Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Seeker Sensitive"


(By John MacArthur)

I have often spoken out against all the pragmatic and "seeker-sensitive" approaches to contemporary worship because they tend to diminish the proper place of preaching and replace it with quasi-spiritual forms of sheer entertainment (music, comedy, drama, and whatnot). Any trend that threatens the centrality of God's Word in our corporate worship is a dangerous trend.
But one of the most disturbing side effects of the seeker-sensitive fad is something I haven't said as much about: When one of the main aims of a ministry philosophy is to keep people entertained, church members inevitably become mere spectators. The architects of the modern megachurches admit that they have deliberately redesigned the worship service in order to make as few demands as possible on the person in the pew. After all, they don't want the "unchurched" to be intimidated by appeals for personal involvement in ministry. That's the very opposite of "seeker sensitivity."
Such thinking is spiritually deadly. Christianity is not a spectator sport. Practically the worst thing any churchgoer can do is be a hearer but not a doer (James 1:22-25). Christ himself pronounced doom on religious people who want to be mere bystanders (Matthew 7:26-27). [More....]

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4 comments:

thethethe said...

Hi, Puritanbob. I am one of the guys that talks on the "mass theology" blog. You have been talking about calvinism. I posted a note that I really would like your comments about. I was the one who posted about Genesis and Exodus examples of God changing his mind and man's responsiblity. I wouls really like to read your thoughts on the subject. I have tried for years to find someone who is calvinistic to help teach me. I really would like to understand. casey

MelissaJacob said...

Hi Bob. Thanks for the comments. There was a really great piece on NPR about Willowcreek last summer. Did you know they don't have crosses in their worship space(s) because they're afraid these symbols will distract people from worship?

Another aspect you didn't mention was the way megachurches look a lot like secular consumer culture, the McChurch as some have called it. Some even have minimalls inside. You've got your Starbucks in the main lobby with no discussion as to who's growing the beans. And you buy like the rest of the world -- much and often. Pretty crazy.

Bob said...

Casey-
I sent you an e-mail through the Mass theology page hope I addressed what you wanted.

None333333 said...

I chose my current church because of the power and presence of God I experienced. The other McChurches I went to were along the lines of this blog post but I did not feel God's presence at all or it was very watered down. I did not like the strictness of my church because it offended my liberal sensibilities but now I appreciate it.

What I have learned is that when you focus on teaching the Word of god, holiness and active worship, this usher's in God's presence. Churches that try to draw people thru entertainment and being relevant are providing people with a cheap substitute for the real thing. It's really a shame. Satan always has a cheap perverted substitute for God.