On The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers

Has the world really changed so much that worshipping God in spirit and truth, following His precepts, and loving God/our neighbor is no longer relevant enough?

Must we change the music, do 40 Days of Purpose (see here), and preach light and fluffy sermons to be attractive to seekers?

What ever happened to God-centered worship, not worship based on what the individual Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer would like?  What ever happened to preaching about sin and forgiveness?

Check out what this Orthodox pastor has to say about church and Christian merchandise marketing campaigns.  For example:

The Christian faith is not a commodity, though there is a ruthless effort from within—of all places—to make it so. Models and methods for “explosive church growth” and “true community” are as overstocked as every American diet craze. Here today, gone tomorrow. Self-professed experts, who have little, if any, connection to the ancient church, offer their solutions to propel your church into the 21st century, for a nice price…..

If the early Christians took growth not only as a long-term process, but one which had to be proven by a visible, concrete, regular, and often significant life-change, why do we treat it as if it is something that can be bought in a video package, and completed in a 40-day or 15 session course? —True Church Growth by Fr. John Parker

Here’s a funny take on modern Evangelical fads and practices, from a Baptist: Fads and Fixtures: Ten Deadly Trappings of Evangelism by Joe Carter.

The Internet Monk’s take on Praise & Worship music in church services: Riffs: 06:18:09 Bill Kinnon’s Worship Lament/My Essay “Looney Tunes”

Written around 2005/2006


Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church


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