What the purpose driven model does is breed dependency upon the church instead of fostering your own relationship with God. You don't own a Bible? Just download an app. You didn't bring it with you? The verses will be on the screen and in the "fill in the blank" handouts we spoon feed you. Be aware when you are around teachers who discourage you from feeding yourself on the Word or who marginalize who you are in Christ. Recently there was a video that went viral from a wannabe "prophetess" who was berating a congregation that they should never question their pastor because they are just "dumb sheep." That is essentially what Perry Noble is saying here. Don't study to show yourself approved. Another insidious lie from the pits of hell.
6) There is not a one-size-fits-all discipleship model. Different people grow in different ways.
When the Bible warns about not falling for teachings based upon human wisdom this seems like a perfect example. It sounds so right doesn't it? Yet it is ridiculously wrong. It does however provide deeper insight into the seeker friendly theologies. You see in these churches the Bible is about you. The stories are about you. The characters are portraying you. You are David staring down your Goliath or Joseph ruling over all of Egypt! Hallelujah - pass the offering plate! Except one little problem beloved. The Bible is not about you. It is not about me. It is about Jesus Christ. The Lord does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. When we are saved we are to bury the old self and die to it. We are to rise as a new creation in Him who never changes. Sorry Perry but there most certainly is a one size fits all discipleship model and his name is Jesus Christ. In the world, we all grow in different ways but in Christ there is only one way. We need to pray. We need to read the Word. We need to worship God. These things are constant Perry. You should try them. Once again however this reveals a look inside the seeker friendly mindset. In their thinking, individuality matters. I was just having this debate with a well intended brother regarding youth in church. He was espousing the notion that we have to embrace their identity. A hundred times no. Their identity is sending them to hell. They need to embrace the identity of their Savior. I do not care if you think that is "old school" or stuck in the seventies or whatever other excuse people come up with. The Gospel does not change because it does not have to. It is the power of life unto salvation. It has been saving people for thousands of years before Perry Noble's wisdom and will be doing so long after Perry Noble has left this mortal coil.
7) The church's emphasis needs to be on STARTING to follow Jesus and not STOPPING the list of sins we single out.
So we start to come to the heart of the deception. In the minds of the purpose driven mega church pastor, it is all about the system. Twenty minutes of "worship" validating how much God loves them. Ten minute offering centered around their temporal blessings. Twenty minute message about something relevant to their world but not to their eternal needs. Close with a 15 minute "alter call" where you ask people to "invite Jesus into their hearts." In this mindset the most crucial point is the decision to come forward to repeat that three sentence false prayer. The problem is that at no point did anyone address why they need to follow Christ. There has been no discussion about their sinful state and their need for a Savior. Beloved, you cannot start to follow Jesus if you do not come to Him based upon your sin. That is what you need to be saved from! That was the entire point! Do you think Jesus died on the cross so you can invite Him into your heart? Do you think that He died on the cross so we can make a decision for Him? No. He died for our sins:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. - 1Peter 2: 24-25 (ESV)
The emphasis in the purpose driven church is as Perry Noble wants it to be. It is not on sins at all. Instead it is on this false narrative that we say a three sentence prayer devoid of any repentance on our part and that we are thusly saved. We are not and many will stand before Christ on the last day to their despair when they realize they were lied to.
8) The world would change in an unbelievable way if the church would attack the issue of obesity as relentlessly as it attacks the issue of homosexuality! (It would also be way more relevant to the church!)
Not sure what Perry's obsession with weight is but for the sake of time I will leave that be. The reality is the church should not be in the business of attacking any issue other than sin and the need for a Savior. Preach the Gospel. Those that wield Christianity like a blunt weapon against the unsaved are just as wrong as Noble. The power is not in our word but in His.
9) Community is more important than reading the Bible. (The early church didn't have the Bible for the first 300 years of Christianity"but they did have one another.)
Perhaps if Perry had gone to Seminary he might have learned more about the Bible before making such asinine comments. While the organized Bible was not decided upon for hundreds of years, to pretend the new church had no Scriptures is silly. Here is the description of the early church:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. - Acts 2: 42-47 (ESV)
What is the first thing they devoted themselves to Perry? The Apostle's teaching. When Paul was building churches throughout the Book of Acts, what does Perry Noble think he was preaching? The Bible even reveals that Paul's letters were considered Scripture during the time he was still alive:
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. - 2Peter 3: 15-16 (ESV)
As they do with other Scriptures! Perhaps if Perry Noble spent less time bad mouthing people who have studied to show themselves approved and more time studying himself he would not embarrass himself so badly. Beloved, there is no community without the Bible. It is doctrine that our unity is formed by and found in. This again reveals another level of purpose driven thinking however. To them it is not about the Word of God. It is about their little community they have created. Where you all get to go every Sunday and socialize and sing Kumbaya and wait until Jesus comes. Problem is there will be a lot of disappointed people on that day. This marginalization of the Word of God is preeminent in seeker-friendly, purpose driven circles. The founder, Rick Warren once advised pastors to not preach the Gospel on Easter so their visitors that day would have a reason to come back the following week. That is simply frightening.
10) Denominations will become increasingly more like the United Nations - a group of people that talks but does not act and issues meaningless statements and warnings.