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Daily Thought - Hillsong Nyc Exposes The Problem With Seeker Friendly Theology

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord JesusChrist, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. - Romans 16: 17-18 (NKJV)

    Pastor Carl Lentz is in charge of the mega church in Manhattan known as Hillsong NYC. An offshoot of the ever popular Hillsong church in Australia, the NYC campus specializes in a church most traditionalists would not recognize. Loud blaring music instead of worship and a mohawked senior pastor lead the way. Differences in contemporary churches is not at issue but this past week Pastor Lentz made it quite apparent that he is a disciple of the new wave of heresy known as the seeker friendly theology. The heretical roots are found in the notion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not sufficient enough to draw people to God anymore. Instead, theology is watered down and sugar coated to make it more palatable to the lost. Topics such as sin and repentance are replaced with a cheap grace and a false love. The wrath of God is dispensed for earthly prosperity and those in charge seem more concerned about growing their "church" horizontally instead of vertically. Enter Carl Lentz on the Katie Couric show.

    We need to make sure we understand some things about false teachers. First of all, not everything they say will be false. That would be too easy. Secondly, it is not always an issue of intent. They may be very sincere in what they believe and yet be sincerely wrong. I chose the key verses today very specifically because they are often misused by false teachers to try and shut up people who might be critical. The first defense of the false teacher is always to make an appeal for false unity. As if unity trumps doctrine. A close reading however shows that the issue which Paul warns about being divisive is false doctrine itself! That is what is causing the division in the body of Christ today - not people who are willing to point out what is false.

    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5: 11 (NKJV)

    We have a mandate from God to not allow heresy to stay unchallenged. Because as the key verses indicate those that are causing division with false doctrine are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ. They may think they are but their doctrine exposes them. This is an important point because there is a growing kumbya Christianity in this country that shrinks away from naming names and calling false teachers exactly what they are - false teachers. It seems many in a pastoral role are infinitely more concerned about people they view as peers than they are about the people that follow the false teacher. Please, I am not speaking about side theologies or issues of non eternal importance any more than I am speaking about single instances. Joel Osteen is a false teacher because of what he says every single week. Joseph Prince is a false teacher because of what he says every single week. They are not serving our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us not forget how important doctrine is to God and why.

    Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1Timothy 4: 16 (NIV)

    Do we see what is at stake beloved? The salvation of the hears of the doctrine! I can believe that someone like Joel Osteen believes in what he does. It is not a matter of condemning his heart - just his teaching. Look at this verse! Paul urges Timothy that he must persevere in his doctrine! To persevere means to persist despite obstacles or discouragement. Look, it is far easier to preach a Joel Osteen message or a Joseph Prince message. Tell people everything is going to be OK. Tell people God wants you to be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. There is a lot of amens in that arena. Not as much when you talk about sin and repentance or the coming wrath of God. But persevering in correct doctrine will save the hearers. That is what is at stake. Let us now turn to the words of Pastor Lentz.

    When asked by Couric about today's moral issues such as homosexuality, Lentz replied he did not feel compelled to speak publicly about some of the more controversial issuesbecause, “We try to be like Jesus." He went on to say, “Very rarely did Jesus ever talk about morality or social issues, it was about the deeper things of the heart, and often people want to talk about behavior modification. Our church isn’t about that."

    This cuts to the heart of what is wrong with trying to please everyone with the seeker friendly mentality. When the church ceases to say what sayeth the Lord they cease being a church. When you refuse to address sin for what it is, you cease being a church. As for the logic of Pastor Lentz, he is 100% wrong as well.

    From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” - Matthew 4: 17 (NKJV)

    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. - Matthew 5: 21-22 (NKJV)

    “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. - Matthew 5: 27-30 (NKJV)

    For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” - Mark 7: 21-23 (NKJV)

    Jesus spoke all the time about moral and societal issues. These are only a handful of verses. He also spoke boldly against the religious leaders of the day; calling them a brood of vipers and whitewashed tombs. When Lentz hides behind a false love to avoid taking a stand, he embraces the very heart of seeker friendly thought. It recreates Jesus to fit a more passive image. An image that can be manipulated easier. Lentz however was not done:

    “We’re about soul transformation. You start talking about some of the symptomatic stuff, that’s not what we’re about. We’re about talking to people about their heart and the condition of their soul, and some of that stuff out-works itself. But we're not trying to change anybody because we can't.”

    There is no soul transformation without an honest discussion of sin. If you want to know about our heart, read Jeremiah 17: 9. There is nothing redeemable about it without Christ. But dear Lord how can you run a church and think that what you believe in and preach cannot change anyone?

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. - Romans 1: 16 (NKJV)

    The sad reality is that seeker friendly theology strips out the power of the Gospel to change lives. At least to change them eternally. There are over 5000 people who attend Hillsong NYC every weekend. They hold church in a nightclub, throwing convention away for a desire to seem hip. To seem relevant. Lentz likes to brag about these facts. That he draws people who "don't like church." All of that is fine but without sound doctrine he is saving no one. His appearance on Couric reveals some of the very real problems at the heart of seeker friendly theology. And please, I am not suggesting that he needs to rail against this group or that group. But you can say that you support Biblical principles. We are not talking about "symptomatic stuff." We are not talking about "behavior modification." We are not talking about "social issues." We are talking about sin and it is the job of the church to take a clear stance on that. No matter how seeker unfriendly it may appear.

    Reverend Anthony Wade - December 27, 2013
  2. Well said.

    Truth has never been popular.

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