The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Pastor Rolland C. Starr
I have just received a large eight-page folder from Jack Wyrtzen's Word of Life Clubs. It is incredible the schemes they have come up with for reaching young people for Christ. The first thing that meets the eye is "Operation Nightmare" which is obviously on the Halloween theme. It says, "Word of Life uses the common denominator of fun and laughter to reach fun loving young people...You will be greeted by many gory surprises and ghastly shocks.."
Then there is the "Word of Life Superbowl." This is all night...6p.m. to 6a.m. going to the Basketball Hall of Fame, a professional hockey game, gigantic youth rally, bowling and a roller skating party. Other events are also offered. Another advertisement from WOL is for a Passion Play with music by Bill Gaither, John Peterson, Harry Bollback and Don Wyrtzen.
And this sort of thing is going on all over the country all of the time. Jess Moody, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Van Nuys placed an ad in the paper for a Christian singles meeting which read: "Subject: Intimacy, Great Music (not church). Great Speakers (no-hell fire damnation)..." From time to time I get announcements (usually from some so called fundamental church) about a Karate demonstration, a clown or magician at Sunday School or Church, a thirty foot long sundae, a pastor swallowing a gold-fish during the Sunday morning service, etc.
Then we have would-be fundamentalists selling all kinds of worldly books and other materials. For example, a Falwell publication carries an announcement (from some "Christian book store") for books by John Stott, J. I. Packer, Charles Colson, Swindoll and others. Falwell's own magazine has carried advertisements for books of C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis was not a Christian in the Bible sense of the word. I can easily prove that from his own writings. He was a Universalist!
It is no wonder that there is so little spiritual power in the churches today. We get them in with entertainment and the only way you can keep them is more of the same diet. They say, well, it gets crowds and then we can preach to them. That is the old Jesuit philosophy: "The end justifies the means."
You cannot support that with Scripture. David was sincere when he tried to bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem with a new method. God was not pleased. We must not only have the right message, but we must have the proper method. Do you think that the Holy Spirit is going to work in the situations described above?
The Scripture says, "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." It doesn't say foolishness and preaching. They do not mix. Can you have genuine heartfelt repentance after seeing the foolishness of some clown? Whatever happened to "love not the world..."
There are others who would not stoop to such circus efforts, but their sermons are loaded with witty stories and funny jokes. One of the worst offences is making silly jokes about the Bible itself. We are not nitpicking. Not just being negative. Stop and think! Do you believe God is pleased when His Word is made a laughing stock?
What's the matter with God? Can't He save people anymore without all of this fleshly entertainment? Is the Holy Spirit bound to honor the lust of the flesh? Some preachers wonder why their people sit home on Sunday and Wednesday nights to watch television or engage in some other worldly pursuit. Well, no matter how funny he is, the television is much more amusing. Maybe, just maybe, if there was some real spiritual food they might come out to partake of it.
Whatever happened to prayer and faith in God to save the sinner and restore the backslider. Whatever happened to II Cor. 5:17, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." See if you can find any of these modern methods in the Bible. Or, in the writings of the Church fathers? Or, the Reformers? Spurgeon over and over again detested the slightest effort to entertain the people of God; or the world either for that matter.
Beloved, we need to weep over the lost of this world, but I think that our first order of business should be to weep over the sad condition of the people of God.