Willow Creek Pick-Up

Christian congregations across the Western world have been losing congregants for decades, if not longer. To combat this problem, in 1992 Bill Hybels started Willow Creek, and that church became a movement and a system, called “Willow Creek”.

Basically, it was a huge re-branding service that sold the idea that the problem with church was that it was seen as “churchy”. It is characterized by things such as describing itself as “seeker-friendly”; meaning non-confrontational, and throwing out the window repentant, discerning, yoke-ing bits of the Gospel. Things like: “You’re a sinner, and you’re in danger of Hell.”, “Becoming someone new means to stop being the old you, and that means behaving differently.” No more “First Baptist of Nowheresville”. Instead the Willow Creek system would recommend something like, “The Center of Overcoming Faith”; an unfortunate yet fitting descriptor.

What was defenestrated were several of the pillars of Christianity, and in its place was brought in marketing and psychology. People were no longer sinners, they were potential consumers of Christianity. The goal of the church was shifted away from boring old repentance and discipline, and towards convincing them that Christianity was pleasant, helpful, harmless, and comfortable; that it would improve your life both in quality and quantity. People in sales and marketing like to call those who buy many and varied things “discerning”; a fact that is belied by their multiplicity and variance. It was the Gospel stripped of all nutrients, coated in sugar, and believers as consumers.

Think of this method as the applied psychology of churching. Churches being Christians institutions, you could call this disaster for American Christianity: Christian Game.

50 Responses to Willow Creek Pick-Up

  1. guru_4_hire says:

    i agree. I am not going to rant in your comments. If not for my wife, I would probably fall away.

  2. Bobbye says:

    @guru_4_hire The Strong’s word 5828 ‘ezer’ meaning “aid” is translated helpmeet in Genesis 2: 18,20. It comes from ‘azar’ Strong’s word 5826 which means “to surround, i.e. protect or aid” Deuteronomy 33:29 “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.” The shield of your helpmeet. Every warrior knows that a shield is a helper in the battle. Your wife is like a shield to you. Maybe this isn’t what you were meaning.
    @Cano: The church has been merchandising since it became an accepted institution of the Earthly Kingdoms. A quote from somewhere: “the church has moved from movement to business to racket.”
    THE TRUTH
    Once Satan and his demon sidekick were walking down the street, closely watching a man 20 yards ahead who was on the verge of realizing the Supreme Truth. The demon grew worried, and began to nudge Satan, but Satan looked quite calm. Sure enough, the man did, in fact, soon realize the deepest spiritual Truth. Yet Satan still did nothing about it. With this, the demon nudged Satan harder and, getting no response, finally blurted out, “Satan! Don’t you see? That man has realized the Truth! And yet you are doing nothing to stop him!” With that, Satan cunningly smiled and announced, “Yes, he has realized the Truth. And now I am going to help him organize the Truth!” (–story heard years ago from Indian sage Jiddu Krishnamurti)http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Spiritual_Humor.html
    Also; The Devil and Departmentalization http://pundita.blogspot.com/

  3. John says:

    And with this seeker-sensitivity, we have young people leaving the church in droves. About the only thing that’s growing is an interest in more liturgical/ancient traditions, the polar opposite of loosey-goosey/praise band/multi-video screen churchetainment.

  4. Aquinas Dad says:

    Well said

  5. I was subjected to the Willow Creek Association? Foundation? whatever through the church I was a member of in the Houston suburbs. It didn’t begin that way, but as time passed the pastor sought Hybels and Warren to help him grow. It culminated in our being plugged into the yearly Willow Creek Leadership thingy, simulcast and allowing us “core members” in to participate. Hybles stopped by a few times, man had some charm to be sure.

    It took us moving to another city to truly extricate ourselves from that, mainly because we had and have lots of long term friends there, folk’s we’d raised our kids with, people I did prison ministry with and built clinics in Mexico with. Good was done, no doubt about it. But we felt hollowed out by church.

    If its Christian Game, its sort of a reversed inside out upside down metaphor, but those work sometimes.

    What is very amazing is that we would expect those churches to track culture, with a short lag, on most things. But they don’t really track any faster than main denominations. The idea of the ancient traditions being a draw, I must admit, I felt the same way too. I still do but less, because I realize that the only reason the manosphere issues are not writ as large in them is that they dont overtly focus on it, they focus on the rituals, but the posture is the same as the rest for the most part. Except in GKC’s church it seems (that is not intended as snark)

  6. Cane Caldo says:

    @Empath

    If its Christian Game, its sort of a reversed inside out upside down metaphor, but those work sometimes.

    Not really. The pastors become the only men of these psychological and market-driven churches. They AMOG every other man because women are counted as equals instead of subordinates further down. Willow Creek pastors are cool; they’re non-judgmental; they allow flip-flops, halter-tops, and jeans with sparkly crosses on the ass; while telling all the other men to avert their eyes from their too-hot-to-handle sisters in Christ. This both pleases and appeases the women.

    Meanwhile, Pastor John looks at the women for everyone else for you because he sees the “real women” as they are “inside”. Since he is the man, they like this very much.

  7. Elspeth says:

    There’s a church about 50 miles from here, that was a huge “success”. The guy was young, handsome, charismatic, you name it. He was everywhere: TBN, Christianity Today, the guy of the moment.

    A reformed and converted drug dealer with a beautiful wife and 4 kids. That church grew like hot cakes until very recently when he died of an overdose. We actually visited it when we spent a weekend with some relatives who lived near and were members of the church. It was very easy to see how these types of marketing plans are effective in the church.

    I suspect that’s what is going on with a lot of these churches. They are personality driven rather than gospel driven.

  8. James and the Giant Peach says:

    What happened to the church members after he died? And while he was alive was he teaching the gospel?

    I think perhaps God made it a point to led Moses lead: a man who spoke slowly/had a speech impediment, Paul: a man who was constantly sick and beaten, and David, who was handsome, but not as handsome or physically big in stature as his brothers.

    I guess it matters in that was glory and worship being given to God, or really to this pastor because he seemed great on the outside?

    But playing the Devil’s Advocate here: King Solomon was perhaps all the things you listed. He was young, handsome, probably charismatic but most importantly wise. He had how many concubines, and how many travelers come to visit him based on rumors alone? God did not punish King David because he was more loved by all than King Saul, nor did he punish King Solomon who was loved by even more. Their bad actions were hated, but ultimately they were loved. So might one say that charisma itself is not a bad thing, but merely a tool used for bad or good!

    Of course this argument has a flaw, maybe someone can find it!

  9. maybe someone can find it!

    Its existence?

  10. Elspeth says:

    What happened to the church members after he died? And while he was alive was he teaching the gospel?

    Legal wrangling until another popular charismatic preacher (a twice divorced woman) was appointed senior pastor. I’m not sure how the church is doing because our family members left and we’re not following what happens over there.

    Whether or not he taught the gospel depends on who you ask I suppose. There was plenty of wealth and health stuff to go along with his powerful redemption story though.

  11. John says:

    “Legal wrangling until another popular charismatic preacher (a twice divorced woman) was appointed senior pastor.”

    Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

  12. BradA says:

    I don’t support all they do, but having a relevant church is much more important than one that is stuck in tradition and doesn’t help people connect to others as they are growing in their faith. I also believe that young people are/were leaving more traditional churches by the droves too, so that would not be a valid concern in and of itself.

    I have talked with my wife about the clear sign that we are failing to engage the youth in most of the churches I have been in contact with because of this very thing.

    That said, being connected to people and doing ministry (as noted above) is far better than being a cog in a traditional worship service without life. You need to stay true to the Scriptures, but some of the things they push have validity. Even places like this strive to get people to be involved and connected, in spite of the divergent views of the faith.

  13. Elspeth says:

    To piggy back on Brad’s comments:

    Our church is closer to the modern model in style than anything traditional, right down to the name of the church. The truth is preached however. And still after high school, young people are disappearing from our congregation as well.

    I think it’s just part of the great falling away. That the truth is being watered down or outright rejected certainly isn’t helping.

  14. GkChesterton says:

    Anytime the Church is relevant, in irony of ironies, the traditional sense, it has failed. The Church is the timeless worship of the Father. It has always existed and it always will. It condescends to act on our behalf at the behest of its Head. But where that mission subverts is primary mission corruption sets in.

    This is why things can be Christianized but Christianity cannot conform. And why strangely I disagree with this post.

  15. Bobbye says:

    @Elspeth: “I think it’s just part of the great falling away” The members of the church have ZERO responsibility; it’s GOD’S WILL! God wills it! God wills it! It is not God’s will that any should perish. The falling away will happen, but it is not something that pleases God, it is not something that God desires, it is not something that God does; it is something that people do, and God allows it.
    Young people leave churches because they perceive that there is nothing there for them. The church offers no compelling answers to their questions. They are too often left alone to do their own thing, or told to sit down, shut up, and do what they are told. They learn that challenging the church on doctrine or practice is to be doing Satan’s work. They are raised in a society that teaches that sex is the most important thing that exists, and so they pursue that high value. How many girls in the youth group have had sex with how many of the boys? How many of the boys have had sex with how many of the boys? You don’t know( your answer is of course none of them, they are good kids) because the adults in the church have more important issues with their heads stuck in a hole.( you can guess which one). But it is all God’s will, you say.

  16. Cane Caldo says:

    @GKC

    Anytime the Church is relevant, in irony of ironies, the traditional sense, it has failed. The Church is the timeless worship of the Father. It has always existed and it always will. It condescends to act on our behalf at the behest of its Head. But where that mission subverts is primary mission corruption sets in.

    This is why things can be Christianized but Christianity cannot conform. And why strangely I disagree with this post.

    What are you talking about?

  17. John says:

    “I don’t support all they do, but having a relevant church is much more important than one that is stuck in tradition and doesn’t help people connect to others as they are growing in their faith.”

    You can assert that if you want, but most evidence I’ve seen goes against this. The timeless beauty of creeds, liturgy, sacraments and preaching/teaching that greatly respects the consensus of the church (i.e., doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel every week) is far more attractive than consumer-driven “relevancy.” And for the record, I’m not even an RC or EO.

    As for reaching out to the youth, there are ways of doing this, but “youth groups” have done more damage than good.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Critique_of_Modern_Youth_Ministry.html?id=ciK_2KFT7TgC

  18. Elspeth says:

    The members of the church have ZERO responsibility; it’s GOD’S WILL! God wills it! God wills it! It is not God’s will that any should perish. The falling away will happen, but it is not something that pleases God, it is not something that God desires, it is not something that God does; it is something that people do, and God allows it.

    Are you implying that I think God is pleased with young people leaving the churches in droves or that I am saying God wills it? That I am unaware that it is something people o with the free will we have been given?

    There are plenty of Scriptural prophesies that are not what God would will for men that He created in His image. It doesn’t make them any less true. I never said that it wasn’t man’s responsibility nor that the church was without culpability.

    I’m confused as to the nature of your reply to me.

  19. Cane Caldo says:

    @Elspeth

    Our church is closer to the modern model in style than anything traditional, right down to the name of the church. The truth is preached however. And still after high school, young people are disappearing from our congregation as well.

    Is the truth being expected of those youth? Can the young people tell someone the truth back? Are the parents (who presumably aren’t leaving the churches) equipped to educate them? Are they even concerned with the truth themselves, or are they merely drones-products of other churches who happen to like modern church society?

    I think it’s just part of the great falling away. That the truth is being watered down or outright rejected certainly isn’t helping.

    What do you mean by “just part of the great falling away”?

    @John

    As for reaching out to the youth, there are ways of doing this, but “youth groups” have done more damage than good.

    Yes, and Sunday School.

  20. Elspeth says:

    Actually Cane. the more our church cuts back on the stuff that big churches are known for, the fewer people there seem to be in the pews of our fairly large sanctuary. So while the parents are mostly still there, that’s not absolutely true.

    I was thinking of 2 Thess, chapter 2 when I used the phrase “great falling away”. Now I wait as you tell me my interpretation of that passage is utterly, completely incorrect.

  21. Cane Caldo says:

    @Elspeth

    Now I wait as you tell me my interpretation of that passage is utterly, completely incorrect.

    Haha! Maybe next time, lady.

    I was thinking of 2 Thess, chapter 2 when I used the phrase “great falling away”.

    So those under the “strong delusion” and “lawlessness”?

  22. Bobbye says:

    @Elspeth: Why would you invoke the great falling away as an explanation? Do you have some inside info that it is that time in history? Or are you excusing yourself? It is reported that great movements in the gospel and salvation are occurring in Asia and Africa at this point in history. Perhaps it is not true.
    @John: ” there are ways of doing this” Discipleship is the age old way, but it requires people who are actually following Jesus to disciple.

  23. Elspeth says:

    So those under the “strong delusion” and “lawlessness”?

    Have you heard some of the preaching that draws professional sports stadiums full of people?

    @Bobbye:

    I concede the argument to you because I don’t really feel like arguing. I think I am right, but I am certainly open to the possibility that I may be wrong.

  24. James and the Giant Peach says:

    @Cane who said

    “Is the truth being expected of those youth? Can the young people tell someone the truth back? Are the parents (who presumably aren’t leaving the churches) equipped to educate them? Are they even concerned with the truth themselves, or are they merely drones-products of other churches who happen to like modern church society?”

    A lot of the arguments from former Christians I’ve met boils down to a lack of understanding of the basic principles taught in the Bible. As a convert (And this might be my pride speaking) I tried to understand as much as possible if I was going to commit my life to the God Almighty in the Bible. I think when your parents are of the faith, they sometimes forget to teach you correctly, and also the child sees it as something cultural, rather than a faith that must also be between an individual and God. So the child isn’t as motivated to seek out the truth on his own. It is written in the Bible, having Abraham as your physical ancestor will not save you. Likewise having Christian parents is no guarantee that you are a Christian. That’s why I respect parents, especially those that take the time to teach their child and guide their ways. It is a hard thing I imagine.

  25. Cane Caldo says:

    @Bobbye

    It is reported that great movements in the gospel and salvation are occurring in Asia and Africa at this point in history. Perhaps it is not true.

    It’s probably a mistake to look for one falling away; rather than a falling away among this people, and then a later continuance of falling away among that people. I’m not sure there should be disagreement here.

    @Elspeth

    Have you heard some of the preaching that draws professional sports stadiums full of people?

    I was confirming that we are in agreement, and as far as I can tell we are.

  26. BradA says:

    @John,

    “You can assert that if you want, but most evidence I’ve seen goes against this. The timeless beauty of creeds, liturgy, sacraments and preaching/teaching that greatly respects the consensus of the church (i.e., doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel every week) is far more attractive than consumer-driven “relevancy.” And for the record, I’m not even an RC or EO.”

    Believe what you will. I was far more engaged in my Christianity after leaving the RCC than I was in it. I did faithfully attend both a RC church and my dad and stepmother’s Lutheran church for a while, but my faith came alive through teaching outside of either.

    Commitment to the Scriptures and the Truth is far more important than a tradition of man, even if the latter is claimed to come from God.

    My wife and I are struggling to find a church to be a part of now. Going to a RC church would bore me to tears and I would disagree on many core doctrinal issues so it would not be a worthwhile fit. I have some core beliefs that I expect (proper role of men and women, believing God is good, primacy of the Scriptures, etc.), but I also know we need a place we connect with others. None in a reasonable driving range I can find.

    ====

    I do believe the whole idea of a “teen” is quite flawed and a strong part of the reason we face troubles when teens become “adults” (though that is really an extended teen-hood today in most cases).

    I don’t know that you would see dramatic shifts in things no matter what, but I think engaging teens more as adults and integrating them into the church community would be far more effective than anything else. Too many expect the high energy service the youth group provides and do not then stay engaged for a more rational (though still far too loud in most cases) main service.

    ====

    Ultimately, it becomes a question of what the role of “church” is. Is it merely a place to gather in awe and then go on living your lives otherwise? I would argue that such is completely against the principles in the NT, but that seems to me to be what those arguing for a more traditional church, such as the RCC, are favoring. Please enlighten me if that is not true.

  27. Bobbye says:

    @ Cano:
    2 Thessalonians 2
    King James Version (KJV)
    2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
    5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
    6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
    7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
    8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    This seems to clearly be talking about a singular, specific time in history. The Ecklesia, the Body of Christ is not a different Body of Christ if it is Chinese or Indian or African. Throughout the Earth, there is only one Body of Christ. That is the traditional teaching.
    @Elspeth: It is the church’s refusal to ‘argue’ that opens the door for young people to leave.

  28. There is another form of preaching that fills stadiums, and it is one of the things that feed to belief that there is some massive revival occurring in Asia and Africa. I used to believe that this revival was happening and be in some awe of it. I still believe there is a growing number of believers and more importantly a core sincerity of belief in the third world, but the evidence is utterly unrelated to the 10’s or 100’s of thousands who we see videos of gathered at events there. For those events are more often than not of the other type that fills stadiums, that being the over the top charismatics like Benny Hinn and lots of copycats popular where there are very desperate people. There is a mysticism at work, a real honest to goodness supernatural manifest power that is loosed, it reveals a message close enough to truth to meet 99.999999% of the litmus tests. It even gets the gender stuff right. Its made all the more insidious because the gap between it and truth asymptotically approaches zero. It appeals to the pious with fervor, it outs the fence sitters hence applies peer pressure for conformity even where there is weak or no belief, which in an odd way benefits the overt morality in the vicinity of the manifestation. But it builds a body of believers whose deception is so subtle to convince them they are deceived is a task orders of magnitude more difficult than convincing an atheist with 4 doctorates in astrophysics that God exists.

    Worse, because of the billing as a great revival, the American church, sans any vetting whatsoever, invites folks under who are mesmerized by this mystical power, to come among us and offer testimony.

  29. James and the Giant Peach says:

    What do you all make of this?

    Philippians 1:18

    “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,”

  30. James and the Giant Peach says:

    The way I read it, and I may be wrong, is that it sucks that people are preaching Christ out of self ambition and it is definitely wrong, but because Christ is being preached good is being done. In an ideal world every pastor, priest, bishop, pope would preach only for the purpose of spreading God’s word, but we see in every one of these positions that hasn’t been the case.

  31. Cane Caldo says:

    @James

    A lot of the arguments from former Christians I’ve met boils down to a lack of understanding of the basic principles taught in the Bible.

    I run into that among current Christians…almost all of them, actually.

    That’s why I respect parents, especially those that take the time to teach their child and guide their ways. It is a hard thing I imagine.

    It’s hard on a parent’s will; not hard to actually perform.

    What do you all make of this?

    Philippians 1:18

    There’s a similar scene when the Disciples get angry at someone preaching Christ, but Christ tells the disciples to let him be.

    Mark9:38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,[f] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

    These scenes make me think of the Parable of the Talents, where the timid servant gets scolded:

    He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?

  32. Bobbye says:

    @Empath: What 99.999999% of shit tests…err, litmus tests do the Benny Hinns pass?
    Really what 0.000001% do they fail?

    @James: My wife became ‘saved’ while attending a Lutheran church. seems they gave her a copy of the Gospel of Luke and she actually read it and came to realize that Jesus was a real living person, that God the Father was a real living person and that the Holy Spirit was a real living person and that the things that they said is true. She was raised Lutheran so she had kind of heard this before but it was never real or alive. When she told the Pastor that she was ‘born again’, he smiled at her and walked away. Everybody is looking for miracles, but when they happen right before their eyes, they don’t see them. Paul always saw the miracles.

  33. Cane Caldo says:

    @Brad A

    The last three paragraphs of your comment at 3/14 2:40pm rhyme with my observations.

    Ultimately, it becomes a question of what the role of “church” is. Is it merely a place to gather in awe and then go on living your lives otherwise?

    I think the “otherwise” part is key. Do I live my life in awe of God? Are we training our children to do so?

    On the topic of putting youth among the adults: If you want to learn Spanish, the fastest and most comprehensive way is to live among Spanish speakers. If I send my 14yo to learn among other 20 other 14yo and one adult, then I shouldn’t be surprised if they think “speaking youth” is the goal.

  34. Peter Blood says:

    I run into that among current Christians…almost all of them, actually.

    Many attend, but few understand.

  35. Bobbeye, the %’s are for illustrative purposes. I’d be hard pressed to make a comprehensive list, let alone score it. Whats your angle on this? Do you agree that Hinns flock may have missed something, or have done that thing the very last verse in the bible says not to do? Or are you down with Hinn? (after being downwind when he waves his white coat and slays the masses)

  36. Many attend, but few understand.

    The ones who point this out are among those who understand.
    Paul Washer…..he understands

  37. Bobbye says:

    @Empath: Benny Hinn and his ilk do not bear fruit consistent with the clearly shown nature of Jesus Christ in the Scripture. What Apostle would appropriate gifts from the Ecklesia to live in affluence? Taking a poor widows pension ‘tithe’ in order to have $100.00 lunches or have a private jet? Being wealthy is not a sin. Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer write and sell books and make millions. If they pretend that the revenue is tax exempt due to the Ministry…bad fruit. Their lifestyle betrays that they have not reckoned their flesh dead, and the life they now live to be ” Christ in them”. Rich Mullins, though very successful as a singer/songwriter, paid himself what was the mean pay of a single man of his age. I heard about $26,000/year at the time of his death in 1997. More like what the Apostles might do, I think. Religious emotionalism will always draw crowds and make money but the Ministry of Reconciliation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always through knowledge and understanding, that a person might come to have eternal life by the knowing of the Father and the Son through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

  38. Cane Caldo says:

    @Empath

    Paul Washer…..he understands

    Is that sarcastic or serious? I don’t know much about Paul Washer; only seen his name.

  39. Bobbye….OK well stated
    Cane….51% sarcastic, though I enjoy hearing him occasionally

  40. Foreman says:

    Young people are leaving because we’ve undermined the Word of God with giving up on creation teaching. The moment we gave up a 6,000 year old earth is the minute we told everyone the Bible wasn’t true. For if one part isn’t true then there is no reason why another part can’t be true (gender roles, etc).

    The best thing modern christians can do (besides living a godly life) is learn how to apply biblical apolagetics and teach the world that the Bible is indeed true Word of God.

    Ken Ham is the best I know at this.

    Your old friend who you highly dislike, which is funny because we agree on about 99% of our theology- Thankful Husband

  41. Cane Caldo says:

    @Foreman

    Welcome back.

    I have a lot of faults, but I don’t struggle with grudges.

  42. James and the Giant Peach says:

    @Cane

    “I run into that among current Christians…almost all of them, actually.”

    “It’s hard on a parent’s will; not hard to actually perform.”

    Aren’t these a little bit contradictory? If almost all Christians do not understand basic bible principles then would it not follow that it is hard to perform the act of guiding children in a biblical way? How can one guide children if they themselves do not know the correct way? Is that not the very sense of blind leading blind?

  43. Bobbye says:

    @Foreman: Some what agree, but I think the rabbit hole goes much deeper. There is much evidence that the early church as well as Jesus used the Septuagint until Jerome, for unknown reasons, chose the new ( since about 100AD) Hebrew OT for his translation to Latin. The Septuagint would place the creation about 7600 years ago. The church refuses to challenge the metaphysics of math, refuses to challenge Einstein and special relativity, refuses to challenge quantum theory, refuses to challenge evolutionary theory of human diffusion, mitochondrial DNA theory and all kinds of other faux science. The church has deliberately chosen to pursue an anti-intellectual path and thus concede that faith and reason are not compatible. The church has accepted that faith is not reasonable and is not defendable with the intellect. This is an unintended consequence of feminine domination of the church, as arguing or contending is a masculine trait.As someone different than Ken Ham, look at (http://www.setterfield.org/)

  44. GkChesterton says:

    There is good “Christian [x]“. Christian civilization reformed pagan civilization. Christian empire slowed the abuse of pagan empire. Christian holidays were superior to their counterparts. Likewise there could be a yet undefined Christian game. As much I oppose game as such I think we have to be open to a Christianized form.

    Because Manichaeism is wrong. Roissy didn’t create female attraction, God did. If this attraction is used within God’s parameters and to God’s ends all is good. Game as such is evil because it is a corruption of something that existed before it. So I accept your argument but reject the conclusion since all of the good archetypes are de facto Christian and evil just uses those to poor ends.

  45. infowarrior1 says:

    @Brad AI
    ” don’t know that you would see dramatic shifts in things no matter what, but I think engaging teens more as adults and integrating them into the church community would be far more effective than anything else.”

    Adolscence is actually a recent invention:

    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/02/23/the-invention-of-adolescence/

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2442500.The_Myth_of_Adolescence

    I could be wrong. But our modern culture infantilizes people at those ages too much.

  46. BradA says:

    @infowarrior,

    I have read things like that before and I largely agree. We don’t make young men and women grow up, so they don’t.

    @Bobbye,

    I do agree that some have gone far too much into the excess, but Rich Mullins was not necessarily right either. He might even be alive today had he flowing instead of driven (if I remember how he died).

    I firmly believe what many of you would probably label a “prosperity gospel,” but I am very disgusted by many I used to faithfully listen to (well before Joel Osteen came on the scene). It is very stupid for most who are poor today in the US to stay that way. A large part of them are there due to their own stupidity, not some act of God. Being a good steward would tend to make you well off, at least by worldwide standards.

    We are on a downward trend now and it is more challenging, but I still don’t hear of those in tough economic straights really focusing on improving their own skills. They usually wait for something outside to do it for them. That magical thinking is a big part of the problem today.

    You need to keep the focus on the Lord, but taking a modern “vow of poverty” is also not very smart.

    I would rather have a lot of money to be able to give to many worthy causes than to be one of those causes. I am digging through my own stupidity to reach a better state though, so I am not completely in either camp now.

  47. R says:

    Attended Willow Creek in South Barrington three months ago. After the band’s performances, lazer light show, and hugging there was five minutes for a sermon with no teeth. A better question for those of us seeking, can someone make a practical denomination recommendation post? I turly didn’t realize how far left the mainline Protestant’s, my background, had become until I looked at their beliefs. 10 years ago my Methodist church pastor was anguished that gays could not married.

    From my research I am looking at Missouri-Synod Lutheran or Catholicism.

  48. R says:

    For clarification, following the The Word directly I was looking at gay marriage and male headship. Additional issue was female ordination.

  49. BradA says:

    “He might even be alive today had he flowing instead of driven (if I remember how he died).”

    That should have read

    “He might even be alive today had he flown instead of driven (if I remember how he died).”

    I recall he died in a car crash in a remote area.

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