Many of us have succumbed to the seemingly innocuous call of Rick Warren's, Purpose-Driven Life/Church. We ask, "What's the problem?" and follow up with an, "I was blessed!" But here I come strolling in and add, "Or so it seemed."
And that is the point, precisely.
Warren has been wildly successful in selling books, books about churches, how to grow bigger churches, how to do and accomplish more things, etc., etc., etc. But there is poison in Warren's piety and it is evident in these words; "If you want to advertise your church to the unchurched, you must learn to think and speak like they do." [Purpose-Driven Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. pg 189)].
Wait right here for just a minute...OK, I'm back...so to speak. What about this verse Mr. Warren? "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 2:5]; or how about..."These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. [John 15:17-19]. Or how about what Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6. Here is a small offering; "Do not be unequally yoked....And what accord has Christ with Belial?...And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?...Come out from among them...be separate..."
I can hear someone(s) thinking, "Well then, how do we spread the message of salvation? How do we seek the lost? Answer: (too simple for some) we do all that by preaching the Word of God and His Christ as the ONLY Way and the ONLY answer to sin. Remember the commission to the church? "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." [Mark 16:15].
We do the will of God when, by preaching the Gospel, we bring the unchurched into the church. It is not well done nor done well if we seek to adapt our minds to the mind of the world.
Does a person of the world find the church more appealing, more to their liking, if the church tries to get inside their head and become a broader evenue of "understanding" by which they can find an easier door to salvation? No! That approach, in its unconverted core, is mere marketing. The Holy Spirit does not "market" the God and His Christ and neither should the church.
Had there been an easy or easier way for Christ to bring salvation to mankind don't you think He would have taken that path? Of course; but there was no easier way. Before His crucifixion He asked three times..."Father, if it be possible?...but all He heard was silence because it was not possible. There was no other way to save mankind. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and no one goes to heaven except through Him.
It is not done with gimmicks, with marketing, with psychology, or by reinventing the church. It has, and will, be done by the preaching of the undiluted Gospel, telling them the Truth as it is in Christ, and letting the Holy Spirit work. There is no course in "Bonehead Salvation" for those unwilling to be weaned from milk to the meat in the Word of God. Jesus is still the only Way, and it is this that the world doesn't care for. This is the explanation for the books that try to show an easier way. There is none.
Think on these things. Blessings. e.c.