Skip to comments.False Conversions 'Suicide' for Churches, Pastor Warns
Posted on 04/11/2012 12:36:50 PM PDT by marshmallow
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) Thousands, if not millions, of church members sitting in Americas pews arent really born-again Christians, a Washington, D.C., pastor said April 10 to a pastors conference in Louisville, Ky. Mark Dever
Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in the nations capital, warned on the opening day of the 2012 Together for the Gospel Conference that false conversions are the suicide of the local church.
Dever was one of four religious leaders with Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; C.J. Mahaney, president Sovereign Grace Ministries in Gaithersburg, Md.; and Ligon Duncan, senior minister at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss. to convene the first Together for the Gospel event in 2006 to combat what they viewed as false teaching in many churches today. A statement of unifying doctrines includes male headship in the church and home and the need for church discipline of wayward members in local congregations.
This years conference, the fourth, was expected to draw 8,000 pastors and ministers April 10-12 to The Kentucky International Convention Center and KFC Yum! Center, with messages uploaded daily on the website t4g.org.
Dever described members of the church who live worldly, carnal lives as a serious problem in American Christianity.
The problem I am pointing to is not just that of the occasional hypocrite lost in their own unrepentant sin, Dever said. Im talking about systems which seem to produce false converts so much that its not just one man but whole congregations that like Israel of old are typified and characterized not by holiness but by worldliness.
Dever said that is a problem for church members who are deceived about their own state before the Lord.
Its just not right for a congregation to leave men or women made...........
(Excerpt) Read more at abpnews.com ...
A Christian church is not a museum to display the saints of the church, but a hospital to treat the chronic disease of sin.
I feel it’s a matter of churches afraid to confront sin and actually holding people accountable. The Bible says it’s ok to correct someone who is doing something wrong (not Biblical). That’s what the Bible is for. To give us a guildline. Too many churches push sweep sin under the carpet and pretend that everything is fine and that nothing has happened.
But...I’m a good person!
That is true, but we are also called by Christ to “go and sin no more”. I am born-again believer and I regularly need to check myself for sin. Guess what...I’m sinful and I admit I fail regularly in many ways I wish I did not. As Paul said...”Why do I do what I do not want to do...”. We are still wrapped in the flesh and the flesh itself is sinful.
I agree with Dever however...too many people think we can just continue to sin. If people aren’t checking their lives for sinful behavior...then I can see his point. The issue isn’t that Christians cannot sin, it whether they care enough to confess before the Lord that they continue to sin. It’s all about our hearts and unfortunately many people choose to know Jesus but they don’t choose to have a relationship with him. Even the demons acknowledge he is the Son of God. We put too much emphasis on a “decision” and not on our “relationship” with our Lord.
Someone told me you know you’re there when you know you’re a sinner and the very thought of intentionally sinning horrifies you.
So true, so true...!
I often asked myself, “Why do the born agains make the same mistakes again?”
What I found, after years of psychological research into mind control techniques was that the big difference between the real event and the false event is that the individual surrenders their authority horizontally to another person rather than going within, traversing the dark-night-of-the-soul experience and surrendering within to a higher power.
I’m trained as a stage hypnotist, but will never use it. I learned the techniques in order to understand how charismatic pastors controlled their followers. It’s relatively easy to do, even with intelligent educated people. It’s used in the political election process as well!!! Sad to say.
“you know youre a sinner and the very thought of intentionally sinning horrifies you.”
Very true, or you know it if you are still breathing!
The Bible teaches that those who earnestly seek God will find Him and that He is not far from each one of us. When we do find him, we become acutely aware of our shortcomings.
Churches this day and time put way too much emphasis on putting bodies in the pews, entertaining them, and carrying on as if it were a social club.
Being a Christian is about growing in grace and understanding and serving God and fellow man. That is a far cry from what is happening in most churches today.
You are right. If the churches preach the gospel and hold people accountable for their actions, the false converts will fall away.
The problem isn’t the converts; it’s the churches.
It is when you accept the falsely converted into full voting membership of the congregation that you get into trouble. Do that too often, and you end up letting the inmates run the asylum.
These Baptists can start by looking in their own churches for false teachings and the fruit thereof.
These Baptist are looking notice it is a baptist publication. Like all churches when man made doctrine/tradition enters the church sin abounds, if only we would look to scripture.
Agreed. Christians should hold themselves to a higher standard. When one fails, it should not be glossed over, but delt with in Love. Acknowledging something was done wrong is tough to do sometimes, but there needs to be a moral compass (the Bible) that is followed in our churches. That is what is lost in today’s world.
As long as the message is preached and preached correctly, I have no problem with entertaining people. In part, b/c "entertaining" won't be the church's soul purpose. It will be to worship. Whether that be with an electric guitar or piano as long as that purpose is Christ then a church will flourish. Once you start watering down the message and focus soley on Music, Presentation of Sermon, Aestetics of church, then you run into issues.
I’m a Baptist and I like Mark Dever, but he is wrong. The entire point The Savior made in the parable of the wheat and tares is that there will be false believers mixed in with real believers. He said to leave them be. Focus on making disciples, don’t try to police the phonies...they will be sorted at the judgment.
That is very insightful. I agree and believe that this behavior has its roots in two of the tenets of Protestantism; Once Saved Always Saved and being "Born Again" in which Salvation is an event rather than a life long process of conversion.
Not to say that Catholics are immune from this by abuse of the sacrament of Reconciliation, but when one believes that there is no substantial consequence for sin there is no real need to avoid it. Even St. Paul, following his Road to Damascus Epiphany, required years of further conversion and life long struggle against sin. Too many who profess to be Born Again have actually started their endzone dance at the 50 yard line.
The 'once saved, always saved' doctrine seems to allow lip service but not repentance in life.
I pretty much agree. But I have had occasions to visit churches that seemed to worship their music program, and the talented people they have as a part of it, as much or more than God. Some of these congregations have little or no depth with respect to their understanding of their faith. I get uncomfortable with that.
Do the research and join us!
” The entire point The Savior made in the parable of the wheat and tares is that there will be false believers mixed in with real believers.”
No, it’s much more than that. When the disciples asked Jesus to explain the parable later in Matthew 13, He explained that the earth is the field, mankind are the good seeds, and satan came and planted the weeds.
As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.”
The weeds are bad seeds that were planted and are hiding among the good crop in order to try (but it won’t work) to make it through the harvest. For the same reason that fire does not harm the disciples like Daniel, Polycarp, Justin Martyr and other filled with the Holy spirit, it will burn the weeds. This is why giving a prayerful blessing to an evil person is like placing hot coals upon their heads.
In Danial 3 it is described very clearly: “17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majestys hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The kings command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, Werent there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?
They replied, Certainly, Your Majesty.
25 He said, Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”
This is exactly how it works. It happened to me many years ago and really freaked me out when I was burned severely with hot oil and instantly healed. It tested my logical sanity to its limits and changed my life. Beyond the experience is the true, “Born Again” experience. It is where your relationship with Jesus becomes experiential. And yes, as someone else stated, at that point you hate sin within yourself and it becomes a constant daily battle to “sin no more” and stay clean of sin like a child in order to know God. It’s much easier for me to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk, but when I do get back on the path, the results are beyond astounding.
This same fire within causes dark beings to be afraid of you. They are afraid that your light will kill them. There are people who cannot even walk up to me as they can’t stand the energy that flows through me... it’s not me though. I am reluctant to share this as it would be dangerous to my humility that is necessary for the experience. I share it only to give credibility to my Father’s teachings. The Bible is very true and correct. Jesus was telling the truth when He said to the disciples when He sent them out “The things that I do and more, you too shall do in my name.(My Spirit) that’s wheat communion is all about, i.e. accepting Jesus’ spirit within ourselves just as He did during His dark-night-of-the-soul experience which resulted in His saying “My Father and I are one.”
We truly are in the end times and global warming is upon us. And, it is man made. Not the CO2 gas thing, but the heat given off through the natural process of the increased presence of the Holy Spirit transmuting the evil deeds of mankind.
So far, I have met four of the “bad seeds.” They have tried to kill me as I am ruining their plans. My only power over them is my Love and compassion for them coming from the Holy spirit. I thank them for their presence as they constantly remind me to stay focused on Jesus and my Father. What is happening right now in our society is exactly what is supposed to happen, and the end result will be exactly as described in the model prayer given to us. But it will be a bumpy ride to get there. We need the bumps and bruises to get us to look in the right direction for our strength.
The bible says to feed the hungry, clothe the poor , give shelter to the alien and more.
I do all these with my tax dollars and I’m a good person.
‘Spiritual but not Religious’
But always remember His promise in John 12:47
If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”
Forgiveness is there for the asking, no matter what we have done, or left undone. But only if we repent from our heart and not just our head.
The 13th Century Sufi Mystic Rumi said it best when he stated “Life is about finding and removing the obstacles to Love that exist within us.” (my paraphrase)
Sin is the obstacle to Love that exists within our souls.
I’m getting sick and tired of pulling the logs from my eyes! One of these days I will learn my lesson and stop putting them back in after they are removed!
It clarifies the connection between thinking that you’re a good person and then deciding to use big government to try to prove it to the world.
I understand what you mean. That's what I meant when I said that as long as the focus is on God and not on those things (soley), then I don't have a problem with it. Don't discount churches with extravagant presentations. It really comes down to people using their talets. If you have someone with a gift of lighting/sound/music/etc then God wants you to use those gifts. If they do so in a worshipful attitude then I don't have a problem with extravagant music and such. If they go in with a ME FIRST attitude, then that is where churches get into trouble.
There are some really awesome worship churches out there that really put a lot of time in their music program (also they preach the word and that is their focus). But there are some really great churches. Reaching non believers with an organ and piano might work for some, but for a lot of non believers, it doesn't entice them to a point to allow God to speak to them.
Music is an excellent tool for trance induction to facilitate the hypnotic effect in religion. That being said, I love the music in church. It’s not the music as much as where you allow it to take you.
Music has the ability to take consciousness on a journey or a roller coaster ride. It is the one thing that has both logical and emotional stimulus.
I recently attended a discussion where a pastor of a large 1,000+ member church(average weekly attendance) was discussing his several years of service and his upcoming departure. Sitting at the front of the room, off to the side, I was able to see the faces of the people attending. Allow me to add that I have the utmost respect for this relatively young pastor. I was surprised to see the dead stare and trance symptoms of several of the people attending as the pastor spoke. Without his even trying, several had turned into Kool-Aid drinkers. These attendees were college educated intelligent people. It makes no difference when it comes to succumbing to charisma. Never did I see the pastor take advantage of his position of power.
Agreed. I just don't like people writing off a church if they have loud music/lights/etc. That's just as much of a problem as people writing of a church for only having an organ.
What churches even teach “Once Saved ALways Saved” other than some independent fundamentalist baptist and Southern Baptist churches? a small minority in the christian landscape. What about all the liberal and apostate catholics, episcopalian, lutheran, methodists, etc etc? I think your diagnostics are incorrect.
OSAS is one of the 5 tenets of Calvinism (TULIP's Perseverance of the Saints) and, although not clearly articulated it is embraced by many Evangelicals in their belief that Salvation is a one time Born Again event.
OSAS is one of the 5 tenets of Calvinism (TULIP’s Perseverance of the Saints) and, although not clearly articulated it is embraced by many Evangelicals in their belief that Salvation is a one time Born Again event.
Wrong. There’s no “O” in TULIP. Sanctification is a necessary condition to Perserverance: From the Westminister Confession:
I. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened, in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
II. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet imperfect in this life: there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome: and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Not the same thing as a one time expression of faith. Furthermore, you didn’t answer the question.
Your issue is not with me, my FRiend, but with the Orthodox Presbyterians and the like who frequent these threads.
Interesting you should use the word sanctimonious, because that is my point it is the Baptists who are so often sanctimonious. They love to find fault with other Christians but refuse to believe large truths of the teachings of Jesus Christ because they don’t have the faith for it. I am not a Baptist just a Christian that has noticed how they continue to throw around the ‘false’ and similar words when referring to others. They are good at accusing others but just what else comes from the Baptist church/churches? I don’t see much else coming from them.
A Memphis Tiger
Ok... I’m racking my brain how you figured that out. Haha. Is it in my profile?
Growing up the worse kids I knew were preachers kids. Many who are born in to the church life are not saved they have never been convicted of their sins and have not made Jesus Lord and Savior. Are these the Goats whom Christs says depart from Me for I never knew you?
The heart of the augment.
Most churches are just club houses. Start asking people what they heard in the sermon that morning or what they read in their Bibles during the week. My experience is that most can’t wait to get away from me....................
This article was written on a Baptist pastor's message for a Baptist publication. My observation was based on individuals I have met over the years that hardly follow Christ's path and would even argue His message was for the Jews alone when presented with His teaching of the Commandments, etc.
I believe we come into conjunction with the Lord when we humbly read and reflect on His Word with goodwill in our hearts for the neighbor. I trust He will lead the conscience to repentance.
That's why I don't get upset with churches with a liberal agenda. Our faith has such a branch. I'm friends with many of their pastors on Facebook. I post the truth and they usually share homophobia cartoons. They are struggling and we are doing pretty well this year with some new online outreach ideas.
I think if a sinner can find a place where they can hear about the Lord, that's a good thing. Hate the sin but love the sinner.
I partake in Holy Supper at the local Episcopal church rather than drive 2 1/2 hrs each way to the liberal branch church of my own faith. Usually, I worship at home online via a UStream broadcast from our Cathedral back east.
Ok. Yeah been involved here since 2004 (Jr in HS)... just don’t post much. Read everyday though. FR tis my homepage.
Agreed 100%. I've seen it occur in every type of church. In the big Mega Churches with extravagant music and tech stuff to the smaller piano only church. I really believe that it is a members/pastor thing. Not one or the other. The pastor can only do so much. It's up to the members to utilize it and do it throughout the week. And to also hold eachother accountable.
But back on topic. False conversions are really a killer in a church. You can't expect new converts to turn the page 180 overnight, but you can still hold them accountable and encourage them through their transformation.
I think it's more a church by church basis. One bad Mega church does not make them all bad and one bad small church does not make them all bad.
Waiting for someone to come here and declare what a heretic Pastor Warns is.
I tend to be like the prophet Elijah? who thought he was the only one but God told him there were others.
Most everyone, including me, likes to eat from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” where we decide what is right and wrong. Makes it hard for accountability when we don't know how to give correction or take correction. Nobody liked the Prophets and they didn't like Jesus much either. So, how well liked are you?
Doesn't work with a homosexual as they ARE the sin. So when you say that, you still hate them in their mind.
Biblically, I think God hates sin and there is going to be judgement and a time when there is no difference between sin and sinner. Willing to be corrected.
If by love you mean speaking the truth to them, we are on the same page. But no one is going to like you when you speak the truth..............
Honestly, probably not as disliked as I should be.