Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. - 1Corinthians 15: 1-2 (ESV)
Every now and then a seeker friendly, purpose driven heretic cannot help themselves from exposing their own twisted mindset and revealing for all who are willing to hear, exactly what is wrong with the way they believe. Make no mistake about it beloved. You can believe wrongly. You can place your faith in a false gospel that cannot save you. In a false christ who cannot save you. The Bible is very clear about this in our key verses. Paul is reminding the believers at Corinth that the Gospel he preached, Christ's Gospel, is the only one that we can make our stand in. It is the only one through which we are saved. If we fail to hold fast to it then we trade it in and believe in vain. What a frightening thought but just looking at Matthew 7 reveals that many churched people will stand on the last day thinking they had served Him only to discover He never even knew them. Do not listen to charlatans telling you doctrine does not matter. According to 1Timohty 4 it is doctrine that will save the listeners. What we believe is crucial, lest we have believed in vain.
The heretic we speak about today is Perry Noble who pastors the mega church known as New Spring in South Carolina. Known for abusive tithing messages and all around narcissistic eisegesis, Noble took to his blog this week to list the top ten "convictions" he has about the church today (linked above). What is intriguing is within his complaints we see a glimpse into everything wrong with this new wave of false mega church pastors and how they view the body of Christ. We will go through them one at a time:
1) Jesus never intended for the church to be a group of isolated, self righteous and angry people. In the past, the church spent so much time debating with people over social issues that we forgot to love people like Jesus told us to. We have to remember that we will reach way more people through conversation than condemnation.
A fair enough point to start but one wonders if this is just a strawman to excuse sin. We also do not reach people with "conversation." We reach them with the Gospel. This is a consistent error within the hipster new wave churches such as New Spring. Similar like when Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC said that his church has a stance on love and everything else is a conversation. Well that's swell but entirely unbiblical. The question is whether you are trying to bring souls to the foot of the cross or whether you are trying to fill your pews.
2) If churches do not learn how to reach people on their mobile devices, we will soon not reach them at all.
Really. So God was not prepared for the information age, eh Perry? Here is a news flash for Mr. Noble. God does not need you. We need Him. Most come to realize this on their own as the Spirit draws them. The Gospel is always sufficient but it has to be preached. Church was not meant for the unsaved Perry. It was meant for the sheep. If we would ever behave as the church and be salt and light to a dying world then the lost will want what we have. Then if they came to church seeking Christ instead of what goodies you might give them; the Gospel being preached would convict them. That is God's plan. With or without tweeting. With or without Facebook. I see the majority of Facebook posts from churches and well intended pastors is glorifying of the church instead of Christ.
3) It's not a lack of prayer that is holding most churches back; it's a lack of preparation. We need to prepare for messy people to actually show up and not ask them to leave because they do not have the appearance of perfection.
The seeker friendly cracks are starting to show now. The teachings of the Purpose Driven Church convince pastors that the growth of their churches is what their calling actually is instead of preaching the Gospel and tending to the sheep. Acts Chapter 2 makes it clear that it is the responsibility of God to grow the church as He sees fit. That is the opposite to the purpose driven agenda, which we can see here showing in Perry Noble's third "conviction." In the minds of seeker friendly mega church pastors, the key is in your carnal preparation over your spiritual preparation. Prayer? Nah, don't worry about that. You have to spend your time preparing for messy people to show up. What? I am also unsure what churches Noble visits where messy people are asked to leave.
4) Churches that do not invest heavily in students and children will disappear in the next decade or so.
Another idiotic and empty threat from Noble. As if God and His Gospel are not enough. The truth is that studies have been done on this very subject and they reveal that 70% of churched youth leave organized church when they reach the age of critical thinking. Their reasons are they see through the hypocrisy of the seeker friendly ruse. They do not need a tattooed pastor in skinny jeans and a faux hawk trying to be hip and "relevant" to them. They do not need their carnality catered to anymore than adults do. This may come as a shock but they need the Gospel. They do not need the slick marketing, sensual music passed off as worship, or any other of the schemes currently employed by false teachers like Noble.
5) Seminary will become less and less relevant because most Christian educational institutions are focused on how to reach people in the 1970s.
This absurd comment shouldn't be surprising from someone who once said during a sermon; "The Jackass in the church is always the person that always says, I want to go deeper." Perry Noble and mega church pastors like him hold in contempt the Berean Spirit we are supposed to have as believers. This is a pervasive mindset used by Satan in these last days to dumb down the sheep so that it is easier to deceive them. I have heard well intended brothers and sister argue that everyone is somehow equal when it comes to handling the Word of God and that is simply not biblical. God has set aside people to bring the Word of God and to feed His sheep. I guess Perry and his friends forget this admonition from Paul to his protege, Timothy:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. - 2Timothy 2: 15 (KJV)