December 17, 2017

The Purpose-Driven Dark Side Finally Shows Up At Baptist Press

loot.jpgIt’s about time.

I’ve been critical of Baptist Press on a daily basis over at the BHT, so when they do something right, I’m going to speak up. This BP post acknowledging that (stand back!) Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Church” methodology is splitting and tearing apart some churches whose pastors “implement” the plan is way overdue, on-target and true. ***Applause***

It’s about time that Baptist Press and a few major SBC figures spoke up about what Warren’s methods are doing when “implemented” by pastors who rush their unsuspecting churches into major changes, bully the leadership and promise the moon as a result. Stories of traditional churches and older members being read the Riot Act by young pastors determined to “Go Mega or Bust” are everywhere here at the ground level. (How many “really different” churches can you have in the same city anyway?)

I believe Rick Warren is a good man, and some of what he says is good missiological pragmatism. I commend him for the good he’s doing with his success. But that’s not what’s important about Warren. Warren’s genius of making marketing and entrepreneurial concepts understandable and implementable in any church has made him the most successful growth guru in SBC history. The dark side of Warren’s success, however, is the turmoil and conflict at the level of traditional churches who just don’t want to follow the “support it or leave” approach. A host of traditional churches have been turned upside down by a Warren-obsessed pastor determined to make it all happen now, and to explain it all later.

Younger pastors reading Warren’s books, hearing success stories and dreaming of what it will be like to turn their church into a hip megachurch like Rick’s have often done some pretty rude, dumb, hurtful things along the way and that story hasn’t been told. I’ve read and heard dozens of versions of the “why we are changing” mantra, and I can understand why a large chunk of traditionalist Baptists have filed it all away in the “just enough rope to hang him” department.

In my collection: one young pastor said the hymnal was leaving, no discussion. Another told his dissenters- longtime members and financial supporters- that there were other churches they could attend. A more sensitive type spoke about “making our worship services more family friendly,” a Biblical phrase if I ever heard one. These aren’t shepherds of the flock. They are young drivers in daddy’s car, headed for the nearest drag strip for something a little different.

At the height of his popularity, Warren was in full blown conqueror mode, telling his readers that if they didn’t do what he instructed right down to the music, their churches would die. The truth was, most of those churches was going to die anyway, Warrenism or not. Evangelicalism is full of churches that are going to die in 25 years. The promise of an endless supply of compliant baby boomers looking for “purpose” is simply a fantasy.

Warren’s methods played all the cards to a particular baby boomer church consumer. The problem is that the mall-churches Warren and Hybels have built are not the future of evangelicalism. They are its last gasp. Super-sizing won’t help. The end isn’t near. It’s here. What’s going to happen to evangelicalism in the next 50 years will make the term “implosion” the most overused term in religious journalism.

Megachurches, their super programs, their consumer driven worship, their shallow, free-floating theology and their non-pastoral pastors are dinosaurs. A world-wide, global emerging church that’s too diverse to fit into anyone’s book is the rising tide.

Meanwhile, the praise band wars, the expenditures for audio/visual mega-screens and the snarky, cocky young salesmen masquerading as pastors will continue. At least now, a few Southern Baptists will be warned.

Of course, Rick’s books are doing great at Lifeway. You have my permission to replace them all with something more radical.

Comments

  1. I totally agree with all of your points. As a pastor myself, I am continually tempted to see my congregation as a means to my own ambitions. We aren’t taught to love them as they are. We impose programs on them. My theory about books such as Warren’s is this:
    1. a church tries something original and radical and it works.
    2. the pastor writes a book on it with instructions included.
    3. other pastors read it and duplicate the instructions.
    4. the same results often don’t happen.
    Why? Because what happened originally was indigenous to that community! What works for that church probably WILL NOT work for this church! Instead of enforcing another church culture’s methods on another church culture, perhaps we need to look deeper into the spirit behind the original radical moves and be inspired by that.
    Thanks!
    http://churchpundit.com

  2. For all of my 27 years on earth, all I’ve known are mega-churches. I chose to attend them even into adulthood. Even my husband has only known that industrial genre of church. Then, last April, we pulled the plug from our brains and joined a church where everyone can sit down comfortably for a potluck after Sunday worship. We were astonished when the church hosted a wedding shower potluck in our honor after only knowing us 2 months!

    We’re not going back. My husband adds, “Our last mega-church had some eerie parallels to corporate America. We were being pandered to give money towards a $96,000 digital outdoor church sign on Easter Sunday.”

  3. Amen to churchpundit’s post.

    But I say the reason it’s so hard to implement a Purpose-Driven program on a big church is because of the very reasons why people joined a big church: They want all the benefits and social programs that a big church can provide, but they don’t want to minister to it. They don’t want to step up; they don’t want to be challenged; they don’t want to contribute anything other than money (if that). When that time comes, they want to be lost in the crowd. This is why “family friendly” appeals to them instead of “outreach oriented.”

    True reform is actually antithetical to the megachurch concept. Small churches keep people accountable; keep them focused on the outside (where the lost are) rather than the inside; force them to minister to one another because it can’t be passed off to anyone else; and focused on the word of God because they aren’t meeting Sundays to rock out to the professional worship band. (You can’t properly call a guitarist and a singer a ‘band.”)

    Are you a pastor that truly wants to revitalize your big church? Then have each associate take a tenth of the congregation, move to a community that has no church, and start acting like a church instead of a giant community center.

    But if you’d rather have a big church, the best way to get one is to ditch the gospel entirely, refuse to evangelize, ignore your bible, and give the congregation nothing but rocking choruses and feel-good busywork. The devil won’t oppose you at all; he’ll even send people your way. Then you can kick back, televise your services, write a New York Times bestseller, and thank your positive attitude (not Jesus) for all your success.

  4. Cbrunette,
    What a blessing you will be to your wonderful new church. May I encourage you in your minstry? Help that church resist the sin of covetousness and idolotry. They know that they are a great place to build relationships but you are likely to have families that pout and moan that their youth group is not attractive and why don’t they have mall type attractions, yada, yada, yada.

    The very BEST thing that you can do to encourage your new church is to invite another family who is YOUR age to join you in your ministry. In other words, share.

    One other word of encouragement is this. The smaller church is not so much UNLIKE a business. There are old timers there that might not want you to be involved where THEY THINK it counts–money and property. Be patient and spend plenty of time getting to know these folks. Be a worker and lover of the children in your community. Your time will come to make the changes that the Spirit of Jesus directs in your corner of the world. And, what a lovely corner it is!

    Many blessings on your journey as you and your husband help your new church realize the Kingdom!
    Sharon

  5. Confessions from a young, snarky, guitarplaying, pomo, worship band leader…

    I was part of an Assemblies of God Church that underwent the Purpose Driven Life curriculum. Every week during 8-week course they had the ‘multimedia department’ put together a video in support of the program. On week I was interviewed for the video and I truthfully remarked: ‘I have no idea if God has a ‘Purpose’ for my life…I only know that Jesus has shown me a clear way to live. I repeated, I have know idea about thsi whole purpose driven-thing. Well, they edited it and played it the next Sunday morning during the montage…It drew a big laugh from everyone…they just assumed I was joking. I was going through some really hard times in my life at that point and I really needed some pastoral care…what I got was a new york times best seller and a free tote bag.

    I was a leader on one of four teams that led Sunday morning worship services. I am the stereotypical guitar wielding, young worship leader that likes to tell heartfelt, if theologically shaky, stories before worship…I make no apologies for that. However, I had to draw the line when or senior associate pastor spoke one morning of the ‘New Paradigm’ that our church was launching into. When I asked him what this was, he would not tell me…I jsut got a smug smile and a shoulder shrug.

    A few days later, all the church elders and leaders started asking me when I was going to start leading worhip again. Previously, I had excused myself from leadership because my personal problems were dominating my life, and I needed to work on some serious issues. It became clear that the Purpose Driven Paradigm was where we were headed, and that ‘to reach the younger demographic’ all the young instrument palying people of the church were being groomed and recruited to fill this ‘ministry’.

    My hopes fell…The last thing I wanted to do was be part of the substitute for real change and following the way of Jesus. I felt like we were melting down our idols just so we could recast them into the lastest version! I stopped going to church altogether, and started going to more small groups. Whenever I see SUnday attenders, they still ask me when I’ll be coming back to play more worship songs. I don’t know how to answer them…I don’t want to be an idol, rock star, or part of the problem….I will not be someone’s substitute for what they really need….Jesus.

    I really don’t like Rick Warren, but I have to recognize that this is what my church wanted. It (Purpose Driven) wouldn’t be such a widespread phenomenom unless this fertile ground was being prepared for years. It makes me sad, but I see it as th tip of the iceberg…the movement is bouyed up by something.

  6. While I agree with all your points regarding the PDL/PDC model, I will say that I thought the BP article to be supportive of Warren and it seemed to me that they went out of their way to make the WSJ article/writer look like she was unwarrented in her claims. I think the WSJ article made light of a serious situation and I’m glad for it. I also wrote a blog post on the same thing, you can check it out at Nick-Nacks, Notes, & Notions

  7. Histrion (Jay H) says:

    I’ve never read any of Warren’s work, so I’ll pop the question out to whomever wants to answer: do you feel Purpose-Driven Life is as (potentially) harmful as Purpose-Driven Church is turning out to be?

  8. Mr. Monk…I enjoy your posts and find them thoughtful and provoking. I appreciate the fact that you have a point of view but are not sure that it’s all figured out.
    In this town, all of the churches that are small and accountable are “little for a reason”. There are good mega chruches and poorer ones but the only real alternative to big box church is a church plant or a less well known denomination. ( Just by the way, the mega church I attend is more faithful to scripture than any of the smaller churches I attended earlier in my life or the churches in which I grew up)
    I am curious about where you see the future of evangelicalism in the US in the next 25 years. I can’t see the post-boomers seeking out the mega church in large numbers. I also can’t see them flocking back to the traditional church.

    Also, if I were a pastor of one of those churches which is going to die in the next 25 years and the steward of the people in my church with a heart for the people in my commmunity, what should we do? We can’t stay where we were.

    A couple of posts ago, you wrote about the controvesy on the mission field asking new believers to give up their community and context as part of becoming a Christian. I found that article to be as relevant, on a conceptual level, to evangelism in the US as to evangelism in a muslim area. As we try to hold on to a past which is inevitably changing, aren’t we disenfranchising new believers who did not grow up as church people?

    I mean this as a real, respectful discussion. I feel the need to start coming up with answers not just more clarity about what I am against.

  9. This was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday (9/4). Pretty well balanced story that basically said, older members were leaving/being driven out by pastors who felt they were’nt getting on the bandwagon so to speak and were “quenching the spirit” as our friends at TBN are so quick to say!

    Eric

  10. mort_chien says:

    Michael,
    I’d encourage your readers to go to the original source – the front page of the WSJ for Sept 5 and read the whole article. BP left out some particularly damning info. Your more astute readers will see the following from the Revs Roddy Clyde and Glen Sartain, after advising 80 audience members at an Austin, Texas meeting to “not trust very many people with their plans.” and “all the forces of hell are going to come at you when you wake up that church.” Yeah, demonize the opposition. After all, who wants to listen to a demon?
    And this, “Mr. Clyde recommended that the pastor speak to critical members, then help them to leave if they don’t stop objecting. Then when those congregants join a new church, Mr. Clyde instructed, pastors should call their new minister and suggest that the congregants be barred from any leadership.” And we think the Catholics have a problem with an “infallable” pope. Apparently we’ve got a few mini-popes in protestant garb.
    Oh, and this one is great: “There are moments when you have to play hardball, said the Rev. Dan Southerland, Church Transitions President, in an interview. You cannot transition a church … and placate every whiny Christian along the way.” Let’s see, is this Jesus the shepherd of souls or Jack Welch, former CEO of GE?
    The article was really amazing for the candor of these purpose driven life advocates. If anyone wants to know what its all about, start here with your research, and continue.

    Mort Chien

  11. The whole mega-church discussion is fascinating to me. Where I live (Lawrenceville, NJ)I guess there are just mini-churches: modest white 19th century Presbyterian or Dutch Reformed churches with steeples and nicely-dressed people all around on Sunday, and plain stone Quaker meeting houses where everyone seems to have shopped at Land’s End, and dueling gothic revival Episcopal and Catholic churches with wedding parties frequently seen. (But that’s in Princeton, where collegiate gothic is the order of the day.)

    I think it would be a real shame if these lovely and pictureque churches were somehow endangered by the ecclesiastical equivalent of a big box store. I don’t go to church (SkipChurch, get it?) but I do value their presence in my community. They do good, as far as I can tell. They add to the charm and beauty of my community. And you can go up to the Dutch Reformed church in Blawenburg and hear Kit play bagpipes sometimes. But not during a service. So, yes, okay, I value churches in my community for purely sentimental and aesthetic reasons. That’s the conservative and the traditionalist in me. I don’t oppose all change, but I certainly object to substituting something big and garish and mega for something small and good and beautiful.

    What baffles me, on purely aesthetic grounds, is why someone would prefer the mega-church to the mini-church. If I were a church-goer I’d definitely scope out the quality of the organist, the architecture, the eloquence and erudition of the minister, the congeniality of the people, and whether they made a decent cup of coffee. Shallow, shallow I guess. Shows why I’m unsaved etc. But isn’t that what one wants in a community, if you can get it? If you want a jumbotron and thousands of people, go to a ball game.

    I mean, do the have dizzy bat races and a seventh inning stretch at the mega-churches as well?

    Well, as usual I find myself scratching my head at the modern turn of events.

    My lady friend, who is a regular Bible study attender, was given a copy of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life book. So I looked into it and she asked me what I thought, which was that it was the worst drivel I’d ever seen, excepting when my sister-in-law bought an Anthony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within You” course which she supposed would make her rich and cause her to lose thirty pounds.

    So do we preserve traditional institutions and forms for their own sake? No, not for their own sake. We preserve them because they’ve stood the test of time, because they embody a kind of accumulated community wisdom, because they provide a connection to our past as a people. These are perfectly good reasons.

    So– SkipChurch urges all the Christians– don’t go mega, go mini! The 17th century Quaker meeting house and the 19th century Presbyterian churches here will be at their old stand when the mega-churches have turned back into sports arenas.

  12. The bigger they are the harder they fall!!!

  13. I belong to a very small congregation. And you know – a lot of the concerns people have raised here are exactly why I’m glad we’re small.

    People know me. EVERYONE in the congregation knows me by name and I know everyone. People can’t hide, or if they try to, someone will call them and invite them to women’s circle, or choir, or something. If someone stops coming, people notice. If someone’s sick or in the hospital, people call them, people show up with food, people offer to watch their kids. It’s a community.

    I think one of the things about some of the megachurches is that they allow people to be spectators rather than participants – that there are people who can “just” come to church and never get asked to serve as deacons, or make food for a funeral dinner, or teach a Sunday school class.

    And I don’t think God intended for us to be spectator-Christians.

    I do a lot of things in my local congregation – I wear an awful lot of hats. And sometimes it’s exhausting. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to never have to get up and make announcements about some group that I’m leading meeting, or be able to go home on Wednesday nights and not have to do the youth group thing. But at the same time it’s one of the most tremendouly fulfilling things that I do – and it gives me a real investment in the congregation and its continued success.

    it also seems to me – and I could be wrong on this, I don’t have much experience with the megachurches – but the small churches I have been a part of have a real commitment to carrying Christ’s light OUT into the community – working the local soup kitchen, and doing school-supply drives for impoverished kids, and participating in city-wide clean-up days, etc. From what I’ve seen, at least some of the mega churches seem more turned inward – sort of setting themselves up as a bulwark against the “fallen” outside world. Whereas a lot of people in the small churches seem to look at the world, see hurt, look at themselves, and say, “We can do something to help this.”

  14. I do not necessarily doubt and certainly do not lament the slowing down or even death of the mega church movement. But, are there numbers to indicate that this is happening?

    I am currently trying to have the SBC urban core church I pastor re-planted by a vibrant “emerging” SBC church. I mean the Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill, Acts 29 type emerging church. How large is this movement I wonder—say according to the three categories noted by Ed Stetzer?

    Back to the mega-church. I have seen some remarkably positive things at a mega-church or two but I would celebrate a move to something different, smaller, less geared to so-called boomer values. Again, what is the evidence that the death knell has sounded?

  15. Mark:

    I may be saying too much too soon, but these things seem significant to me.

    I think the death knell of the boomer mega church is several things:

    1) The utter failure to spiritually form disciples that meaningfully impact the culture rather than simply entertain boomers.
    2) The megas inability to come to terms with missionalism.
    3) The Number of megas increases, but the number of churches decreases and the number of people in church decreases.
    4) The theological vacuity of the mega church represented in Osteen
    5) The failures of megas to move past dynastic, celebrity dirven leadership
    6) The small amount megas give to missions
    7) the failures of most megas to start church planting networks

    They are big, expensive, full service, fun and increasingly more cultural and less Christian.

  16. doctrineofcyn says:

    I don’t subscribe to the WSJ, but I believe I found the same article here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06248/719178-84.stm, thanks to Google.

    One thing that concerns me about the Baptist Press coverage is that it didn’t delve into what I thought was a likely reason for Jones being removed from the diaconate. It’s a reason I wouldn’t expect the WSJ (or any secular outfit) to pick up on, but I was surprised the BP didn’t.

    From the Suzanne Sataline article at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06248/719178-84.stm:

    Mrs. Jones began scouring the Internet to investigate all the changes taking places at Iuka. Her searches led her to Web sites run by critics of Mr. Warren as well as to Mr. Warren’s own Web site.

    More than a dozen church members, including the Joneses, began meeting privately to complain about changes. Church leaders became angry. “The Rev. Jim Holcomb has been slandered and insulted by some of you,” the church’s minister for education, the Rev. Kim Leonard, thundered at one service. Mr. Holcomb and Mr. Leonard deny that Iuka Baptist was becoming purpose-driven. Mr. Leonard says it was “coincidence” that the new initiatives resembled strategies advocated by Mr. Warren and his movement.

    Then a Web site run by a critic of Mr. Warren posted a letter from Mrs. Jones describing her worries about Iuka Baptist and comparing the congregation’s admiration for Mr. Holcomb to the cult followings of Jim Jones and David Koresh. The posting sparked angry emails from church members. A church meeting was soon called. Hundreds of people packed into the pews. After heated arguments, the congregation voted 150-to-41 to throw Mr. Jones off the board. The members also accepted the resignations of two other deacons, friends of Mr. Jones who had been asked to leave the board. In the weeks that followed, 40 church members quit.

    If the Sataline coverage is accurate, and if it did not omit other (more biblical) actions by the Jones family, then where was their (the Jones family’s) attempt to address this as Christ instructs us to, in Matthew 18:15-17?

    (15) If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. (16) But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (17) If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Based on what was presented in the article, I don’t feel at all comfortable blaming the Purpose Driven paradigm for that particular church split (particularly since the pastor denies implementing the PDC plan), and it makes me wonder about the rest of the examples, as well.

    I mean, here we have reports of members meeting privately, with other disgruntled members, in order to complain, then writing letters in which they compare their pastors to the leaders of suicide cults, and sending those letters not to their pastor, but to an Anti-Rick Warren website. What the holy heck?

    I would have expected BP, as a Christian media outfit, to more carefully investigate and report what happened in that particular situation, before repeating the Jones story as an example of the turmoil PD paradigms might be causing.

    I won’t pretend to know what went on in the Jones’ church, but I do know what I read, and I can’t really get upset about a church removing someone from the diaconate who was involved in secret meetings which were held to complain about the pastor. If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m bone tired of PDL, PDC and of even hearing the name ‘Rick Warren’. I also agree with your point in this entry:

    Megachurches, their super programs, their consumer driven worship, their shallow, free-floating theology and their non-pastoral pastors are dinosaurs. A world-wide, global emerging church that’s too diverse to fit into anyone’s book is the rising tide.

    I don’t, though, want to unfairly criticize Warren or the PDC approach, based on half reported incidents, where the one of the main complainants is alleged to have acted in a way that appears, at least, to be so contrary to Christ’s teaching.

    –Peace.

  17. The Last Vangaurd of Trinty says:

    Right now in a little town just out side of Memphis is a Church Called Trinity Baptist Church.My Heart is torn at this time because of what I am afraid is going to happen to it, the Purpose Driven Church. I have read different articles on what happens and what damage will happen.The Reason is I was saved at Trinity May 17,1979
    My family along with other Families and different church folks helped to move the Church back in the early 90’s when we started to die off because of the change in social climent(White Church in a Black Neighborhood). We moved to Southaven starting a “Satellite” church.Eventualy the rest of the Church moved there.God blessed us and the Church went from 300 on Sunday mornings to about 1500. We didn’t Use the purpose driven Method. We cared about people we cared about reaching people for the Lord.
    Now the Pastor we have is starting to emplement some of Rick Warren’s Theology. It breaks my Heart to think that the Blessings that God has done to Trinity will soon be a memory.I pray it isn’t too late for Us. We are suppost to Vote Next Sunday Night July 29. Everyone who is a Christian and see’s this or Hear about this Please pray that God’s will be done and to keep blessing Trinity Like he has In the Past. And If ya have a chance pray that I will have peace about what I will have to do for a church.I hate to think that “My Home” the Place where I have seen So many people who have been my friends accept Christ as their Savior is going to be turned into Something that Doesn’t resemble a church.I f ya have any friends that are at a Traditional or Contempory Church warn them about what can happen.It is a shame that Men will follow the Love of Money instead of following the Voice Of Jesus. Ty for your time and Prayers

  18. After our beloved pastor retired I began to see the following things happen under new leadership:
    The choir was disbanded and replaced by a “worship team”.
    The grand piano was sold, the organ ended up in a shed in the parking lot, and they were replaced by a keyboard, drums and guitars.
    The hymnals were no longer used, but choruses were projected on a screen and sung over and over ad-nauseum.
    The contemporary style music was so loud many people wore ear plugs.
    The soloists sounded as if they were singing in a night club.
    The musicians wore shorts,ragged jeans and T-shirts.
    Even the pastor wore jeans at times.
    From a membership of over 1200 the congregation shrank to 440. When people were concerned and spoke to the pastor about this, they were told “Let them leave!”

    We didn’t understand what was happening to our church until we became aware of Rick Warren and “The Purpose Driven Church” movement and realized that was what it was. I was one who left and joined a small independent fundamental Baptist church with a pastor who preached the whole counsel of God without mincing words. Maybe that small church will never grow large, but I’m sure Jesus would recognize it as one of His own!

  19. charles loudermilk says:

    Look, its very easy to attack the big name “brand” known as Rick Warren. People can always attack the known from obscurity and judge every mint and cummin from the armchair. However, that will never decry the actual results of changed lives. It can never trump the “unchurched” people that have a real Holy Spirit drawing them like water from a well…and it so happens that they pick up a book called “Purpose driven ______.” I’ve seen lives upclose in our small group…and real maturity and growth occur in those lives. Rick Warren surely isn’t our Messiah, yet he isn’t the antichrist either. He’s a man saved by grace and trying his best using the talents given him by our Creator. Give him some slack, and use what you deem necessary and pass the other stuff on.

  20. Tim Smith says:

    The fact of the matter is this. Christianity here in America is anything but a life changing experience. Why Do I say this? Here are my thoughts
    1. Most organized denominations including the Southern Baptist Convention have souled out to the world and its ideas thanks to Statistics! So much so that they hire outside non christian business consultants to build them up like some sort of business convention. The SBC(Lifeway) is not a MINISTRY!!!!!!!no matter what they say! They are a business! They bring millions into there downtown Nashville skyscraper. They even charge missionaries for there shallow non-theological materials(that should be free!)That is about all its worth any way since there is not doctrine in it!
    2. If you are not into to the Contemporary Church lifestyle or the new “self-centered” Praise and Worship style , You are not “Seeker Friendly”
    Ha Ha! I love that one!That is too funny! The Gospel is not supposed to be comfortable! It is supposed to change our lives.And it is not about us ,It is about God changing us!
    3. Most Pastors do not preach the whole word(Joel Osteen,Rick Warren,The saddleback crowd) They preach what makes people feel good about themselves instead of what convicts us. I call it a Pep talk! When was the last time you heard them preach out of Matthew 23? Here is a Clue— You won’t!
    4. All the mega churches should shut down!!!!Why? Nothing Biblical come from those buildings that look nothing like a church. Oh wait! That’s right! They want us to feel comfortable! If I want comfort, I will go the shopping mall! Oh wait I don’t need to, I can go the food court or the STARBUCKS!INSIDE THE LOBBY of the CHURCH. Hmm-What does Matthew 21 say about that? Oh yeah that’s right! They only preach what they want-So I guess Matthew is right out. Then after church I can get in my so called fuel efficient SUV and get on the interstate, Talk on my cell phone, Flip off the person who cut me off(while they see the fish bumper sticker on my vehicle)and take the kiddos to play soccer. All while feeling no guilt what so ever about how I live my self centered little life. Yea God!

    MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL FOR LIVING SUCH ARROGANT LIVES and thinking we are CHRISTIANS..

    AMERICA needs a Spiritual REVIVAL! Lets we get one last chance before his return.

  21. Marcia Hendricks says:

    All the SBC churches have to do to get lots of members and really be big is to get rid of all KJV Bibles, replace with all new Westcott and Hort versions, Oh, they’ve already done that! get rid of all the hymns and replace with Crm, well, they’ve already done that! so get in touch with Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, Zondervan, every company I can think of, and, oh yes Rupert Murdoch who owns the NIV, so does Rick Warren. Rupert Murdoch goes to Rick Warren’s church in CA

    I’ve been a Southern Baptist for over 55 years and have done my research well, and the only pastor, W.A. Criswell, mine, who believed in KJV and told me he’d never use any other version in pulpit and never had and never would. He was also against all Christian rock music, period. Well, he’s gone. I am just about to leave SBC myself. I’ve learned too much and am sick over the whole thing. These churches don’t need me, and I sure don’t need them. Apostacy has sure come into the churches. Jesus is coming soon, I just wish people would open their eyes up, and I’m talking about Christians. (I’m definately not a Warren fan or Rupert Murdoch who also makes money on his porno business. Yes, Rupert, the porno King!!!

    Marcia