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Judas Was Only the First One to Sell Jesus Out

Judas Was Only the First One to Sell Jesus Out



One of the tragic results from the "How to Sell Jesus" market driven, church growth

movement which has swept out the mega churches and across the churches of America is that we are just beginning to see the lives of young adults whose worldview sadly reflects what they have been taught from the pulpit.  Namely, God is only love, that Jesus came and died for you so you could have eternal life and be happy every day in this mortal life.  They have friends who are gay and really nice, and believe they deserve to be happy in marriage too.  That if you decide you are gay, you don't have to repent or change or even leave the church.  Although, you may have to change denominations but there are plenty of secular churches around who won't say anything is wrong if that is what you are into.  What?!? The bible says that homosexuality is a sin?  Well no problem, my pastor never mentions that part, and we have agreed that it is really not cool so we will just ignore it.    


We have raised a generation of kids, many of whom have simply left the church and many more who have become what Paul Proctor aptly labeled "Secular Christians".   It is really pretty easy to believe that Jesus died for me so I could spend eternity with Him in heaven, and no strings attached. No expectations, no repentance, no changing my life, no demands.  Just try to be a good person, go to church and worship Him, as long as it is positive, uplifting, entertaining, happy, and if they start with all that sin stuff, just go to church down the street where they have had the good sense to remove anything that might make you uncomfortable or feel guilty.  Besides if you feel like doing anything sinful, go ahead and enjoy, God will forgive you no matter what is what we are taught, so have fun.   How does the church compete with a culture that preaches moral relativism?  Invite it into to the sanctuary evidently.   


I remember the good old days when only the Unitarians believed that all paths were equally valid and led to God, or whatever you wanted to call the source of your spiritual enlightenment.  In 2005, virtually every denomination has bought into the notion that the only way to build a church is to give the pagans what they want.  It is phrased a little nicer than that, the lingo is "meeting the seeker's felt needs", but what it really means is don't say anything that might keep the unbelievers from coming back.  The churches of America have hired the marketing gurus and figured out what the people want and how to give it to them.  But is that what the people need? 


In his book "Selling Jesus: What is Wrong with Marketing the Church? Douglas Webster writes:  The church is not based on human opinions, no matter how positive.  It is not an audience positively inclined towards Jesus, but a company of committed individuals whose lives depend upon the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord.  The church must not obscure this truth by transforming the congregation into an audience, transforming proclamation into performance, or transforming worship into entertainment. If the unchurched feels perfectly at home in our churches, then chances are that we are no longer an authentic household of faith, but a popular cultural religion.  A comfortable religion that makes practical sense to the unconverted like Nicodemus, and secularists like the Samaritan woman.  Rich, young entrepreneurs are excited about our programs and Zacchaeus types are receiving therapy.  But Jesus has never said to them, " You are [insert name here], and upon this rock I will build my church."

The line between positive popular opinion and true Spirit led confession has never been crossed.