In his famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," Martin Luther King, Jr. lamented the fact that Southern White pastors had failed to join the Civil Rights Movement:
· “In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have
watched white churches stand on the sideline and merely mouth pious
irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty
struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard
so many ministers say, ‘Those are social issues with which the gospel has no real concern.’”
Evidently, these Southern White churches were Seeker-Sensitive Churches
(SSC). They refused to preach an unpopular message, one which might turn
away the seeker and even the attender. They had forgotten the first great commandment to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37) by abiding in His Word (John 15:7-14; 14:21-24).
However, these SSCs have now been joined by a wide range of brethren. Their message might be different, but the principle of political correctness remains the same - to not offend the prevailing culture, even if it means ignoring wide swaths of the Gospel.
However, we cannot ignore any of the Gospel, lest we incur the wrath of
God. Paul had been concerned about this very thing. Therefore, he testified
of his faithfulness in this regard:
· “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of
all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
This is the very error of the SSCs. Please understand. I am not suggesting
that we should be sensitive to seekers. In fact, we must be (1 Cor. 9).
However, we must not be "sensitive" to the extent that we refuse to preach
the doctrines of the faith. The is not sensitivity but deadening silence
about some of the very things that should be screamed out from rooftops.
What doctrines are being left out? Many! Here is a partial list:
· Creationism: SSCs avoid this subject because they are afraid of seeming
to be science-rejectors.
· The children of the light vs. the children of darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-16):
In the eyes of many, this distinction seems overly harsh, culturally
insensitive, and divisive. Professional Christians want to be able to
embrace the cultural, and preaching such a radical distinction between
saved and unsaved makes this difficult. It is also potentially embarrassing.
· The role of women in the church: In SSCs, you will not find any
discussion about women in the pastorate.
· Sexual sins: As social sexual standards have changed, SSCs have gradually
ceased mentioning any form of sexual sin. This omission tends to
communicate that sexual sins really don't matter.
· Eternal Punishment, the Depravity of Man, and Salvation through
Jesus alone: These teachings are so integral to the Gospel that they are
only silenced as the SSCs approach an advanced stage of apostasy.
· The plight of the Christian refugees: The silence of the SSCs in this
area is perhaps the most disturbing silence, especially since the world is
supposed to know us by the love we have for our brethren (John 13:35;
17:20-23; Galatians 6:10). Yet I have experienced hostility from SSCs when
I have pointed out their dereliction in this area. SSCs claim that we
shouldn't be showing favoritism.
The Gospel was never intended to make us friends of the prevailing culture.
It's message will always offend.
What would Martin Luther King have said about our SSCs? I suspect that he
would have seen them in the light of the Southern White churches of the Jim