Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Seeker Movement: Building On The Sand

     In the video clip below, R. C. Sproul and Al Mohler discuss briefly the shaky foundation of the "seeker-sensitive" movement.  This movement takes various forms in the contemporary American evangelical church scene (gaining ground through subtlety, poor leadership in the church, and gross biblical ignorance) and continues to wreak great havoc on the church.  Dr. Sproul correctly points to 2 tragic errors that characterize this misguided approach to ministry:
     1.     That unbelievers are desperately seeking God (I'll do a biblical refutation of this premise soon).
     2.     That the purpose of corporate worship is to reach the lost rather than to please God.
     Borrowing effectively from Thomas Aquinas, Sproul mentions that in Aquinas' day (mid-13th century) people were certainly seeking what God can give but were not after God Himself.  This seeking of "the good life" without repentance and faith in Christ is the order of things apart from regeneration of the Spirit.  At the typical "seeker" church, a congregant is met according to these "felt needs" rather than what he truly needs . . . the truth of the whole counsel of God's Word and the preaching of repentance and faith in Jesus' shed blood for the remission of sins.
     Dr. Mohler hits the nail on the head when he asserts that church leaders in this movement rarely (if ever) get to the gospel.  Seeker message content (note I didn't say "sermon" or "preaching") is likely to include topics like: Better Parenting, Being a Loyal Friend, Getting Your Finances In Order, Weight Control and Nutrition (more on this soon from Rick Warren's/Saddleback Church "Daniel Plan"), Innovative Leadership, etc. etc.  Notice who the message is about!  God is portrayed like a cosmic bellhop/life coach to make sure we are healthy, happy, wise, and fulfilled in the "seeker" model.
     It is a sad state of the visible church when pastor-teachers forsake their biblical mandate and capitulate to this ungodly methodology.  It is a sadder state when God's people are forced out the back door of these churches (often times after being labeled "divisive" by church leaders) as long as 3x as many "seekers" are coming through the front door.
     As Sproul mentions, the antidote is not complicated but reflects a strong need for solid expository preaching from the Word of God.  So called "seekers" do not need to hear more about their selfish "felt needs" but need clear presentations of the gospel message of repentance and faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ from all the Scripture.

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