Once again, the extremely poor teachings of Bethel, through the purpose driven church paradigm comes shining through. We here this nonsense all the time and I am sorry if this rubs you the wrong way but the church was NOT designed to be a hospital for sinners. No cursory reading of the New Testament should arrive at such a ridiculous conclusion. The things of God are utter foolishness to those who are perishing. The elder like restrictions Bolz shuns IS the gospel! Jesus first words of ministry was repent! He did not approach sinners like Dr. Phil. Do we want the unsaved to come to our churches? Ideally but only if they are actually preaching the gospel! If they are overly concerned about slathering them with slopy agape puppies and rainbows then no. God help them if they stumble into Bethel or Lakewood church. The mistake Shawn makes, which he has been taught, is that HE matters in this equation. So, he thinks if he is somehow not sweet enough than he damages his own witness for Christ. How absurd. Truth is love. They are not partners. As long as you present the truth, that we are horrible wretches and sinners in need of salvation, then we have acted in love by presenting the Savior to them. We do not draw anyone. The Holy Spirit does.
All you need to know about how horribly wrong the theology of Bethel is can be found in Bolz' conclusion. When your gospel presentation amounts to this guy Jesus who wants to fill the Jesus shaped hole in your heart because gosh darn it, God just thinks you are the beez-knees and loves you so much then you are wildly apostate. You will lead countless people to a false Jesus that way. They will go to church, sing Friend of God and How He Loves Us, hear a sermonette about how great it is to feel loved by our Creator, say a nine-word sinner's prayer and be declared heaven bound by the charlatan selling them this boatload of seeker friendly garbage. Give them a Shape interview to determine what ministry they can volunteer in and get them tithing and churchianity is underway!
The gospel however lays discarded in the corner underneath the specious accusations of being "rules associated with the bible" or simply not loving enough. God help us.
Reverend Anthony Wade - June 14, 2021