I’ve always been rubbed wrong with the idea of “seeker sensitive” church. Yes, when someone visits, they should be greeted and people should be friendly to them, but is the church really for them? What is the point? Today, while listening to Fighting for the Faith, I think I’ve got a handle on it. From the 25 April 2012 podcast (1 hr 17 min to 1 hr 25 min):
One of the things they are trying to do is transform society…. Our church exists to meet the needs of our comunity….
— john Cremeans [sermon being reviewed]
That’s not what the Bible teaches…. Unbelieving friends [don’t] understand the unique things that we [do] as Christians…. Because the church was out of step with unbeliever’s expectations, that means that something is wrong. If we are really to be a church–to make a difference in the world–we need to stop doing this because we exist to serve the community and make a difference. So we’ve got to get rid of this unique Bible language…and not have these hymns and songs that my unsaved friends are embarased by…. Yes, Christians should be involved in solving [the bad problems in society]. But not during church. When the church comes together, we have sacred business to do. To hear and learn God’s Word. To take the Lord’s Supper. To baptize. To teach. There’s a problem here. The world has thse problems. Of course. The world is full of people who are dead in their trespasses and sins and at war with God. These are the result of our sinful rebellion against God….
— Chris Roseborough in response
First off, I want to apologize. I typed this up while I was listening. I’m sure it isn’t the best transcript, but I think it is accurate to what Chris said. I think that Chris Roseborough hit the nail on the head: while the Good News of the Gospel is for everyone, the thing called CHURCH is for those who are saved. It is the job of the individuals in the church to share their faith with people…it isn’t the job of the CHURCH to save people.
in CHURCH (the church service) we gather to study the Bible and worship God. An unbeliever isn’t going to get it or understand it. Well, until they get saved they won’t. We shouldn’t exclude them from coming, but it isn’t necessarily for them. Nor should we make it for them.
[Update 2012-05-15 12:14:02] On Sunday, the sermon was from Matthew 7 (13 to 23). I think the narrow gate/wide gate talks about this.
[Update 2012-05-21 13:09:18] Listen to this episode (14 May 2012) of Fighting for the Faith (right around the hour mark…perhaps from 55min to 1h 5 min). Chris does a good job out outlining the “vision” for the church and who gets to set that vision.
Image from wesleyig via flickr