Monday, May 29, 2017


My friend has been going to seeker-sensitive churches (SSC) for a good 20 years. I therefore listened carefully as he explained what he has observed. In the more biblically-faithful SSCs, Scripture is not distorted or denigrated. However, many doctrines are left out – those which might cause offense – resulting in a distorted and unbalanced Gospel presentation.

Just about all of these churches place a great deal of emphasis on home fellowship groups. The need for community is regularly emphasized, but not doctrine. Consequently, group leaders are not chosen because of their accurate and faithful understanding of Scripture, but as facilitators – those who are able to make the participants feel comfortable and valued. Therefore, all comments are valued and accepted, except those that might disrupt the community spirit.

Consequently, doctrine has little to do with the building of community and the unity in Christ. SSCs ignore the fact that when Christ sent out His Apostles, He instructed them to:

·       “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20; ESV)

Are SSCs faithful to Christ’s commission? Are they faithful to the many teachings of Scripture that measure our love of God according to following His commands?

·       Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:23-24)

Instead, the SSCs seem to ignore many Scriptural teachings, as if they think that they have a better formula. Instead, Paul had taught about what preaching should look like in the last days when people would no longer hear the Gospel (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4):

·       I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: PREACH THE WORD; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, WITH COMPLETE PATIENCE AND TEACHING. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

SSCs have left out the admonition for “complete…teaching,” lest it might cause offense, without thinking that such omissions might be an offense to God. Paul understood that they these omissions would constitute an offense. Therefore, he stated:

·       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. (Acts 20:26-27)

In contrast SSCs shrink back from much. Not only is this an offense to God, but it is also depriving the congregation of spiritual growth:

·       Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:2-3)

I could not have survived without the Word. I had suffered from decades of severe depression followed by panic attacks, which left me devastated. I didn’t know if I could endure much longer. I loathed myself, and projected this onto everyone else, thinking that they too loathed me.

However, the Spirit began to apply the Scriptures to my heart and mind. Through them, He taught me that it wasn’t about me but about Him (Galatians 2:20), that God didn’t hate me, as my emotions were informing me. Instead, He loved me with a love that went far beyond anything that I could conceive (Ephesians 2:16-19).

Once the Spirit and convinced me that He loved me, I could begin to accept myself and then to feel accepted by others. Jesus’ teachings became very real to me:

·       So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

As Jesus had indicated, it was a process. However, now I feel freed and empowered. My greatest joy is now serving Him according to His Word.

The SSCs are depriving their sheep of this. Some of these churches even scorn Scripture. I grieve deeply, but this should lead us to prayer.

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