Friday, November 15, 2013

I did it all by myself!

By contrast, if we adopt Pelagian or semi-Pelagian assumptions, we will carry the burden of trying to produce conversions, relying on our own cleverness and communicative power rather than on God's Word and Spirit.

Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (pp. 62-63). Kindle Edition.

I use tools to make things. The tools can not assume any of the credit, for without me they are useless. God uses people to accomplish his plans, but the problems begin when we think we deserve some of the credit.

Churches boast about how they are growing as if they were doing something better than the church down the street, or as if their god were better than the others. Yet according to Scripture, it is God who causes growth, not man or even a well intentioned group of men. (My mind wanders to the Tower of Babel.)

It's not that growth is bad, but if growth were the true indicator, then we might as well sign up for Joel Osteen's church now.

So if God is in charge, why are we so distracted by all of these other things? Why are we promoting anything else? And perhaps most importantly, what are we trying to win people to?


KC Bob said...

Mostly what I find lacking in churches is inspiration. Osteen taps into that need. In contrast to him many preachers are dull and teach on things that put me to sleep.

Don G said...

Interesting, because I find that to be true of Osteen. It's not just his preaching content, but his mannerisms and voice that make him hard to listen to for me. But I agree with the inspiration thought. But it us hard to get inspired by a list of do's and don'ts.

KC Bob said...

On a personal level, I have found Osteen to be someone who has reached and encouraged me in my darkest times.

Don G said...

I certainly mean no disrespect nor do I want to take away that which encourages you. I just think that we are at different places when it comes to Mr. Osteen and his ministry. It is my belief that he preaches what many would label a Prosperity Theology. And while some parts of this ring true, some parts do not, at least for me.

KC Bob said...

There is certainly an element of that in his preaching Don but I have not found that to be the predominant theme of what he says. His preaching (to me anyways) lines up with 1Cor14:3 in that he strengthens, encourages and comforts those listening to him. Regarding his ministry, I think that Lakewood Church has a long history of ministering to the poor of Houston.