What follows is a selection of troubling thoughts I’ve come across from ‘blogs’ of church leaders/planters, a couple of whom are becoming quite influential. As for the first quote, while I respect, encourage, and applaud those who have a heart for the Great Commission, we must not loose sight of the nature and constituency of the Church as defined by the New Testament.
Too, I would propose that the common theme running through the following statements – perhaps unintended, and even denied, by those being quoted – is one of human-centricity, of a reliance on the passion and sufficiency of human efforts in growing the Kingdom. The unintentional fall-out is, unfortunately, often an arrogance regarding methods and results.
As an aside, I must admit I am somewhat uncomfortable with this post and do not have any intention of consciously turning my blog into a ‘watchblog’ or a ‘discernment’ blog. Such posts will probably be quite rare. That being said, here are the aforementioned quotes:
- ‘If I have to chose to make a decision that will cause a non-christian to leave or a christian to leave, I will always chose in favor of the non-christian (short of sinning). If a christian leave[sic], I know they will find another church for their family. If the non-christian leaves, I don’t know that they will give church and God another chance.’
- “I’ve heard it…you have too…”Christians” saying, “I just want to be fed!” It blows my mind! This would be equal to you and I going to an all you can eat restaurant and crying because no one would bring us any food. Food is all around in this environment…but if the person is lazy and self centered, wanting to be waited on hand and foot, then they could possibly starve to death when food is merely a few feet away. ” (Emphasis mine. Why the quote around “Christians?” Also, this issue of feeding is not always that the pastor’s sheep are “lazy and self-centered.” Unfortunately, some restaurants seem to have a menu rich with dairy products and desserts, but seem to be adverse to serving meals that sustain.”)
- “What people say: “I just want some deeper teaching.” Alternate version: “I want the meat.” Alternate version #2: “I need to be fed.” What that usually means (is) Don’t preach practical stuff to me. I would actually have to do something about it.”
- “It’s important to learn from churches bigger and smaller then you. Churches that are smaller have to be even more creative, because their success depends on it ” (emphasis mine)
- “Do WHATEVER It Takes To Grow…and SHUT UP About How Much It Cost! If I hear/see one more pastor/church planter complain about how much a conference cost and/or say they can’t afford something I am going to punch them…in the throat! The Bible says in Proverbs 4:6-8 that we need to get wisdom-NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS US!”
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”