SUBSTITUTING “LIKE” FOR TRUTH

SUBSTITUTING LIKE FOR TRUTHJesus said He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it Matthew 16:18. It is built on the foundation truth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and is built up by truth from the Word of God. Truth is our foundation and truth is what the Lord said He would direct our work with (Isaiah 61:8). We are supposed to be salt and light in this sin darkened world. It seems that in an effort to get results, be relevant, cool, and real, some Pastors are resorting to giving people what they “like” instead of the truth. You could call it the church built on “like.” The problem is that in doing so, they have created an appetite for “like” over the preaching and teaching of ALL of God’s Word. We have to realize that what we win people with is what we will have to use to keep them with and people’s appetite for what they “like” constantly changes. As long as the present menu of services and what people “like” provides what they want they will come and when it does not they will shop for better services they “like” elsewhere and seek out new “likes.”

 

This is the idea behind the seeker philosophy of church growth, which is everywhere, which seems to suggest that the church culture is an enemy, cultural relevance is the supreme value, and pragmatically doing whatever you need to do to get results is being on the cutting edge. We are told by some Bible schools and so called experts, “Don’t preach for more than 20-30 minutes, dialogue with the crowd rather than open your Bible, no “ouchy” messages, a few tattoos will make you more relatable, dim the lights, dress casual, and for Heaven’s sake be sure you don’t tuck your shirt in.” Really? Do they mean to suggest these things bring the presence of God, anointing of the Holy Ghost, and glory of God in our midst?

 

Every one of us wants to be up to date, doing the latest things, and up with the times rather than being time warped and stuck in a previous generation. Preachers want their messages to connect with their audience and be pertinent to people’s lives. We can, though, become so obsessed with relevance that we are deceived into holding back what is profitable and compromise preaching the whole truth. We can trade being obedient for being relevant or yield to giving people what they want instead of what they really need to hear.

 

What is wrong with the Church is lost glory, power, passion, and an authoritative voice in society.  The salt has lost its savor. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-14, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” A chemist in my congregation told me salt is inherently salty and the only way it loses its ability to salt things is if it is mixed with dirt or a foreign element. It seems like a lot of mixture is going on in the Church.

 

If you are out to help people you will tell them the Truth. If you are out to help yourself, you’ll tell people what they like and want to hear. We live in the time when people will not bear up under or sit under sound doctrine but will pile up teachers who will tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4). The issue of what is wrong with the church is not because of lacking cultural relevance, but a lack of passion for souls, praying for the lost, laboring in the harvest, demonstrating the supernatural power of God, and making disciples Matthew 9:34, 35; 28:18-20.

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Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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