Seeker Friendly Religion?

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Seeker Friendly Religion?
The “seeker sensitive” movement is one that is very controversial in our present time. It is the idea that the church should appeal to seeking unbelievers, and meet their felt needs. The question is whether or not this “seeker friendly” idea is biblical, and should church pastors lead in this way. According to the Bible, which should be the ultimate authority for all church leaders, it is completely unbiblical. It could be said that it is unethical, from a biblical perspective, for a pastor to lead in “seeker friendly” manor. They absolutely must get real with their audience, and reveal the critical truths of the Bible. The fact is that this movement is one that must be crushed by the truth that can only be found in the Word of God. There are two main reasons that this seemingly good idea is only a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The first reason that it would be unethical for preachers to be “seeker sensitive” in their leader ship and preaching is that it goes against what the Bible says about unbelievers. This whole idea rests on the assumption that faithless unbelievers are actually seeking God. The Bible makes it very clear that “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). Without going into the even more controversial subject of predestination you must agree that in man’s natural sinful state he cannot seek after God. God must first reveal Himself to man. What lost people are seeking is not God. It is peace of mind, relief from guilt, and a deeper meaning to their lives. They seek the benefits of God, while at the same time they flee from Him by seeking for their own selfish gain. Therefore, if preachers only speak messages that attract large crowds, and meet the felt needs of the lost, then they are delivering a false sense of security. They are not bringing people to a true knowledge of the gospel. They are ultimately leading them away from salvation in Christ by blinding them with dazzling music displays and emotion filled messages.
The church does not need to be taught doctrines that have been modified to meet their own personal needs.

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Preachers have to tell people what they need to know instead of what they want to hear because eternal souls are at stake. Men who lead in the church have a great responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. It is so great that even their eternal judgment is on the line. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Preachers of the Word of God must abide in what it says, and lead others to do the same, or risk being at fault for leading people astray. They must subject themselves to the head of the body of Christ, which is Christ alone. “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). The church is supposed to be made up of fellow believers in Christ Jesus, which brings us to the second major point that identifies the ethic of being a “seeker sensitive” pastor. The church itself is not for evangelism as some might think.
The church was set up for those already committed to following Jesus Christ. It was not put in place for lost souls in any way. The church is to consist of people who have put their faith in Christ, and seek to worship Him together corporately. “Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2). Worship is portrayed biblically, as a lifestyle, but in our new age American church we think of worship as merely singing songs to God. Singing our praise to God is not a bad way to worship by any means, but what happens is people are easily moved by great “worship” experiences and emotional services. This often can lead to a wrong idea of true worship. What the bible says is that worship is brought forth by the renewing of our minds, and presenting ourselves as sacrifices to God. This kind of teaching is not so often heard in a “seeker sensitive” church because it clashes with the way people want to live their lives. The huge problem here is that many pastors are becoming complacent in their teaching, wishing only to be successful in the eyes of others. This was not the goal of Jesus Christ’s teachings. “More than once Jesus deliberately addressed certain issues that quickly diminished the number of onlookers…it was commitment that thinned the ranks” (Swindoll 1).
Jesus Christ came and taught people what they needed to here so that they could receive His grace and mercy. Should current preachers not do the same because it might offend people? The Bible says to “be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us…” (Ephesians 5:1). This does apply to those who want to be preachers of the gospel, and even more harshly as stated earlier. Jesus Christ did not care about pleasing the crowd, or being successful in the eyes of men. To be quite honest He failed at both of these, but He showed more love by preaching useful doctrines, and then more so my dying on the cross. The love of Christ was not founded in people pleasing or meeting their never ending needs. Teachers should take Christ’s example, and live it out the best they can in their own lives. In doing so they can show that they truly care about peoples’ salvation.

Works Cited
James. Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded. Chicago: Moody Press (1995).
Paul. Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded. Chicago: Moody Press (1995).
Swindoll, Chuck. “Commitment to the Cause.” 5 March 2008.
http://thequotes.wordpress.com/category/discipleship/


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