transitions, Inc is their neighbor after all!

October 2, 2009

Another excellent response from Jason

Another excellent response from Jason:

you can see the original here

Thanks for the time in writing a response, Josh. There’s a lot I could say to clarify what I meant or refute what I disagree with in what you wrote, but I think you’ve done a good job finding the core bone of contention between how we teach/think/believe: pragmatism within the church. I’ll stick to that; the rest (e.g. changing methodology over time or culture), however important, is secondary, and largely an application of the central issue. And I’m sorry this is still long; I’m too tired to effectively edit it down.

We may not mean exactly the same thing by “effective,” but your reply was pretty thorough, and I think we’re close. And yes, you’re correct: I disagree with you. I’d go further, and say I believe that your position is counter to Scripture, and its typical application lays the enormously heavy burden on the servant of God. (We haven’t spoken for years, but trust me when I say that I don’t use terms like this often or lightly. This is a serious subject.)

You said “Does effective = good? Maybe not all the time. But I’ll say this with conviction… INEFFECTIVE does NOT = good.” Yikes, Josh. It is a very small step from there to “INEFFECTIVE = bad.” Do you have any idea of the disastrous weight such a concept places on the believer that God, in His wisdom, has called to preach without visible result?

Effective and ineffective are moot; ONLY FAITHFULNESS = good in this mathematics. Jonah preached to the Ninevites and they repented; was his ministry better than that of Noah, who preached for a century without effect outside his own family? Or Ezekiel, who was sent to Israel to give God’s message and was actually told by God that he would be completely ineffective!? (Ez 3:4-9)

What of the missionary that faithfully labors years or decades preaching the Word and displaying God’s love in the field before seeing a convert, or the pastor of a small flock that he shepherds faithfully, but without growth in numbers? Are we to condemn their lack of “success?”

Point 1: We are called to be faithful, not effective. The results, whatever they may be, are to God’s glory, for His pleasure.

Clarifying subpoint: Part of faithfulness is to be good stewards of the gifts and talents God gives us; being lazy or half-hearted in one’s service is not being faithful.

You continued “And churches who make the case that God alone is responsible for their growth while doing nothing to try to increase their effectiveness in communicating the gospel are in sin.” There’s a lot of wiggle-room in how you’ve phrased that, so I’m going to hold back a bit. I’m concerned we’ve started talking past each other.

There may be churches that actually behave as you’ve described. But are there churches that deliberately avoid preaching on certain passages or topics because it might offend attendees or give a bad impression to “seekers”? Or that structure their worship music or other service elements to manipulate emotional responses (or even decisions for Jesus)? Which version of the error (for both are rooted in sin of elevating tradition to the level of Scriptural authority) do you think is more widespread, and thus probably needs to be fought more stridently?

Point 2: “Does it work?” is fundamentally a man-centered question, and it will inevitably shape the message to be more man-centered, regardless of the methods used. And a man-centered Gospel is another gospel; it is not the good news.

Jason said this on October 2, 2009 at 12:01 am

October 1, 2009

Ah the blessings of banishment!

Ah the blessings of banishment! Apparently I was too attention-getting for him.

I am so glad Josh blessed me with Banishment from his blog. I guess people can criticize other people's talent or lack thereof, enough to go and tell them that they ought to consider serving elsewhere, but they can't take it.

Ever notice, Jesus upped the ante on the law to the proud every time. Do more. You're not perfect, do more. And they hated him for it. But to those who realize they are the poor widow with her two mites, he offered grace.

There is no grace in the seeker sensitive church, not for those who don't 'fit in' unless we can hide them off in a corner somewhere.

THANK YOU JOSH, you have proved my case yet again.

Josh you said they were unkind comments? But I only said what you say about people whose music you don't consider good enough. What's good for the goose...