I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

What’s a Sell Out Church Look Like?

I have found a blog site that I really like. It points out some really crazy things people do to attract to church that is beyond what is scriptural. Actually its beyond sanity really. It got me thinking about what is a church that is not a biblical church.

For example there is a church that had clowns be part of their communion. People were trying to remember the sacrifice of the Savior while clowns bopped each other on the head with the ceremonial bread. Terrible thing to do. There are the numerous churches that are allowing such obviously wrong actions as embracing homosexuals into the fold not just to be there and be led to Christ but having their relationships validated and even having some become ministers and leaders. Wrong again folks.

But I also see another side that is so afraid of selling out or doing something that is wrong that they label anything that even hints at change or something new as selling out. “You got a praise band? That’s not biblical!” “Church on Saturday night? Evil!” I listened to one minister exclaim that churches don’t have choirs anymore and people don’t dress up anymore and that is wrong. Wrong and how? What scriputure says so?

 So for me there seems to be this great divide here. One side says, “Its all good,” an expression I hate. The other says, “My narrow way of thinking that sticks to the old code be it scriptural or not is the way to go and the only way. All else does not love Jesus or are true to God.”

There has to be a medium area here. Sure a church can be a little squishy and still remain faithful as a church. There are churches that are super conservative and they remain a faithful church. But instead of looking at the other side from a little more realistic point of view they choose to throw verbal molitov cocktails at the other. Then there is also what seems to be a sense of snobbery toward the two. They see each other as holy superior. The squishy sees the conservative as intolerant and blasts them. The conservative sees the squishy as heretics and disfellowships themselves from them.

 That is sad b/c both could learn something from the other. The church that is supicious can see that change can be made without destroying the gospel message and it works. The church that is squishy can be reminded that they have an obligation to the Word of God and to remain true to it. Choose carefully what is acceptable and what is not.

I hope this blog can open itself to discussion. I really would like to hear the differing thoughts on what is too much.


6 Responses to “What’s a Sell Out Church Look Like?”

  1. It is a tough call: is it a creative outreach, or a shameless sell out and compromise of the Gospel?

    I think the key is this: does it glorify God?

    A new approach to evangelism or a new musical style that sticks to the bible will glorify God.

    Cancelling church to go to a movie or using clowns in communion: not so much!

  2. […] “I’m Agin it”: When Negatives Always Prevail Sort of an addition to my previous blog post, “What does a sell out Church look like?”  […]

  3. Good thoughts. It’s not always a well lit line.

    We don’t do anyone any good by simply labeling each other and writing the other off as too libertine or too legalistic. Both ‘sides’ (may there one day be no sides but His) have much to learn.

  4. Mike,

    Thanks for your comments. I wrote this and the one after it, “I’m Agin it,” b/c I had spent sometime reading blogs and listening to some very nutty people who were blasting any kind of growth that even hinted at sell out. Sure there are sell outs but they seemed so smug and snobby about it that it made me question where they stood. Sure they were right on about some things but when your bashing people about non-essentials and you are going on about how bad they are I would judge that it is a mindset that rots the mind and your spiritual life.

  5. Great topic you have choosen to talk about. The Church is doing a great job of destroying itself. I recently found this story it applys to what your talking about. It comes from the book In The Grip of Grace (Max Lucado).

    God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose to carry us safely to the other shore.
    This is no cruise ship, it’s a battle ship. We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.

    Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow him. Our faith was born at the sight of his fondness, and so we went.
    We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat. There is one captain and one destination. Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that , there is no concern.
    There is concern, however, regarding the disharmony of the crew. When we first boarded we assumed the crew was made up of others just like us. But as we’ve wandered these decks, we’ve encountered curious converts with curious appearances. Some wear uniforms we’ve never seen, sporting styles we’ve never witnessed. “Why do you look the way you do?” We ask them.
    “Funny,” they reply. “We were about to ask the same of you.”
    The variety of dress is not nearly as disturbing as the plethora of opinions. There is a group, for example, who clusters every morning for serious study. They promote rigid disipline and somber expressions. “serving the captain is serious business, ”they explain. It’s no coincidence that they tend to congregate around the stern.
    There is another regiment deeply devoted to prayer. Not only do they believe in prayer, they believe in prayer by kneeling. For that reason you always know where to find them; they are at the bow of the ship.
    And there are a few who staunchly believe real wine should be used in the Lord’s supper. You’ll find them on the port side.
    Still another group has positioned themselves near the engine. They spend hours examining the nuts and bolts of the boat. They’ve been known to go below deck and not come up for days. They are occasionally criticized by those who linger on the top deck, feeling the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. “It’s not what you learn,” those on the top deck argue. “It’s what you feel that matters.”
    And, oh, how we tend to cluster.
    Some think once you’re on the boat, you can’t get off. Others say you’d be foolish to go overboard, but the choice is yours.
    Some believe you volunteer for service; others believe you were destined for the service before the ship was even built.
    Some predict a storm of great tribulation will strike before we dock; others say it won’t hit until we’re safely ashore.
    There are those who speak to the captain in a personal language. There are those who think such languages are extinct.
    There are those who think the offices should wear robes, there are those who think there should be know officers at all, and there are those who think we are all officers and should all wear robes.
    And, oh, how we tend to cluster.
    And then there is the issue of the weekly meeting at which the captain is thanked and his words are read. All agree on its importance, but few agree on its nature. Some want ti loud, others quiet. Some want ritual, others spontaneity. Some want to celebrate so they can meditate; others meditate so they can celebrate. Some want a meeting for those who have gone overboard. Others want to reach those overboard but without going overboard and neglecting those on board.
    And, oh, how we tend to cluster.

    The consequence is a rocky boat. There is trouble on deck. Fights have broken out. Sailors have refused to speak to each other. There have even been times when one group refused to acknowledge the presence of others on the ship. Most tragically, Some adrift at sea have chosen not to board the ship because of the quarrelling of the sailors.
    “What do we do?” we’d like to ask the captain. “how can ter be harmony on the ship?” We don’t have to go far to find the answer.
    On the last night of his life Jesus prayed a prayer that stands as a citadel for all Christians:

    I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me.(John 17:20)

    How precious are these words. Jesus knowing the end is near, prays one final time for his followers. Striking isn’t it, that he prayed not for their success, their safety, or their happiness. He prayed for their unity. He prayed that they would love each other.
    As he prayed for them, he also prayed for “those who will believe because of their teaching.” That means us! In his last prayer Jesus prayed that you and I be one.

    Paul Billheimer may very well be right when he says:

    The continuous and widespread fragmentation of the Church has been the scandal of the ages. It has been Satan’s master strategy. The sin of disunity probably has caused more souls to be lost than all other sins combined.

    “All people will know that you are my followers if you Love each other.” Stop and think about this verse for a minute. Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?

  6. Wayne,

    Thanks for your imput and your putting this part in.

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