Skip to comments.Jesus Laughed ("A new Church for people that don't like Church")['Baby Got Book' Video]
Posted on 07/10/2007 4:28:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Preacher Dan Smith turned a rap song about babes with booty into a spoof Internet hit, and used it to help create a new church for people who hate church.
Dan Smith thinks Christians take themselves too seriously.
Pastor Dan Smith's 'Baby Got Book' video, a big hit online, helped him start his Momentum Church. "We can be dorks," he says after Sunday service in suburban Cleveland. "We can be Ned Flanders and basically speak jargon that nobody understands."
The 33-year-old pastor has made it his mission to turn the notion of earnest, boring, humorless Christianity on its head and tickle its feet until it laughs.
He did just that when, as a creative arts minister for a church outside Washington, D.C., he made a video parody of rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back," an ode to women with generous behinds.
Smith's version was called "Baby Got Book," and its praise was reserved for "Christian sisters" who carry big bibles.
"It's worn and it's torn," go the lyrics, "and I know that girl's reborn."
At the suggestion of parishioners, he posted the video on the Web, and viewers streamed it millions of times.
Smith isn't the only preacher to find success on the Web. One of the hottest names in religion online today is none other than former "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron, who spreads the gospel online via wayofthemaster.com.
Smith used the publicity from "Baby Got Book" to help sell his comedy DVDs. Then he used that money and his newfound fame to start a church "for people who don't like church."
He should know. He says he's one of them.
"Some people don't like church because it's boring, full of hypocrites and often led by greedy dudes who only care about cash flow," Smith writes in a promotional flyer for his church, Momentum Christian Church. "And church is really boring, too. Did I mention that a lot of people hate church because it's boring? I usually do."
"People just feel welcome here and they can just be themselves." church attendee Cindy Lu
Worshippers say you won't be bored at Momentum. You may not even feel like you're in a church because technically you're not. Momentum holds its services in a multiplex movie theatre in a suburban shopping center. Salvation and Popcorn Buckets On a cool spring Sunday morning, people are filling the lobby of the Cinemark in Valley View, Ohio, warming up with coffee and hot chocolate and munching on donuts and bagels. It is boisterous and full of laughter and excited chat. It feels more like a family holiday gathering than church.
A crowd gathers around television monitors where Smith's "Baby Got Book" video plays on a loop along with other comedy videos he's made, and videotapes of past services.
"I said ladies, yeah, ladies," Smith's voice is heard on the video, "Do you wanna save people from Hades? Yeah!"
The smell of popcorn fills the air and large, framed posters of classic movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne hang on the walls.
Smith is running around with a Starbucks coffee in his hand.
"My salvation," he tells me, motioning to the coffee, after explaining that his wife Shannon just gave birth to their third child yesterday and he was up most of the rest of the night writing today's sermon.
A steady stream of people line up to give him congratulatory hugs and handshakes.
The service is as complex as a Broadway show, with comedy skits, stories and a multi-piece band. Like a professional stage show, the service has its own rundown sheet with lighting, audio and video cues.
And then there is Smith's sermon, "Superhero Parables," in which he encourages attendees to use their own special gifts to serve others and God.
"If one day you wake up and realize you've been bitten by a radioactive spider and you've got something new in your repertoire," he tells them, "there's this unspoken code among superheroes that says, you know what, your life is not your own anymore."
Smith electrifies his services with a blend of music and comedy. At the end of the service, the collection is taken up in popcorn buckets.
"I grew up going to Catholic church, so this is very different for me," says 25-year-old Cindy Lu after the service. "But it's just more relaxed. People just feel welcome here and they can just be themselves." Finding a Way Smith himself didn't grow up in a religious household, but came to the faith, he says, through the help of a neighbor. That outsider attitude, he believes, helps him to round up the "unchurched," just like Jesus did.
He says about 200 people attend each week, but admits his unorthodox approach has also drawn critics.
A posting about his Internet video warns viewers "to beware of false prophets."
Smith shrugs it off.
"We're not trying to reach other Christians," Smith says, "If you love your church, stay at your church. That's awesome. But for people who haven't gone in ten years or all of their lives I think there's a lot of people who might need to hear the message of 'maybe this might be the church that I can go to.'"
The same church, Smith says, that welcomes people who cuss, watch R-rated movies and smell like cigarettes; the church where "Baby Got Book" is always in rotation and whose services are available by Podcast if you just happen to sleep in some Sunday.
There are way too man churches that are nothing more than spiritual massage parlors. I guess this guy decided to open a spiritual massage parlor without the hypocritical pretense.
If it gets’em in the door and thinking then its probably a good thing, whether they stay at the Church long or not.
Reminds me of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, and Hazel Motes’s comical Church of Christ Without Christ.
I hadn’t noticed that Christians have no sense of humor. I suspect that it’s Dan Smith who lacks the sense of humor.
They tried this before. It didn’t work. People hated it.
How about church being about what church should be about. Worshiping God.
How can a "seeker" worship someone he isn't committed to?
Maybe us Christians need to do OUR jobs, and lead others to Christ, instead of waiting for "seekers" to walk into churches of their own accord. Or expecting "the church" to do what we should be doing.
And instead of us looking to make the Bible relevant to our lives, maybe WE should be making our lives relevant to the Bible.
Is he preaching salvation? Is the staying in scripture? That’s what is important.
Salvation from what? Too many messages today are about whats wrong in our lives and that we need a saviour to heal us from ourselves.
Instead of worrying about a Purpose Drivle Life, we need to read a Purpose Driven Bible that teaches us that we haven't made mistakes that God will lovingly make better, but that we all have sinned, and God abhors sin, that sin has seperated us from a God who desperately wants a relationship with us, and unless pardoned, that sin will eternally seperate us from God.
MAYBE YOU WOULDNT LIKE
OUR DRESS CODE
Many think our dress code is too strict. Skirts above the knees are not allowed. Men must wear neckties to class and must have short haircuts. Young ladies may not wear shorts or slacks.
OUR OLD-FASHIONED DISCIPLINE
Young ladies are not allowed to go off campus unchaperoned. Young men and young ladies may not date alone in cars. Absolutely no hand holding or other intimacies are allowed between the sexes. There are date nights with bus transportation and adequate chaperones provided by the college. Student insubordination is absolutely forbidden.
OUR INTENSE EVANGELISTIC ATMOSPHERE
All faculty, staff, and students are required to go soul winning weekly. Students participate in the evangelistic ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, which builds its ministry around personal soul winning. An average of over 10,000 new converts were baptized each year for the past several years.
OUR FUNDAMENTALIST EMPHASIS
We are fundamentalists and use the term proudly. We believe in a literal Hell which has fire and brimstone and a literal Heaven with streets of gold. We stand for the King James Bible as the only Bible and the local New Testament church as the only true church. We believe in redemption through the blood of Christ, salvation by grace through faith alone, and the premillennial second coming of Jesus Christ.
OUR SEPARATIST POSITION
Absolutely no drinking, smoking, or dancing is allowed. No student is allowed to attend Hollywood movies, play cards, or participate in other questionable amusements. We do not fellowship with liberals, but instead take a strict separatist stand from the world and apostasy.
OUR EMPHASIS ON CULTURE
We believe in students learning and practicing propriety. We oppose the paganistic, barbaric humanism that prevails on many campuses. We believe in refinement, dignity, courtesy, proper manners, and Christian grace.
OUR EMPHASIS ON THE PRACTICAL
We blend the finest of scholarship with the best practical teaching possible. We teach not only what to do but how to do it. Preacher boys are taught how to start churches; how to build buildings; how to borrow money from lending institutions; how to raise money and adopt a budget; and how to organize, operate, and perpetuate a New Testament church.
These guys know how to whoop it up.
It was a two part question. IOW I agree with you. If he can do that on the street or in a mall....
Mountn man.... you stick with your strict approach if that is working for you. This guy is just trying something different and my only point is that since a large number of people don’t respond well to your way, maybe they’ll give this guy a try. There may only be one door, but there are a lot of paths to that door. Maybe if we Christians stopped judging each other so harshly, we wouldn’t repulse so many.
Well, it is obvious "Pastor Dan" is the head of "his" church. It bears no resemblance to Christ's church.
Where did you get that from?
Oh - and by the way - that reads like the handbook for MANY conservative Christian colleges just a few decades back.
And I actually found a very little that I would disagree with on that list...if it were my daughters going to college!
The problem with your view is that we assume that someone going to this church is better off than no church at all. But we don’t really know that unless we know what this “preacher” is teaching. If it is a feel-good, pseudo church that does nothing but entertain for a while on a Sunday morning and call it “church”, then I am afraid that the attendees may not be any better off - and indeed may be WORSE off because they may very well be fed something that is blatantly wrong and actually prevent them from finding the truth.
Satan has a way of making a mockery of God’s institutions for the express purpose of leading people away from knowing the TRUTH in Jesus Christ.
And before I am accused of being closed minded, I would disagree. I believe that we can, in fact, use many way of reaching out to the lost. Sometimes thinking outside the box is effective (I believe that Christ’s method would constitute outside the established box in His time). But to turn worship and teaching into simply entertainment to “get them in the door” is not a good idea.
The “unchurched” are looking for entertainment, not for God. Those people are the ones we have to go to, not “lure them in”.
Getting people into a place where they are comfortable enough to drop their guard so the message of The Gospel can reach their hearts is a higher priority with God than beating them over the head with scripture over their addictions.
It's more important to get the Great Commandment hooked up with the Great Commission and get that all of workin' BEFORE we try to help people deal with some of their non-eternal-life-threateneing issues.
It's a LITTLE more like Jesus to get the fish INTO the boat BEFORE we try to clean them.
Jesus took the same kind of heat from the Pharisees and scribes that you're laying on this guy, and my reply to you is his reply to them, "It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (cf. Lk. 5:31 & 32). And I remind you of Jesus parable concerning the lost sheep from Luke 15 wherein he concluded, "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."
The unsaved already have enough obstacles to salvation; need we impose more??
There are thousands of unsaved people for whom Jesus is an attractive and intriguing figure about whom they'd really LOVE to get the straight skinny. But these same people just cannot reconcile what they already know about Jesus with this bunch called "Christians". TOO often -- way too often -- we who have the faith are the greatest obstacle to others who're interested in knowing more about Jesus.
I refuse to risk getting to Heaven only to find out that somebody's burnin' in Hell because I objected to their dirty feet on my clean church carpet.
I refuse to risk getting to Heaven only to find somebody's burnin' in Hell because I was all hung up about them bringin' their personal addictions into church.
Billy Graham invited multiplied millions to come to faith accompanied by the hymn "Just As I Am", but millions more have been turned back from the church house doors because of pious people who couldn't deal with folks wanting to come just as they were.
Mahatma Ghandi came to church, as a boy, to find out who this Jesus was that he'd heard about. He was turned out of the church by an usher because of his attire. Just let THAT sink in for a minute or ten. What if...? And all because of an usher who did NOT have foremost in mind the things of God.
St. Paul said he wanted so passionately for his fellow Jews to be saved that he almost wished himself cut off from Christ -- eternally damned.
Who do YOU want to see saved so much that you feel like it'd almost be worth giving up your spot in Heaven?
This same Paul rejoiced because hucksters had latched onto the Gospel message and were going around preaching and passing the plate just to make money. He rejoiced that, whether out of good motive or bad, Christ was being preached.
Obviously his top priority was the Great Commission (go tell), and his zeal for it arose out of his exercise of the Great Commandment (love God), which goes hand-in-glove with the Second-greatest Commandment (love people). Unless we operate with those selfsame priorities, we will find ourselves hurting the very ones to whom we have been sent.
My Jesus laid aside his Heavenly Throne to take on flesh, endure 33 years of life on Earth culminating in the most tortuous, bloody, and horrific death ever. All because he's madly in love with me.
He's madly in love with Dan Smith, too. And he's madly in love with the lost folks that show up to the services there; he doesn't want to lose a single person to the fires of Hell.
And our greatest concern is...their style???
Because of THAT we're supposed to assume that Jesus isn't getting any airtime; that they're just a mob of apostates mocking the faith?
I know. I went to one.
And they preaced that little sheet with all of the fervor of St. Peter in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost morning; like it was right up there with Scripture.
Not to say good standards are bad, but, in some things, we've gotta get over ourselves, and quit going beyond what is written.
Enjoy a nice Merlot (Ps. 104:14 & 15).
Exactly what we need!!!
Maybe he should have started a comedy club and stage show like this Smith guy. Could have saved himself a lot of trouble!
You’ve inadvertently undermined your whole argument.
re your tagline...according to Senator Saruman (D-Isengard) we did it for the oil, and there never was a ring of mass destruction.
My thoughts exactly, except that you expressed them so much better than I could have. I was also thinking that there are some people who are not going to like Heaven very much because it is probably more like this one than the more traditional church to which most people are accustomed.
If people are getting closer to the LORD, good. Whatever works.
The BIBLE says: Matthew 7:13-14 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The fact that many respond to his message doesn't mean its correct. In fact where many enter, I'd say that should highten our awareness that everything might not be so correct. Its not passing judgement, its being wise.
Matthew 7:15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Matthew 7:21-23"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
I'm not claiming he's a false prophet or anything so diabolicle. I'm saying that THE BIBLE tells us to be on the look out for them. In just a few short verses it tells us to be leary of the road that many pass on, and that just somebody says "Lord, Lord" doesn't mean they serve God.
23Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, Luke 13:24-27"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'
"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
There may only be one door, but there are a lot of paths to that door. If by paths your talking strictly style of worship, I'd agree. Whether contemporary music, country, old hyms, oriental, latin, whatever, God doesn't care about the style. He cares about content of the words and the heart. No church or denomination has the corner on reaching God or worshiping. But we always need to be diligent about what we are doing and why we are doing it, along with our theology. We also need to be diligent with others around us.
Maybe if we Christians stopped judging each other so harshly, we wouldnt repulse so many. Being judgemental is to bring condemnation on someone. Thats Gods job. But the Bible tells us to be ever diligent watching others actions and listening to their words. We are to correct them when wrong or sinning, Paul did this with Peter. The Bible also tells us what to do if a person doesn't repent. Is that being judgemental or discretionary.
I think too many refuse to be discretionary, in fear of being judgemental.
Lastly, my view about this article isn't to be condemning of the person, but to be discerning.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
Is this what is happening at this church? I don't know. But I've learned to be discerning. Some might think this as pessimistic, but the Bible warns us over and over about this.
I've been a Christian most of my life (39 of 44 years). I was brought up in very traditional churches, then when I was 26 I started going to a "seeker sensitive" church, considered by many to be the pre eminent seeker friendly church. For 15 years I was very involved. But over time I realized that "programming" was at the heart of what happened there. Programming the music, the mood, the agenda. Is this wrong? Maybe, maybe not. My issue was the bottom line. Whats more important, programming or the Word Of God? For me The Word is first and foremost. When atmosphere (at the cost of $100 million) becomes the priority, I no longer see The Word being the priority, I see numbers being the priority.
I've heard and/or read many of todays headline speakers/preachers, and I find most to be preaching a feel good, humanistic "christianity". I long for cut and dry Bible teaching. Don't hold the punches.
Now your probably thinking, that drives people away. Well church is supposed to be for the saved. Thats where believers go to have fellowship with each other, worship, and get teaching.
Church ISN'T to be for the non-christian, its OUR job to be salt and light to non believers, and bring them to saving grace. And then as believers they can worship God. How does a non believer worship a God he/she hasn't committed to?
But I would disagree on a few points.
We are fundamentalists and use the term proudly.
I would consider myself pretty fundemental, which I won't apologize for, but I feel this statement is to justify beating people over the head. That I don't agree with.
We believe in a literal Hell which has fire and brimstone and a literal Heaven with streets of gold.
Yes. Ditto that here.
We stand for the King James Bible as the only Bible
AAhhh! Wrong answer. This statement is hubris. This isn't about humility and learning, this is about dogma. Is the KJV a good version? Most definetly, it is a very accurate TRANSLATION, but I don't worship the book, I worship the ONE who gave us the book.
and the local New Testament church as the only true church. We believe in redemption through the blood of Christ, salvation by grace through faith alone,
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
and the premillennial second coming of Jesus Christ.
That might be up for debate.
OUR SEPARATIST POSITION
Absolutely no drinking, smoking, or dancing is allowed. No student is allowed to attend Hollywood movies, play cards, or participate in other questionable amusements. i>
Obviously this is for a college campus, and the students who attend this school. There is a reason for these rules, which for the most part would be foolish to not adhere to. But, my impression is that these rules are laws that the leaders cram down others, and use to lord over others, much like the Pharisees did in Jesus day. I see no problem having a drink now and then, but I don't get drunk. Besides Jesus turned water into wine. And don't give me that junk about it being grape juice. Thats junk and a fabricated lie to push a personal agenda. Smoking. I don't. Its not good, but its not going to send someone to hell, or keep them out of heaven. Dancing. I LOOOVE to dance. I can understand having certain limitations on it. But not an outright ban. Hollyweird movies. I go once in a while, but today is far fewer than before, as I do not approve of most anything out of Hollywood. But not going to them does not make me, nor mean that I am holier. Nor does going to them mean I'm less. I am afforded the discretion to choose if and what I see. Cards and other questionable amusements. Just the wording makes me want to grab the pompous jerk by the neck and make his eyes bulge, and then toss him like a rag doll. But then, that wouldn't be very loving or christian like would it :)
We do not fellowship with liberals, but instead take a strict separatist stand from the world and apostasy.What pompousness. Seperating yourself from doing what the world does is one thing. But our job IS NOT to be removed from the world, it is to share the good news of the Gospel to the very liberals (and conservatives) this person loathes.
MORE COWBELL!!! :)
(Hopefully you understand the joke/sarcasm)
I went to their web site, but found no statement of faith.
Not sure about "people" in general, but it would be offputting to a large segment of believers. A church that is too giggly to make room in its heart for an appreciation of all that Calvary entailed, is at best a very unbalanced church.
The Pharisees did stuff like this quite nicely.
I’m sure his customers enjoy the entertaining approach.
That’s what the Mormons do. Guess who’s growing?
Two came to my house, and I was tickled by the fact that both had the same first name- Elder. I assume they were country boys.
When I was a boy my Catholic Church was full of men who smelled like cigarettes. That was before smoking became the greatest public sin in the western world.
This is Happy-Clappy Christianity! All style, no substance!
The subject of sin, punishment, forgiveness and redemption is never preached here!
In this church, we want you to feel good--without being good--or even trying to be good!
What's this called, boys and girls? APOSTATE CHURCH
No. I did not.
I argued that it seems to me Dan Smith is creating an attractive environment for lost people so that they will come into direct contact with the love of God, and that the driving force underlying this work IS, evidently, the love of God made manifest in Smith's own life. In this, I argue that the particular methods and forms he's using are being made subject to the Prime Directive of Jesus to tell the world of the love of God as revealed by his sacrifice. Highlighting the magnitude of that love does not, in any way, debase my position; it reinforces it by confirming the priority of the love of God above all else.
The sacrifice of Calvary was a work of inexpressible love; a love SO beyond human experience that St. John, writing in I John 4 says that -- if you don't know God, and aren't born of God -- whatever you may have ever felt or expressed; it wasn't love.
Look at his language in verse 7:
"...everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
"Everyone who loves" establishes that his next words are going to be stipulations describing the category of all people who love. He makes two, clear, concise stipulations; that the definition of "everyone who loves" is that they are people who:
A) Have been "born of God", and
B) "know God".
Any person not meeting these two stipulations is, therefore, OUTSIDE the defined group; NOT a member of "everyone who loves". [Try preaching THAT to an unsaved crowd. "You've NEVER -- EVER -- known what love really is."]
I go to this painstaking extent to clarify this point, because this love that we cannot give, or know, apart from being born of God, and knowing God, is first manifest to us in the Cross of Christ, and we, in this modern time, do not afford it the gravity it requires; principally because we make no linguistic differentiation between the "love" of God, and our "love" of pizza.
If I may, John 3:16 might more adequately strike our hearts with the actual truth rendered thus:
For God is so madly, sold-out, and irretrievably heartsick in His love for us, that He gave His only Son...
Since this monumental expression of a love we could never know has released to us the knowledge and experience of nothing less than that previously-unknowable love (the love that can only come from God, because God IS love), my description of the purpose of Jesus in yielding himself to the cross does NOT undermine my position, but reinforces it.
The love of God shed abroad in Christ is SO overwhelming; it comes upon us inexorably, having no regard at all for our sin, as we live this day of grace. It looks beyond every stain and seeks out our hearts. It is not turned aside by our foul mouths, or our addictions, or our lusts, or our crimes. This inextinguishable love, emanating toward -- no INTO -- our very hearts from the Heart of God Himself, our Abba, our Father, cannot, while grace springs hopeful, be suppressed.
Certainly there WILL come that day when God says, "IT IS DONE", and grace will be no more, and the wrath of God will be poured out in full measure.
But TODAY is not THAT DAY.
So, how can the church legitimately manifest judgment to a world toward which God, Himself, is manifesting so great a love that it looks beyond all faults in seeking the hearts of all men? How can we possibly entertain such a betrayal of the message of the Cross?
The cross shouts with that voice like the thundering of many waters, "I, YHVH, the Only God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, have LOVED you with an everlasting love, and My Heart's desire is that you accept the sacrifice I have made so that you and I can have intimate fellowship, now, on Earth, and forevermore, in Heaven."
The message of the church where Dan Smith ministers to his community is, it seems to me, in-sync with that love in getting people to where they can HEAR God's heart-cry of love, so they can respond to it, believe, and be saved.
It doesn't matter how they talk, at that point.
It doesn't matter how they're dressed, at that point.
It doesn't matter what they're addicted to, at that point.
NOTHING matters, at that point, beyond them coming to understand that the ultimate "I LOVE YOU" of the cross of Christ is a Personal message TO them FROM YHVH Himself.
If it takes some thumpin' rap music, a funny skit, and a comedy act to get lost people into position to get that word from God, then I am joyful in the harvest, and commend the work. No less a man than the Apostle Paul said, "I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some." Were he among us today, you might well find him playing a part in a comedic skit at the church where Dan Smith ministers.
It all comes down to this: Are we, the church, in the things we say and do, faithfully manifesting otherwise-unknowable love from God to our lost world? If, at any point, the answer is "No", then it is incumbent upon us to change so that the answer will be "Yes", instead. When the answer is "Yes", the lost will be impacted by that inexorable love, and the changes that need to happen in their lives -- cleaning up their language, altering their dress codes, breaking their addictions, &c. -- will follow naturally as their own hearts respond to the love of God.
So, we ought not be so preoccupied with that stuff on the head end. Doing so almost communicates that we don't think God's love is great enough to change peoples' lives that much, which is NOT AT ALL what our message is supposed to be.
I believe that our righteous response to news like that in this article is to refrain from throwing up knee-jerk objections over nonessential things like forms of worship and communication styles. If hard evidence appears of something truly contrary to the mission of God among the lost, THEN that thing can be brought out and considered. But, in the absence of such evidence, our condemnation -- even our hedging, stained-glass-windowed trepidations and "gee, I dunno" kind of talk -- are premature, petty, and not representative of that great love we profess. As such, we harm our witness and disparage the cross of Christ if we engage in such behavior.
Let us, instead, have love toward this man, Dan Smith, to the extent that we have no evidence that what he is doing is contrary to the love of God; to the extent that he, at this point, appears to be of the House of God. Let us not speak divisively against him or against the work that he is doing, so that no one may point to our conversation as evidence of some paucity in the work of grace. Let not our godly caution of illegitimate works cross over into ungodly condemnation of legitimate works. Let us, instead, say "yea" and "amen", commending Dan Smith, his congregation, and their work to God, lifting them before the Throne of grace, in full faith and confidence that His Divine will shall be, ultimately, made manifest in their lives. So let us seek to strengthen, not weaken, this work, and trust God that whatever may require correction will be revealed to them by the Spirit, interceding for them that they walk in humility, so that correction will be eagerly recieved.
Grace and peace to you. May the Spirit and love of God dwell within you in power.
You don't KNOW that! The article doesn't say one way or the other. If it IS being preached there, then -- congratulations -- you've just managed to add your voice to that of The Accuser of the Brethren.
I trust that's NOT at all what you had in mind to do. What's this called, boys and girls? APOSTATE CHURCH
Oh, stop it! And climb down outta your tree. Quit worshipping the forms. Instead, receive the love of God and respond to that in worship.
I pray God comes upon you in power and flat lays you out with a fresh grasp of the magnitude of His love for you.
“Senator Saruman (D-Isengard)”
LOL!! Thanks. THAT was funny.
See the video that started it all...here:
For me these are places of entertainment.
It is prophecied in Revelation (18:4) that there will be an Apostate (Counterfeit) Church in the last days. The evidence is all around us as it is, and that those who support it would be given a strong delusion, so that they will believe a lie. St. Paul states they will have itching ears and teachers who will teach them what they want to hear, and sound doctrine will not be tolerated. (2 Timothy 4:3)
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and the multitudes enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." --Matthew 7:13-14
Uh, yeah, you hit my "I despise baseless accusations against members of The Body" nerve, and your post sorta seemed like you were goin' off just a bit, yourself, basis your generosity with exclamation points, though I will acknowledge that you did not post in ALL CAPS, so I'll grant that you were not totally "on the ceiling".
The core issue I had with your post is that I couldn't find any tangible support for your assertions among the information in the article, which I'd just assumed that you had read. There's no way you can back up your accusations without additional information that is not provided in the piece; you would have to know more about this church from some other source, and you didn't name any other source, yet you leveled your accusations, anyway.
Based on no concrete information you asserted that this church is "All style, no substance!" With an exclamation point.
Based on a similar lack of concrete information, you mystically concluded that "The subject of sin, punishment, forgiveness and redemption is never preached here!" Again, with an exclamation point.
In a vacuity of hard evidence, you characterized that "In this church, we want you to feel good--without being good--or even trying to be good!" With yet another "!".
Finally, upon the foundation of pure nothing you'd erected, you asserted that this congregation is, in fact, apostate.
Now, looking back on that, do you see how easy it was for me to believe that you were, in fact, "going off"?
By contrast, I thought my reply was actually fairly restrained. Yes, I called you out pretty strongly at a couple of points; I made the sobering point that, if you were asserting that the church was not preaching what they ought to be, and it turns out that they ARE, then your assertion becomes a false accusation; the trademark of a certain Enemy with whom you do not wish to align yourself. But, then, I also granted that such was not likely your intention.
I strongly admonished you to stop being so sensational with the APOSTATE CHURCH in all-caps. But, then, your charge of apostasy, arriving as the culmination of your other unsupported claims, was, quite frankly, way over-the-top.
While I wholly respect the scriptural references you cite, there is no evidence in the article that this church is at crossed purposes with any of them.
There's no evidence that this congregation is part of the apostasy described in Rev. 18:4. When the Great Apostasy breaks out it will NOT be confused with run-of-the-mill, stock-in-trade spiritual lukewarmness; it will be abject spiritual COLD, and an active, intentional rejection of the things of God; not even going so far as to put on the mere appearance of godliness. When you see it, if you remain in Christ, you will recognize immediately, "THAT is IT".
There's no evidence that they're under any "strong delusion". I don't think the "strong delusion" is upon us, just yet, the whack-o Left's affliction with "Bush Derangement Syndrome" notwithstanding.
There's no evidence that they are preaching a message tailored to "itching ears"; making the gospel culturally relevant is not what that scripture refers to.
Lastly, there's no evidence that they're not leading people to that one-and-only Narrow Gate.
All I'm really out here trying to do is get people who appear to be Christians to post like they really are; to stop making knee-jerk accusations against what may well be a legitimate part of The Body of Christ when there is no basis in known fact.
Now, if you have known facts that arise from a source beyond this article, lay them out there, but, if not, please, for the sake of the cross, cease from the judgmental posture, and extend these people some of that grace Jesus paid so much for.
Now. Finally, I honestly and earnestly pray that God comes upon you in power and flat lays you out with a fresh grasp of the magnitude of His love for you. May the deeper understanding of His immeasurable love just ruin you. And I mean "ruin" in the most sweetly-broken-by-the-Father's-love sense imaginable.
Hey, look, I’m sorry, but we just can’t go on like this. You ignore nearly everything I say, refuse to address more than one or two lines of it at any depth, cherry-pick a point here or there to beat on, and then you’re just rude about it. I can’t fathom why you’re so hung up about what a church service needs to be like that there’s no room in your universe — the love of God notwithstanding — for any church to do things any differently than you would, as if ONLY YOUR way communicates the love of God. Yeah, right. Whatever.
See ya in 1,000 years.
Oh, and FWIW, Snidely Whiplash, I CAN’T be “Di5-Pwn3d”, the order of Adoption is signed by God — in BLOOD.
You need to research the roots of the seeker sensitive movement.
You REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need to do that.
Take it all the way back to Robert Schuller.
“I CANT be Di5-Pwn3d,”
Pardon me Dudley Do-Right :-) I thought your “Pwn3d” was directed to me! I perceived you comment as, “I really Pwn3d you with my r¡9h70µ§ arguments!”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.