As you know by now, we at Truthinator’s Blog are conducting interviews with notable people around the world for the purpose of gaining insight from their knowledge and experience. The names are kept secret because we are not trying to impress you with our list of notable friends & acquaintances. This is about the information only.
We must also say that the opinions and/or beliefs of this or any other interviewee do not necessarily represent the views of Truthinator’s Blog, its employees, or volunteers. Please be edified…
Truthinator: How long have you been a Christian and what type of ministry/service activities are you involved in?
Guest: Since I was very young I have believed, I was baptized into the faith in June 1970 shortly after my birth. I have always been involved in the music of the church.
Because of the distance to my church now, it is difficult to be too involved in anything but occasional special music. Other than that, I blog and try to encourage friends personally.
T: What is different today about the faith and the way(s) faith is practiced from when you first came to know Christ?
G: There are a lot more churches that are trying to bring into regular Sunday services the stuff we did on youth group outings or outreach programs, concerts, and revival meetings… often this is an attempt to make up for the missing gospel of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins.
T: Are this/these differences good or bad? Why? Where will they lead?
G: Not good, definitely. When you use something other than the truth to attract people, you end up having to ‘keep’ them with the same distracting things. If you preach the truth, the people being called by God will come, and stay… and that is the group of people you want to build the church with.
T: Has social media been a good thing or not in terms of communicating Christianity to the world?
G: It’s hard to say. It has caused me to sharpen my argument and doctrine (not in terms of tone, but in terms of clarity) and rub off some rough edges, for me. But like any technology that affects social behavior, it takes some getting used to. People had trouble with TV and telephone when it first came out, as well.
T: Some have said that blogging should be reserved only for the institutional ministries. Do you agree? Why or why not?
G: No, for several reasons. 1. Institutional ministries are sometimes wrong and need correction. 2. speaking about Christ is not something exclusively reserved for ordained ministers. If a church wants to make a rule that none of its members can blog without approval by the church, then fine. But I won’t be attending there, most likely. It seems like unjustified micromanaging and I see no support for this kind of top-down control in Scripture.
T: Why do you think large preachers/authors/public speakers are concerned about independent bloggers having the freedom to post their thoughts?
G: They don’t like to be challenged any more than anyone else does. Because they on the whole might be fairly sound, they have a hard time understanding why anyone would bother worrying about the places in which they might be wrong. If an independent blogger is just going off in left field and making no sense, then the solution is not to punish everyone else by putting everyone under some legalistic rule. The solution is to fight back with the weapons you have — dissect their arguments with the scalpel you have in the Word. Or ignore them.
T: Thinking of the blogs you’ve read, do you think there is a sizable group of independent bloggers who are doing damage to the true faith? Why or why not?
G: Sure. There always are. Satan uses all tools at his disposal. It doesn’t matter if it’s blogging or the printing press.
T: What do you think about using humor. satire, and/or parodies to communicate a message related to the true Christian faith?
G: Sure, I’m all for it, as long as it is soundly grounded in the truth of Scripture. Like any tool.
T: How far can ministries go in being “attractional” and remain faithful to the true faith? Afterall, what is wrong with shooting people from a cannon in church? Doesn’t that help to communicate God’s love for mankind?
G: There is no attraction in the church for the unsaved. We are an offense to them. At best they want the social benefits of the church without the TRUTH in which those social benefits are grounded. It doesn’t work, and the more you make decisions with this motivation, the farther your church will drift. So seriously, don’t bother trying to “attract” them. You minister to unbelievers during the week in your daily work and interactions. That is what we should be doing. When/if they are saved, they will come to be fed, like sheep do when they are born into the flock.
I remember hearing or reading something that sounded much like this article:
Where the person speaking/writing said that church is the worst place for an unbeliever. It effectively inoculates them against the truth. In this article Drew Dyck observes:
What pushed them out? Again, the reasons for departing in each case were unique, but I realized that most leavers had been exposed to a superficial form of Christianity that effectively inoculated them against authentic faith. When sociologist Christian Smith and his fellow researchers examined the spiritual lives of American teenagers, they found most teens practicing a religion best called “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,” which casts God as a distant Creator who blesses people who are “good, nice, and fair.” Its central goal is to help believers “be happy and feel good about oneself.”
Where did teenagers learn this faith? Unfortunately, it’s one taught, implicitly and sometimes explicitly, at every age level in many churches. It’s in the air that many churchgoers breathe, from seeker-friendly worship services to low-commitment small groups. When this naive and coldly utilitarian view of God crashes on the hard rocks of reality, we shouldn’t be surprised to see people of any age walk away.
(and, I don’t know anything else about him, but he makes some good observations here)
T: Do you think God’s message gets properly communicated in the 3-ring, entertain-o-rama, multi-site, mega-lo-mania churches? I’ve heard many messages from these types of churches and it seems to me the core point to them is about man’s desires being delivered instead of the need for repentance and conversion. What do you think?
G: No, definitely not. The gospel assumed is the gospel denied. Even if you do preach the gospel in an arena like that, you are essentially talking in a vacuum. You have effectively put your light under a bushel or otherwise obscured it from view by the distracting things going on. Methodology is not doctrinally neutral. You can preach the truth, while displaying something that totally contradicts it in your church’s decision-making processes and how it goes about running the church, and running the worship service.
T: We at Truthinator’s Blog wish to express our appreciation for your time and effort in responding to this interview.