Sunday, April 20, 2008

95 Theses Against Purpose-Drivenism

From Christian Research Network
Currently there is a battle raging in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod between the faithful confessional Lutherans and a new breed of seeker sensitive, purpose-driven church growth insurgents. This is a battle that we should keep an eye on.

This week the faithful confessional Lutherans in the LCMS posted a new 95 Theses that draws a hard line in the sand regarding the false teaching and false methods of Purpose-Drivenism.
There is much that non-Lutherans can learn from this document. It is worth reading and passing along. Here are just some highlights.

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “Repent,” He willed that the whole life of believers should be one of repentance.
2. To “repent” means to be contrite for one’s sins and to trust Jesus Christ and solely in His completed work for one’s forgiveness, life, and salvation.
3. Those who describe the Christian life as purpose-driven deny true repentance, confuse the Law and the Gospel, and obscure the merits of Christ.
4. Impious and wicked are the methods of those who substitute self-help and pop-psychology for the Gospel in the name of relevance.
5. This impious disregard for the Gospel wickedly transforms sacred Scripture into a guidebook for living, a pharisaic sourcebook of principles, and sows tares among the wheat.
6. Relevance, self-help and pop-psychology have no power to work true contrition over sins and faith in Jesus Christ.
7. Like clouds without rain, purpose-driven preachers withhold the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins won by Christ on the cross and enslave men’s consciences to the law which they cleverly disguise as so-called ‘Biblical Principles’.
8. By teaching tips for attaining perfect health, debt-free wealth, and better sex in marriage, the purveyors of relevance undermine true fear, love and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
9. They are enemies of Christ, who distort the Word of God by tearing verses from their original context in order to use them as proof texts for their self-help, pop-psychology agendas.
10. Injury is done the Word of God when it is used as a source book for practical, relevant “life applications.”
22. The church is holy sheep who hear the voice of their Shepherd.
23. How can sheep hear the voice of their Shepherd when false shepherds preach self-help and pop-psychology?
24. Purveyors of purpose-driven relevance are not shepherds of men’s souls but wolves in sheep’s clothing.
25. Purveyors of relevance claim that self-help, life-applications and biblical principles are the means to reach the unchurched because they meet people’s felt needs.
26. Yet a person’s greatest need is one he does not by nature feel, namely the need for the righteousness that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
89. The church belongs to no man but to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, and Lord of the church.
90. Woe to the false prophets who cry, “Unity, unity” when there is no unity.
91. Again, woe to those who say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
92. Again, woe to those who say, “Gospel, gospel,” when there is no Gospel.

Click Here to Read All 95

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