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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another rant...

I am feeling bruised and cranky so beware!

Why do we insist on making the Bible relevant? Why do we feel the need to change it to make it more or better for this generation? Are they really that much different than past generations or do we believe the Bible is different now? Not as good so we have to make it better for people to "get it." We can make the Bible so "relevant" that is no longer effective.

It is no secret that I have questioned the whole Seeker Friendly movement since it started. I believe it is wrong. One of those reasons being that Seeker Friendly churches have to change their churches to make it more enticing for the unsaved. They need to have the best and coolest that the world has to offer and bring it in to the church so that the world feels more comfortable there. Anybody else see a problem with that? If an unsaved person is comfortable in a church that is just like the world then why would they need to change? There would be no reason. Churches shouldn't be enticing people to their doors, it is the job of The Holy Spirit and no one elses. We can invite them but if God has not called them then they won't be ready to receive the Gospel no matter how relevant the church is. Church is for the believer to learn, grow, and be lifted up with other believers. How can that happen when the church caters to the unsaved?

Oh yeah, small groups. You know the ones that gather up other Christians to fellowship and do some Bible Study. Now, there is nothing wrong with small groups, I have been in them and loved them but not one of those people was my pastor who had been trained to preach the Word. Isn't that the job of my pastor, to lead the flock? I thought it was, that's why he has a doctorate right? The pastor is responsible for teaching the Word and when I am chastised for believing that, it rubs me wrong.

It also rubs me wrong when people I have known for quite some time say things like this, "Are you sure you just aren't trying to stir up trouble? You do like to cause controversy." I guess they didn't know me as well as I thought or I was stepping on their toes by having my own opinion. I haven't been quiet about how I feel about these issues. I have asked leadership and people whom I trust but have met with derision and patronization at every turn. Who needs that?

Not me. So we made a change and it has been the best decision we have made in a very long time. The move to change to a real Bible believing and Bible preaching church. not one that has themes and a show, just the Word. Yeah, that statement will make some mad and that's okay. They are entitled to their opinion just as much as I am. But since this is my blog and a place for me to talk about what is going on in my life, I guess you don't have to read it. There have been blogs that have things I don't agree with so I didn't read that post. Feel free to disagree but don't bother trying to change my mind others have tried and were not so nice about it and so now I am resistant to even listen. It's ugly but true.

Quite frankly if we hadn't found this new church, I might have been turned off of church altogether. Christians do tend to shoot their own.

Whew, I think I am done for now. I think I will take a nap and try to get over this sinus/cold thing.


Kristine said...

This is also a sore subject with me, and I admit I may be overly cautious. I am leery of any church with many "programs." I am leery of churches who say 'we need volunteers.' IF the Word is taught, people will come. IF the Spirit moves, people will give--time, money, whatever.

Too many churches focus on a vision for the church, instead of seeking to find God's will for that church.

You've blessed me by sharing your journey over the past couple of years. Many of our struggles have been the same. I know how hard it was for you, and I know it's hard to watch others let themselves stay sucked into what boils down to a false gospel. (Sorry, no mincing words here.)

Praise God, Renita, for His work in your life. THIS is the stuff that grows Godly children, when they see their parents respond and watch God move.

Jesus wouldn't be silent, and you don't have to be either.

LOVE you, sister!

Unknown said...

I agree that changing the Bible to make it more palatable to modern society is WRONG!

I agree that it is important for you (or anyone) to find a church they are comfortable with, both in terms of doctrine and style of worship and for anyone to criticize you for hunting for and finding that church is wrong.

However, I do want to point out that, while I don't see anything wrong or unbiblical about traditional church services, there is also nothing BIBLICAL about them. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to have the order of service found in most traditional churches in the USA. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to use the style of music that was popular a couple hundred years ago. Nowhere in the Bible is there a model of a church having a paid, trained, professional pastor who preaches to a passive audience each Sunday. All of these traditions that are what so many of us consider "the right way to do church" are truly just ways that Christians chose to adapt their worship to what was then the modern trends in their society.

The book Pagan Christianity was incredibly eye-opening for me. It doesn't mean we don't still attend a traditional church with the traditional order of service and all, but it did make me realize that I was wrong to criticize those who choose a different style of worship.

momma24 said...

SweetPeas, I so agree. We didn't choose the church we are in now bc they were traditionally doing everything. In fact, they have "modern" praise and worship with a band! lol I enjoy all types of worship from Classic to Pentecostal styles and wouldn't have a problem with any of them if they stayed true to The Word. kwim?

I completely agree that the Bible does not give us a sacred order for the way worship goes but when a church uses secular songs like What's Love Got to do With It in their service bc non-Christians can relate better then I have a problem with it. There was nothing edifying or uplifting about that song being used in Worship of a Holy God. jmo though.

Our walks with Christ will not look like anyone else's nor should it. We are all at different points in our walks but we are all one body. Even through the different styles of worship. I can not sit in a service, however, where secular tv shows are shown as examples, secular and very un-Godly music is used, and the Bible is watered down to be more palatable.

AND not every church that claims to be Seeker Friendly waters down the Bible. I was just speaking from my experience. ;-)

Unknown said...

I agree with you! Good for you for speaking out!

oneblessedmamma said...

I totally agree. When we left our very traditional church, my in-laws worried we were joining a cult. Only now-almost 6 years later- will they say the name of our church. We've been very happy with our new church (it's a Calvary Chapel)-it's chapter by chapter, verse by verse teaching is REAL, and no bridle is put on the Truth to make it more appealing to the unsaved. But there's always a very genuine appeal to the unsaved to embrace God's truth for themselves, because, like you said, it's God who calls each of us and His Holy Spirit provides that prompting. Sounds like you guys are making the right choice for your family.

Tina Hollenbeck said...

Hi, Renita
I came to read this post from Lisa Keva's link on Facebook - and now I've signed up to follow you! :^) I can very much relate to your comment about taking flack for speaking up in "controversial" ways - happens to me all the time. And I resonate with your feelings about "seeker friendly" churches, too. I look forward to reading more...and I'd love to have you stop over at and consider following my blog, too: :^)

Colleen said...

I agree with much of what you say. The church should stand holy, apart and separate -- read: different and peculiar from the world. I have a hard time when our children & youth groups get together to watch secular movies. What a time waster! (one of my pet peeves)

But, I'm not sure I understood the comment about the pastor or someone with a doctorate teaching a Bible study. Romans 12 says if you have the gift of teaching, you should teach. The disciples were not all "educated" men (the way we think of educated), but after being discipled, being full of the Holy Spirit, and living a life based on the Word, they were well able to preach and teach. And all those house churches that began were just "regular folk" who began spreading what they had learned -- no degrees necessary...and (considering some of the garbage I have heard from men with theological degrees) maybe not desired.

momma24 said...

Colleen, you are so right and I have been blessed to have been taught by people who had no formal training except what the Holy Spirit gave them. The issue that I should have stated more clearly was the fact that the pastoral staff said that it wasn't their job to teach the congregation the meat of the Word, they had to get that elsewhere bc they had to make the sermon all about the non-believer. That is what I have a problem with. When I am told not to expect my pastor to teach me, I think there is a problem.

I realize that this is my opinion and others have different ones-that is okay! We all worship differently and thank goodness for that!! lol

Haley said...

I love you, Renita. Always have. I had to read the whole post & all the other commentary before I added my 2 cents. I come at this from multiple perspectives, and I thank you for your clarifications.

I WANT to be fed & taught by my pastoral staff, but we have been called as Christians to use our gifts and to be fishers of men. I believe that making the bible relevant is important. There is a huge difference between relevance & watering something down or teaching something that isn't true. One MUST look at history & tradition and then apply it to today. We ARE a very different people than we were in Jesus time. There are MANY similarities - and that's part of making something relevant as well - point out the similarities & the differences.

If where you were was teaching inappropriate material or shirking responsibilities - then GOOD FOR YOU for being courageous & finding a place where you are being fed. As some have said previously, we have different denominations for that reason. I find it sad that you would lose friends over trying to find a good fit for your family.

We live in a rural community and the churches are all struggling for membership. I don't know of any that are using secular music or tv to attract members, but I lead a contemporary service using KLOVE-type music. We are considering small groups as a way to increase membership and connect with young families. It's SO difficult because we want to minister to the community and bring in the "least of these". We want to make them comfortable. We choose to do this with physical food & short devotions on Wednesday nights. Feed their bellies & feed their souls. When they feel comfortable - read "not judged", they are more likely to listen to the message of Jesus' love & forgiveness.

Anyway, just my thoughts. You keep saying it the way you feel it. Your friends are true. We won't let a little thing like difference of opinion "change our status"! :-)

momma24 said...

Klove music and small groups are AWESOME!! They all can be used for His glory. I think in our society we have changed the meaning of so many words like tolerance and relevant and so many other words. Using your definition, I agree about making the Bible relevant. :)

It's funny how differences can be so dividing when we should embrace them and use them as a way to bring us to a better understanding of one another.

I don't know who said it but if a man is hungry then he won't be able to listen to what you are saying. Our job is to care for those around us be it food, encouragement, time, money, etc. By doing that we show His love and His heart.

Keep up the good work. I know you will do a great job for His kingdom and those around you.

btw I love you too!!

Kristine said...

Oneblessedmamma, I just wanted to say that we've attended different Calvary Chapels for about 10 years and have been blessed by their style of teaching. The teaching style has been one of our biggest blessings. Unfortunately, we left our local CC. We tried traveling an hour each way to join another, but it was too hard to make connections. I long for the day when I can again be an active member of such a church. You are so blessed!!