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Thread: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

  1. #46
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rychian
    Sadly many denominations have been caused because egos were hurt or someone else wanted to be president. Other splits occured because the traditional church refused to accept a new line of thinking (See: Methodism). Other churches were created for power (Anglican / church of england) and others due to creedal statements and the power of a pope (Eastern orthodox and Catholic).

    There are many churches that claim that they follow the direct lineage of the apostles and therefore they are the only true church. However no matter how many egos get in the way christ is still preached. I pray that someday these splits will heal, but in the next year we will most likely see another few splits. The Episcopalian looks like it is lining up for one as well as United church of christ (both over the gay issue).

    Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
    "we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "

    Tom
    My church, the Dayton Vineyard, had a HUGE problem with other churches that were angry at us for "stealing their flock" and some have even gone so far as to call us a cult. Tom, I say good luck in your venture. I've got you in my prayers.
    "It is much easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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  3. #47
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus_the_Red
    My church, the Dayton Vineyard, had a HUGE problem with other churches that were angry at us for "stealing their flock" and some have even gone so far as to call us a cult. Tom, I say good luck in your venture. I've got you in my prayers.
    i remember when my church was being referred to as a cult because of the name of the church. it was utterly ridiculous. but extremely amusing to me.
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  4. #48
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rychian
    I love creating a stir...

    That was not the intention of the thread though. For those concerned yes i do have a denomination watching to see that we create a scripturally based church. The church as we know it in America is not the church as we will know it in 30-40 yrs. There is an emerging church that will not prescribe to the modern context as we have come to know it in our happy little sunday morning services.

    We are attempting to build a relevant church both scripturally but also to people's lives. I challenge anyone to tell me that the church should be anything other than a tool for God to use. Not THE tool for God to use, but a tool. There are many ways for God to reach people and it doesnt have to happen where we are most comfortable on Sunday mornings. I find people in Border's bookstores and starbucks more receptive to the gospel then some christians i meet.

    The fact of the matter is, the church needs to begin to realize what it was made for. It is not intended to prop up the people on the inside to make them feel better than those outside. It is to grow those within the walls and to call to those who are outside the walls. The word Ekklesia though meaning assembly, gatherings..... has the idea of going out. Or reaching out.

    My church chose to reach out by stating that church doesnt have to suck. So be it. From the response here it seems to strike a nerve and i love that! If i were to print an advertisement and have it say "come here to hear the word of God" it would be cast off by those most needing to hear it. Instead we go around and use the language of today to strike a chord, hit a nerve and perhaps save someone. If i have to say suck to get the church's attention, then there it is. I hope the church wakes up, or before too long we will be Europe.

    Peace,
    Tom
    Tom,

    I suppose you could run down the street naked with a sign bearing your church's name in neon lights if the goal is to get people's attention . I'm afraid I see too much of this stuff from churches trying to get people's attention from billboards to cutesy little sayings on their church signs.

    So they attract the crowd, get them in there to hear a "praise" band play catchy little choruses where a few couplets are repeated three or four times while the congregation claps their hands and sings. Perhaps there is a little skit done by the drama group once the church really gets going. Then, the pastor comes out trying real hard to be "relevant" by using the language of today, "preaches" a 20 minute sermonette on saving a marriage, raising kids, dealing with stress, or any other myriad of "relevant" topics, making sure not to overdo Scripture (quoting a modern translation of dubious reputation and scholarship). Then, the meeting ends with an explanation that God/Jesus loves every one and if you'll just give him a chance he can give you the perfect marriage, perfect kids, a stressless life, and, the capper, eternal life and heaven.

    So, some people want that, do what they have to do to be considered a "Christian" by that church (go forward, get baptized, go through new believer's class, etc.), then fall by the wayside at some point down the road because their marriage wasn't fixed, their kids are not perfect, and their life is no better, and possibly even worse, than it was before they got "saved." They walk away disillusioned because God/Jesus did not deliver on promises that were supposedly theirs to claim.

    I hope that doesn't describe your church, Tom, I really do. But I am afraid by what you've said in this thread that you are falling for the same trap that so many do, that the word of God isn't enough, that if the word of God is preached expositionally (people don't need to know the word to understand the method) it will not be relevant, that folks will not come if you don't claim to be different than other churches in some way, so gimmicks and ploys to draw a crowd must be used. But then the funny thing about drawing a crowd is if you really preach the hard sayings of Scripture, e.g. suffering in the Christian life, the depths of man's sin, God's wrath, the crowd will go away, so those things are usually not preached. Again, I hope you take a different path.
    Last edited by traderumor; 07-06-2005 at 01:47 PM.
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  5. #49
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    But then the funny thing about drawing a crowd is if you really preach the hard sayings of Scripture, e.g. suffering in the Christian life, the depths of man's sin, God's wrath, the crowd will go away, so those things are usually not preached.

    I'd rather focus on God's love than God's wrath and the threat of hell fire and damnation. I don't need to be threatened into living a good life.
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  6. #50
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    So, some people want that, do what they have to do to be considered a "Christian" by that church (go forward, get baptized, go through new believer's class, etc.), then fall by the wayside at some point down the road because their marriage wasn't fixed, their kids are not perfect, and their life is no better, and possibly even worse, than it was before they got "saved." They walk away disillusioned because God/Jesus did not deliver on promises that were supposedly theirs to claim.
    That isn't the fault of the church, though. Some people view faith as a diet -- they'll go to church for a little while, try to "lose a few" sins like they're losing pounds, then eventually fall back into the same routine as before. It doesn't matter if the church is preaching true gosphel or Scientology -- it's human nature to start down the road of self-improvement, then fall back into old patterns. For some people, the message fades, no matter how good and true it is.

    However, there are some people out of that group that will actually make a change in their lives. Those are the one's I think Rychian is trying to reach.
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  7. #51
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62
    I'd rather focus on God's love than God's wrath and the threat of hell fire and damnation. I don't need to be threatened into living a good life.
    Of course you would. Who wouldn't? Thank you for making my point.

    But then that would not be getting to know everything you can about God, which is what the believer should hunger for. Wrath is a part of God's nature, therefore it should not be avoided in the same way that someone exploring God's wrath should not ignore the attribute of God's mercy. Furthermore, God's wrath is not intended to threaten one into living a good life. It is an outpouring of judgment for sin. If your sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ, you are grateful for his mercy and grace and for avoiding the wrath to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    That isn't the fault of the church, though. Some people view faith as a diet -- they'll go to church for a little while, try to "lose a few" sins like they're losing pounds, then eventually fall back into the same routine as before. It doesn't matter if the church is preaching true gosphel or Scientology -- it's human nature to start down the road of self-improvement, then fall back into old patterns. For some people, the message fades, no matter how good and true it is.
    Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. If all someone got from the "gospel" that a particular church is that Jesus is the bestest self-improvement plan going, then it is the church's fault for not preaching the one true gospel. It all goes back to the preaching and teaching of the church. If they are a gospel preaching church, then you are correct, with the parable of the soils as a great example of what you are talking about. However, if the message is flawed from the outset and folks "come to Christ" on the false premise that Jesus is going to fix them and make them into the type of person that they think they should be based on their flawed understanding of felt needs (as opposed to true needs, which only God truly knows a person's heart), then it is the church's fault. Without hearing or reading Tom's messages, I couldn't tell you for sure whether he is establishing a gospel church or not. But I do see the symptoms of a self-improvement aim rather than saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
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  8. #52
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    There is an emerging church that will not prescribe to the modern context as we have come to know it in our happy little sunday morning services.
    Tom, are you prescribing to an "emerging church" movement?
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  9. #53
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    If anyone is interested, here is a link to a discussion that touches on the topics we have been discussing, esp. a good talk on "relevance"

    http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the_white_horse_inn/
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  10. #54
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    But I do see the symptoms of a self-improvement aim rather than saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
    I guess we'll have to disagree. Call me cynical, but I believe all religion is a form of self-improvement and/or self-preservation. Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.

    Not that there's anything "wrong" with that. It's just human nature.
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  11. #55
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.
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  12. #56
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Even, as you state, the saving and perfecting of the saints for the service of God is done with ultimately selfish motives -- the eternal salvation of one's soul, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, avoiding hellfire. We don't do anything out of pure altruism.
    That is why all of sanctification (the three dollar word for perfecting the saints) has God as its source. All of our works are likely tainted, as you correctly state. It is only through the grace of God that we are saved, but it is that same grace that allows us to do good works from that point forward until the believer is delivered into glory.

    Our salvation is not just an issue of self-improvement with God as our co-pilot, which is essentially what I think you are saying. It is being made right with God through the forgiveness of sins by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ based on his substitutionary death and resurrection. You are not your own, you are bought with a price when you receive salvation.

    Will one's life change? Yes, but it isn't just in the outward actions that so many associate with being a Christian, such as a more moral life. That is moralism and is not the point of salvation. Rather, the point of salvation is a change born inside a person that works its way out through the person and will certainly influence external actions (which can also be very easily faked I might add, the internal cannot be faked), but more importantly a believer will be "transformed through the renewing of the mind" as Paul instructed through his letter to the Romans.
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  13. #57
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rychian
    I love creating a stir...
    Pots and Kettles

  14. #58
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    First of all, Tom, good luck with your church. I wish you well. You need to do things as you wish- stay true to your vision.

    Anyone who knows me will tell you that I believe in roughly an ounce (probably less ) of what the Bible proclaims, but this is your dream, not mine, and you should do it as you wish. Try it your way, and if it works, then you'll be truly happy. If it doesn't, you can always revise the plan. Saying we aren't perfect has become cliche, but when it comes to applying it to our own lives, sometimes we are harder on ourselves and each other than we need to be. Try it your way, you can always change things later. I can't imagine an all-loving god faulting you for trying.

    Churches split, denominations split, no church should ever claim that
    "we are right, and the rest of yall be going to hell! "
    This sounds easy enough, however, one inherent problem with religion is that you either believe in yours or you don't. To sort of look at one's own religion and then compare it to differing beliefs as equal or at least with a tolerant eye is difficult for many. Most believe their religion is the true one and foresee a dire fate for those with differing beliefs. I realize that most people believe they are praying to the same god, yet it is all those little details that tend to put them all into little fractions and thus we get the rivalry between them all.
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  15. #59
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Our salvation is not just an issue of self-improvement with God as our co-pilot, which is essentially what I think you are saying. It is being made right with God through the forgiveness of sins by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ based on his substitutionary death and resurrection.
    Whether it is called "self-improvement" or "salvation," it all boils down to the saving of oneself -- the preservation of the soul.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  16. #60
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Unapologetic Church Advertising...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    Whether it is called "self-improvement" or "salvation," it all boils down to the saving of oneself -- the preservation of the soul.
    Which no man can do. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, with no ability at all to save ourselves as man is dead in his sin. If you don't believe that, Johnny, quite honestly, the Bible says you are not a believer.
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