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Entertaining the churchToday’s pragmatic church growth and marketing strategies design their services for the so-called “seeker.”  The philosophy behind this is to attract the unchurched with relevant, feel-good messages that are serve the “consumer’s” needs and wants.

There are more problems with this church growth strategy than I have time to list but I will simply start by stating that this methodology is not found in Scripture.  Merely churching the unchurched accomplishes nothing of eternal value nor makes any lasting change because the unbeliever is still lost, dead, and blind spiritually.

The thinking here that allows for the church to be invaded with the world’s values, the world’s interests, and designed for the world’s pleasures is put forth in the thinking that the “ends justifies the means.”  However, these “ends” are simply a positive, temporary “decision” for a watered-down message of the gospel that is masqueraded as some kind of conversion, but in reality it is a false conversion.  It is   man’s way of growing attendance numbers, budgets, and worldly success over God’s clear calling in Scripture.

The solution is the straightforward proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God in our churches by qualified men.  Those who trade the Bible for the amusements and gimmicks will discover they have no effective means to reach people with the truth of Christ.

Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, preached on this very issue:

I fear there are some who preach with the view of amusing men, and as long as people can be gathered in crowds, and their ears can be tickled, and they can retire pleased with what they have heard, the orator is content, and folds his hands, and goes back self-satisfied.

But Paul did not lay himself out to please the public and collect the crowd.  If he did not save them he felt that it was of no avail to interest them.  Unless the truth had pierced their hearts, affected their lives, and made new men of them, Paul would have gone home crying, “Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”…

Now observe, brethren, if I , or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give our account at the last great day we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned?

Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire and swallows up the soul unsaved?  Of what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the judge, and if still, “Depart, ye cursed,” shall be his portion?