Why Churches Are Choosing Pragmatism Over the Gospel


Pragmatism is the practice of churches abandoning the gospel in order to appeal to people's senses and bring them to the church for the wrong reasons.

To appeal to people's senses and bring them to the church for the wrong reasons, more and more churches are watering down or abandoning the gospel. It's known as pragmatism. Pragmatism is similar to democracy. If the majority of people agree with it, it must be correct. Whatever works best is best for the people, yet we all know that a man's methods seem correct in their own eyes, but we all know that this path leads to ruin (Prov 21:2). Pragmatism essentially argues that truth is optional and that popularity triumphs. Whatever the majority believes must be correct. Pragmatists in the church don't want to hear sermons on hell or repentance since the majority of people don't like it. That's simply how the Word of God works; it soothes the suffering while afflicting the comfortable. The Word of God probes us and urges us to be certain of our election and calling, and to avoid "playing church."

Stench or sweetness?

The great majority of individuals who are initially introduced to the gospel are disgusted by it. Few individuals react positively to the real message of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 2:15, Paul says, "We are the fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." The pragmatic church will not accept this, yet it is a biblical reality that "to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a scent from life to life." "Who is adequate for these things" (2 Cor 2:16)? We may scent the gospel while concealing damnation. Half a gospel will not enough. Half-truths are complete lies! "Repent or Perish," I've never seen on a bumper sticker. People are saved not because of what they believe is best for them, but because of what God's Word teaches. Jesus Himself said in Mark 1:15 that we must repent and accept the gospel or face God's wrath (John 3:18, 36b). That is not what most people want to hear, yet God's grace will be meaningless until God's wrath is shown (Rev 20:12-15). Without teaching the complete counsel of God, such as God's holy, just anger on unbelievers, God's love would seem ineffective to them. And the church will be overrun by tares.
Sensitive Seeker

Worship Musician during a Church Service

I recall attending to one church where they gave out ear plugs to everyone who came in. That meant the music was going to be turned up to eleven! I was correct, but I didn't enjoy it. There was 90% music and skits and just 10 minutes of Bible reading. Even that was taken out of context text. We're supposed to be looking for the lost, not making sure they're amused...and their kids are entertained. The Apostle Paul gave Timothy instructions concerning services, and it had nothing to do with music or skits! Paul instructed Timothy, the new pastor, to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, admonish, and exhort, with perfect patience and instruction" (2 Tim 4:2). He didn't mention anything about "entertaining, giving fantastic music performances, or putting on some great skits!" But that is exactly what the pragmatically oriented church is doing. The entire goal of these churches is to fill the pews...to fill the parking lot... yet not enough to fill paradise
What Jesus Never Said

Some of the methods we convey the gospel are not at all scriptural. "Just invite Jesus into your heart," for example, or "You need to be baptized and saved, Accept Jesus," or even "Fill out this choice card and then walk the isle..." Of course, Jesus never uttered such things, and neither can we. "Repent and accept the gospel," he exhorted those who would listen, or face God's wrath (Mark 1:15). (John 3:18, 36b). Jesus offered the law to the arrogant, such as the wealthy young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-27), but mercy to the meek and humble, such as the sick woman (Matt 14:36; Mark 9:20). Jesus never imposed Himself on anybody, but constantly urged, "Come to Me," to anyone who is exhausted and troubled (Matt 11:28-30). He never said, "Whatever you believe is best" or "Whatever is best for you or the others." No, regardless of how others feel about it, there is only one way, and He is that way (John 14:6). Feelings and truth are sometimes at polar opposites. I find it fascinating that the majority was virtually always incorrect in the Old Testament!
The Church as a Social Organization

If churches merely concentrate on making people happy, they've become another YMCA; a social club; a place with lots of activities, which aren't necessarily bad in and of themselves, but they're not the reason God leads people to Christ (John 6:44). They cannot influence people's lives. They are unable to bear God's offspring. We dare not dismiss the idea of damnation or the necessity for repentance (which God gives [2 Tim 2:24-26]) only to increase church membership. Jesus taught more about hell than anybody else in the Bible, yet few preach about it today.

Whatever works best for the majority of people, we must first declare the awful news of God's wrath on sinners so that they would rush to the cross for forgiveness and place their confidence in the Savior. When we see God's grace laid above God's judgment, it becomes even more lovely. It shines like a diamond against the background of black velvet.

The contrast enhances the beauty of the diamond, so although God's anger may not seem very pragmatic to the hearers, it is the truth. And it makes God's kindness more relevant; possibly so relevant that they fall before the Lord and seek His pardon, putting their whole confidence in Jesus Christ to rescue them and grant them everlasting life. The end result may not be a full parking lot, but it may fill paradise. Source: whatchristianswanttoknow

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), and Crossway Bibles are used as resources (2007). ESV stands for English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, Wheaton, Illinois. Permission granted. Every right is retained.

Sources: HNewsWire  HNewsWire


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