Seeker-sensitive, or just plain profane?
So my friend sent me a link to a video produced by a “church” outside of Seattle, WA. The title of the video boasted that they were “a church where LGBTQ people are accepted as they are," so I knew I was in for a real treat. After about 30 seconds I had already heard 4 cuss words (mostly from the pastor) and had to pause the video. I’m not exaggerating. I needed a moment to take a deep breath before watching the rest of it.
Due to the copious amount of swear words pouring forth from the pulpit I cannot post the video on our website (sad, isn’t it?). But to give you an idea of its content, the video really should have been titled “A lost church where lost people accept sin just as it is...and wallow in it.”
I have heard of and seen many churches try to be “seeker sensitive”, but this one really tops the charts. I mean I have seen a lot of churches take their cues from the world in regards to their music, their fancy stage and lighting, their preaching (or lack of), and even their stance on basic Biblical doctrine. But to have the pastor proudly litter his message with potty language, while sporting a smirk that says “Look at me! I’m so relevant!” goes a bit beyond seeker sensitive into the realm of plain indecency.
But the purpose of my article is not so much to bash this one particular church, though it would be as easy as shooting fish in a bucket. I really don’t think that’s necessary, as anyone with a sense of decency should be vexed in their soul by this video. Unless of course your conscience has already been so badly seared that a pastor spewing out curse words in front of families with small children doesn’t bother you. Oh yeah, and the warm, unbiblical embrace and justification of sexual sin. If they are proud of sin and advertise it on YouTube, there should be no problem.
The purpose of this article is to address the big issue with this “seeker sensitive” movement in the church today. I could certainly use examples from the video I keep mentioning here, but the honest truth is that the issues with the seeker sensitive movement are not unique to this one church, but are becoming rather ubiquitous throughout the church today.
And it all stems from this one question:
Who, or what, actually is your God?
Right off the bat, there is a fundamental issue with a church being “seeker sensitive.” According to Romans 3:11, “There is none who seeks after God...” Now this verse is not saying that there is no one who is curious, or no one that gets tired of their way of life and wants a change. What it is saying is that there is no one who is honestly seeking after God on their own volition for the purpose of salvation (I'll explain more in a minute).
People will often experiment with Christianity in the wake of a tragedy, get answers to questions, feel more spiritual or be a better person because they see a glimpse of how sinful they are and they are alarmed by it. Some want to follow God because they are given promises of peace, love, joy, and lasting fulfillment if they repeat a special prayer. But these are honestly all false motives for following God.
The correct motive should come from a deep realization that God is real, that you have broken His laws and deserve Hell, and that faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is your only hope of being saved. All those other things could lead you to that point, but ultimately it comes down to realizing your sin, repenting of that sin, and trusting in the sacrifice that God made for you to be enough to pay for that sin. In other words, trusting that Jesus has paid your punishment for you already and you are forgiven if you simply confess, ask, and believe.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
People come to Jesus because God is calling them. Period. No one wakes up and says
“You know what? I think I want to repent and live a righteous and holy life today.” The desire to repent and follow Jesus is given to us by God, and then the choice is ours to either follow through or not. I sometimes use the illustration that God has opened the door to eternal life for us that we could not open, and He calls us to come to Him, but ultimately we must take that step across the threshold and follow Him.
Whoever it is that you are actually surrendered to will determine what informs your worship, your lifestyle, your decisions, your words, your trust in God’s Word, the reliability of Scripture… In short, your acceptance of God’s Word and your willingness to obey it. Jesus separated people according to families. God's family and Satan's family. Sheep and goats. Good fish and bad fish. People either gather with Him, or scatter. All of these things are determined by Who it is that you are actually worshiping as God. Who are you worshiping? Hint: take a look at the fruit in your life (i.e. your lifestyle, your decisions, your words, etc.). Also consider on what you spend your money. Jesus said your heart will be where your treasure is. That will be a good litmus test to reveal who your God really is.
So, let me ask you again: Who, or what, actually is your God?