The False “Church System” Deception
American megachurches use stagecraft, sensory pageantry, charismatic leadership and an upbeat, unchallenging vision of Christianity to provide their congregants with a powerful emotional religious experience, according to research from the University of Washington.
The real question is one of obedience. Does this church look like the church of the New Testament? Are we carrying out what Christ has given us to do? That is non-negotiable, but size is never made a part of the command…
“We’re not told to get to a certain size and split, nor are we told that a small church is ineffective. We’re told to be faithful, specifically to the Great Commission.”
“I don’t think that you can say that a church is more biblical because it’s small, or more biblical because it’s large. I don’t think either model is unbiblical…
“I think the question is obedience and effectiveness. Is the church obedient to what God has given us? Are they faithful to the Great Commission — are they making disciples, and baptizing them and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever He’s commanded? Are they reproducing, making other churches?”
Saddleback in California. There is dancing, drama and singing. There are video games, themed play parks and an indoor aquarium and reptile display. They even have branded water bottles. But Saddleback isn’t a theme park, it’s a church. Right?
Saddleback is one of the USA’s 1,600 megachurches – defined as a church with more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance. While these large churches are still outnumbered by smaller churches in the country, their influence is undeniable. Over half of all the people who go to church in the USA attend a megachurch.
Lakewood Church in Texas lays claim to being America’s largest church with up to 50,000 attendees across its multiple services. The 16,000-seat sanctuary serves as a cavernous studio for pastor Joel Osteen’s incredibly popular TV ministry, with cameras on large boom arms swinging back and forth and a production quality to the staging, lighting and sound that would rival The X Factor.
While Osteen delivered a feel-good motivational talk (my wife likened it to spiritual fast food), Bell preached a meaty and creative theological sermon. Osteen’s made-for-the-cameras theatricality stood in stark contrast to the informal hipster vibe exuding from the stage at Mars Hill Bible Church.
Michigan Mars Hill Bible Church. They had a celebrity pastor of their own at the time – Rob Bell. The church was very large (around 10,000) but the style and theology couldn’t have been more different to Lakewood.
Everybody in the congregation seemed to be under 30. Meeting at a rented theatre on Times Square, the service more like being in a nightclub than a church, with the congregation bouncing around to electro-synth worship music, led from the front by an entourage of good-looking musicians and singers.
The church is led by a tattooed pastor who is a close friend of Justin Bieber. In fact, Pastor Carl Lentz is credited with helping to put the pop star back in touch with his Christian faith.
Do you really want to be taught by and do you really think you should trust the teaching of someone who has grown rich and continues to do so as a result of their stated “ministry”? How much of the “Bible truth” we are being fed has been polluted by the influence of money and the love of it?
Here’s The Problem:
Finding a mega church without an American Idol running the show is as hard as trying to find Obama in a church. It is rare indeed. It’s not just that they put their pastors on pedestals. Many churches are in competition for bragging rights about church size. They all want to move up on the list of the top 1000 largest churches in America and they do not much care how they advance. Whatever works is their overriding methodology.
It seems the more they water down the gospel and push worldly self-help programs and downplay sin the larger they grow. Even a moron could figure out why that is. If there is no repentance, salvation, baptism and discipleship required for church membership or if there is no membership at all like in some churches you will have more attenders. You also will have more numbers if you never take anyone off the membership lists. Nevertheless, the Church is not about how many people you can get on a church roster or into your church building on Sunday to listen to your American Idol.
I can’t put all the blame on the pastors of these churches because they just carry out what the rest of the church wants and if they did not go with the popular agenda the congregation would find someone else that would. Like in politics, a constituency usually gets the leadership they deserve.
When any church gets so market driven and seeker friendly that counterfeit Christians becomes the majority within the church it is very likely that it will also become a counterfeit Christian church. I can name some and they are some of the top churches in America. The chicken or egg question is, did the counterfeit Christian church become that way because the pastor led them there or was it because the membership wanted an Idol made in their own image? Look at some of the top books on the Christian book market today and you will see many are written by pastors of mega-churches teaching some major heresy. It seems that there is quite the demand in pseudo-Christianity for all kinds of heresy.
Universalism is now a real popular heresy in some seeker friendly and emergent churches. Nobody wants to believe anyone will go to hell anymore without Christ. The American Idols say God would not be that cruel to let grandma go to Hell even though grandma opposed His Savior and salvation. So the Idols are now judging God. They would lead you to believe that all the warnings in the Bible about Hell and damnation must just be figures of speech they are just hyperbole, or else those scriptures are not really God’s Word they are just the writer’s opinion. So the Idols even become a judge of what is God’s Word and what words might not be. Red letters in the Bible are rated higher than those dark letters. Poor God! He is totally misunderstood! Since God is love, everyone is going to Heaven. Just ask any universalist? Never mind, that if God left some people in Heaven they would soon make it Hell. What kind of love is that?
In this mega circus you will find healing and prophecy and the promise of wealth in the name of the counterfeit Jesus of the Word Faith or New Apostolic Reformation movement. Negative thoughts and words are about on par with hexes in these churches and God can never say no. After all, they think that their big mouth contains the God force that will speak things into existence.
Most people in this movement would be quite comfortable in New Age teaching because they believe much the same thing. One big difference is that people in the New Age movement are probably saner and they obviously know more about why they believe what they believe. At least those in the New Age admit they believe in spiritualism but those in this movement think that practicing spiritualism means that they are being filled with the Holy Spirit.
HNewsWire- “All political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” Just look at some of our modern day examples: torture is “enhanced interrogation techniques”; murder is “collateral damage”; the aggression initiation of war is a “pre-emptive strike”; the theft of taxpayers’ money is a “bailout”; and the theft of depositors’ money in a bank is a “haircut” or “bail-in”.In a blatant example of Newspeak, the New World Order controllers (through the psychiatric DSM V) have tried to rename pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons” and redefine pedophilia as a “sexual orientation”. This makes no sense, since sexual orientation has to do with gender not age, with whether you are attracted to males or females, not how old they are. There are even organizations (like B4UAct.org) which are claiming that pedophiles are being unfairly stigmatized for their feelings! Psychiatry, it should also be noted, has a history of inventing fictitious diseases such as ADHD (as admitted by its inventor on his deathbed by Leon Eisenberg).
Note from StevieRay Hansen: I tend to be very vocal about ADHD, it was only when I surrender to Christ, I became complete, the fight is real, I believe the difference is how we fight these battles….
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
Children are being misplaced or lost in our foster care system, we must demand more openness and accountability from each state.
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“It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It’s better to stand alone with the truth, then to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel and Paul said, ‘If any man preaches any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)
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