Comparing a recent article revealing 6 secrets of car salesmen to the purpose driven church model was quite revealing...
saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, - Amos 8:5 (ESV)
RJ Wilson from Urbo.com recently penned an article entitled "Six Car Salesmen Secrets to Know Before You Buy a Car." Curious I read it and before long I noticed the correlation between the schemes of the purpose driven church movement and the tactics of car salesmen. The key verses from today come from an interesting time in the life of the Prophet Amos. His short rebuke here to the leaders of Israel contrasts what is supposed to mean something to them with their true ambitions and desires. When will the new moon festival be over so we can make money again? When will the Sabbath be over so that we can not only make money again but do so by cheating people by being deceitful and using false balances? This is indicative of the church today as well. The pseudo-piety of religiosity is a mere veneer. You have to put on the new moon festival to pretend that this is all for Jesus! Behind that veneer however is when can we sign our next book deal? When can we deceitfully bring a watered down gospel to the goats and tell them they are saved? You see the purpose driven church turned the body of Christ into a business and the shepherd into a CEO. The product however is not Jesus. If it were, they would not need to sell Him. No beloved, the product is that individual church building. The CEO pastor dude needs you to come back to his church, buy into his brand, and eventually tithe and serve in ministry for free. That's a tough sell so in exchange he promises you eternal life you do not have. He guarantees you musical entertainment, great oratory skills and a sense of belonging that is admittedly difficult to find in this world. The driving carnality behind it though is just as rooted in human wisdom and scheming that we would see in a used car salesman. Let us reason together through these six things offered up as secrets of the car sales business and see how they correlate.
"1. Before you've even stepped onto the lot, they're getting you ready to buy." -- RJ Wilson
Before you step into a new church they are already working on you. The greeter ministry is trained to spot new arrivals, introduce themselves, and be warm and welcoming. Tricks to get you in the door? How about the following:
* This Summer Church by the Glades is doing a sermon series called, "Baes, Besties and Booty Calls."
* Andy Stanley having his worship band sing 90's boy bands music when the church was supposed to be worshiping Almighty God.
* Hillsong doing "I like to Move It, Move It" and turning Silent Night into a burlesque show.
* Perry Noble doing Highway to Hell.
* Giveaways for visitors ranging from free guns to plasma TV sets.
These promotions are nothing but the doctrines of demons infiltrating the church in the end times. They are designed to tickle your ears and make you walk in the door. I have seen churches where the pastor does motocross in the sanctuary and another where the sanctuary was transformed into a monster truck course. They are in fact working on you far before you ever set foot in the parking lot.
"2. They're trained to sell based on incremental payments rather than the full price. " -- RJ Wilson
The sales pitch for the purpose driven church is often very subtle. They remove the topic of sin and the need to repent and instead deal with the increments of the love of God and the general concept of blessing. Instead of focusing on what God has done eternally for us on Calvary the attention is shifted to what He can do for us in the temporal. Preachers like Joel Osteen readily admit that they purposefully do not preach the wrath of God because they feel they want to be an "encourager." Avoiding the truth however is not encouraging. When Paul says goodbye to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, he declares himself free of their blood because he did hesitate to proclaim to them the whole Gospel. The purpose driven pastor will have a lot to answer for. The car salesmen holds back the full price because he can make more money through financing. The purpose driven pastor holds back the full price because he can't sell it.
3. If you do your research, your salesman will hate you. -- RJ Wilson
There is nothing a false teacher hates more than a Christian who reads their Bible. Many churches do not even allow congregants to ask questions of the cult of personality pastor. We must realize that most up and coming pastors today were trained by the Rick Warren Purpose Driven Church. Do not confuse this with the Purpose Driven Life, which came out ten years later. The Purpose Driven Church is a manual for how to turn the bride of Christ into a lucrative cash cow, all for the glory of Christ of course; win wink nod nod. In these pages lay the destruction of the church that we see all around us today. Consider this new theology nugget Rick Warren introduces in it called "Blessed Subtraction."
"Be willing to let people leave the church. And I told you earlier the fact that people are gonna leave the church no matter what you do. But when you define the vision, you're choosing who leaves. You say, "But Rick, yes, they're the pillars of the church." Now, you know what pillars are. Pillars are people who hold things up " And in your church, you may have to have some blessed subtractions before you have any real additions" -- The Purpose Driven Church
Make sure you follow this beloved because it is coming to your church too if you are not vigilant against it. The pastor will move away from solid bible exposition and start moving into topical sermons designed to tickle the ears and entertain the crowds. The Gospel presentation will cease addressing sin and repentance on any meaningful level. Even the sinner's prayer will be watered down. Some of the more seasoned congregants, maybe even some elders will go to speak to the pastor about the dangers and pitfalls of the path he is taking the church on. Unless these pillars of the church are willing to toe the new purpose driven line they will be blessedly subtracted. Doctrine will mean less and less. Consider that Andy Stanley has now preached against the inerrancy of Scripture and against Christians including the Old Testament in their faith!
"4. They'll do just about anything within reason to make the sale, but you'll have to work for it." - RJ Wilson
The purpose driven paradigm is a transactional one. It requires you to buy in to the scheme both literally and figuratively. It relies on people providing material support to the church and to volunteer in "ministry" that allows the church to not have to pay for crucial ministry staff. Make no mistake about it beloved. When you walk in as a visitor you are the mark. The attention is for you. The show is for you. Once you buy however, you are now part of the team marking the next you.
Once you are a consumer the model shifts to the next you visiting next week. The purpose driven church model feeds off of free labor. Make no mistake about it beloved. The gift of God is free but the purpose driven church will make you work for it. At my height of service in my old church I was leading three ministries and operating a bridge group. I worked all three Sunday services, the Friday Prayer Service and about 20 hours per week at home. This is not to complain because I believe in working alongside with the work of the Gospel. I was a minister however. The problem with the paradigm is it does not discriminate based on experience at all. So we had 50 bridge groups, all of which had an assigned leader. The church convinced the 50 leaders that this was their purpose God had ordained but the reality is most were horribly compromised themselves. You had people in ministry leadership in open adulterous relationships, with no spiritual disciplines whatsoever, and asked to lead Christians that they were no father along then. This along with the watered down Sunday gospel guarantees that the congregation did not grow spiritually.
"5. They might lie about trade-in value." - RJ Wilson
Salvation is a trade in beloved. We trade in our old self and put on our new self in Christ. That trade bears a cost however and it is a cost that is simply not spoken about within the purpose driven paradigm. I cringe when I hear preachers trying to convince people to come for altar call say that it will only take five minutes of their life. No! It will require the rest of their life! The Bible says that we must take up our cross daily! It says to constantly test ourselves to ensure we are in the faith. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling and resist the enemy to our souls. When was the last time you ever heard any of those verses preached?
Instead you are fed a weekly pablum of spoiled milk. You become the hero of every Bible story. Suddenly God exists to be your blessing dispenser. Remember what happens if you read the Bible for yourself and dare to ask a question -- blessedly subtracted. The purpose driven church is focused on this world and this life. The quid pro quo they promise you is fool's gold.
"6. They're experts at reading people, and they'll adjust their pitch based on what you're looking for." - RJ Wilson
When Bill Hybels was going to open Willow Creek Church he canvased the region to see what people liked and didn't like about church. One of the findings was they didn't like the cross. So Hybels removed all crosses from, his church. How asinine and ridiculous. Of course the cross is offensive to those who do not believe! That is entirely the point! Rick Warren did the same thing when he opened Saddleback. So the purpose driven model is designed to cater to the unbelieving goats, lure them in with carnal music and preaching, convince they are saved when they are not, and the assimilate them into the paradigm.
They will adjust their methods as they go. Andy Stanley wanted to appeal to younger people so he had his worship team perform boy band songs from the 1990s. Perry Noble wanted to appeal to the inner rebel in his community so he played Highway to Hell on Easter. It doesn't matter beloved. It is all used car salesmen tricks and gimmicks. Many churches, including Steven Furtick's Elevation Church actually pose a 90 day tithe challenge. This absurdity is based on the same model that sports gambling services use to pretend they have inside information on a game. If 1000 people sign up for the challenge remember that is 1000 people who were not tithing anyway. If 500 experience nothing then there is no loss because they were non-tithers anyway. But the other 500 will ascribe anything remotely positive in their life to the tithing and now you got them locked in. Whatever it takes to sell you the car. What do I have to do to put you in this false christ today? Don't fall for the hard sell beloved.
Reverend Anthony Wade - May 25, 2018
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.