Seeker Friendly Churches And The Problem Of Unregenerate Congregations -- By: Jeremy D. Edmondson
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Seeker Friendly Churches And The Problem Of Unregenerate Congregations
Is the structure of the typical American Evangelical church Biblical? In a misguided attempt to reach the lost, many churches today have become “seeker-friendly.” Worship has been replaced with entertainment, Biblical preaching has given way to motivational speeches, and attendees have been left feeling emotionally warm, but ignorant of Scripture, all for the sake of catering to the whims of the lost. As a result, membership has grown in quantity, while spiritual maturity has plummeted in quality. The result has been a change in the nature of the Church. Rather than being an assembly of believers, many have become mixed congregations of the unregenerate and the immature. This paper will argue that catering to the lost within the Church has resulted in unregenerate congregations that are no longer equipped to mobilize the saints “for the work of the ministry” (Eph 4:12) outside of the Church.
II. Houston, We Have A Problem!
Joel Osteen is one of America’s most famous preachers. He pastors Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas which broadcasts its services to 200 million homes in the United States alone.1 In perusing Osteen’s personal website and examining his “What
JOTGES 26:50 (Spring 2013) p. 64
We Believe” section,2 one would expect to hear a solid, conservative, Bible-believing pastor preach a “true to the text” message from God’s Word.
However, on June 20, 2005, Osteen appeared on “Larry King Live” and was asked by a caller why he had been “side-stepping” King’s questions regarding “how one gets to Heaven.” King followed up this caller’s question by asking if sincere Jews, Muslims, or atheists will be going to Heaven. Osteen responded by saying,
I would present my way, but, I’m going to let God be the judge of that.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.3
Despite repeated prompts by King, Osteen failed to clearly communicate the gospel. This is troubling to say the least. It is even more troubling given the fact that attendance at Lakewood Church has grown since the interview. In 2005, Lakewood averaged a weekly attendance of 32,000 people.4 But those numbers skyrocketed to 44,800 in 2010.You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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