Monday, July 19, 2010

Preaching Myths In Modern Pulpits (Part 7)

Myth 7. We need to be seeker sensitive.

The seeker sensitive movement has been the big influence on evangelical Christianity for the last twenty to thirty years with the major influences being Willow Creek in Chicago and Rick Warren’s Saddleback church in California. But Robert Schuller is probably the father of the movement when he pioneered the pragmatic approach to ministry. He started a church with the idea that he needed to find out what all the lost people in his area wanted in a church and he would give it to them. Schuller says:

The secret of winning unchurched people into the church is really quite simple. Find out what would impress the non churched in your community then give it to them. (Robert Schuller, as quoted in Gary Gilley, This Little Church Went to Market (Evangelical Press, 2005): 76.)

A lot of people came to Schuller’s church because he gave them what they wanted – but it should be remembered that many who joined Schullers church were not new converts but people who didn’t enjoy the conviction of their previous church. These were people who loved the way Schuller built up their self-esteem. Schuller had a high view of man and a low view of Scripture as evidenced when he said:

I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality . . . than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition. (online source)

It’s such a shame that Robert Schuller wasn’t there when Paul was writing the book of Romans. I think I’ll listen to Paul over Schuller who said that he did not know he was a sinner except that the law showed him; and that God demonstrated His love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were sinning. You cannot show God’s love without exposing mans sin!
Paul actually said in Romans 3 that no one seeks after God. It is God Who seeks and saves the lost!

Truth 7. No one seeks after God. But God seeks and saves the lost. We need to be sensitive to the One true Seeker by being faithful to the message He told us to preach.

For further and more in depth critique check out Todd Friel's excellent critique of Willow Creek and the results of their internal survey of members.

Go On To Part 8
Go Back To Part 6
Go Back To Part 1


Lucy said...

I was reading your blog and found it very insightful. Can you please tell me what are your views on intelligent design these days?
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Gary Gilley, now there is someone you should add to your recommended reading list. His books are excellent.

Cameron Buettel said...

Anonymous, interesting you should mention Gilley. I am currently reading "This Little Church Had None".

Anonymous said...

Hi Cameron, another author I would recommend to you, when you have finished Gary Gilleys books, is Roger Oakland, he writes on the emerging church with great insight.