So I’m trying to figure out exactly what “seeker sensitive” means. The more I think about it the more I’m convinced it’s a wrong idea to have. How’s that for starting a post? I believe I have just offended a bunch of church goers and church leaders.
Right now my Scripture reading has taken me to Acts, the beginning of the church. In chapter two is one of the most disturbing sermons I’ve ever read. There’s another one in chapter 3. It almost seems accusatory and rude. But Peter is simply telling them a reality and truth that they all knew about and one that had been on their minds for a while…the unjust crucifixion of Jesus. I’m convinced that he wasn’t telling them something they didn’t already know, but making what they all felt and knew public. Their guilt was in front of them all the time since that event.
After his sermon was over chapter 2 says that they were “pierced to the heart”. They asked what to do now and Peter didn’t tell them “it’s okay, Jesus loves you still.” He told them to repent and ask for forgiveness. He didn’t give them a Jesus that’s all about making them feel okay but told them that they made a big mistake and that they need help. Here’s where the whole “seeker sensitive” thing doesn’t make sense to me. We have been called to present the truth, not a version of the truth. The Truth makes people feel uncomfortable, it calls us out, the very core of our life is laid bare before the Truth. The reality of Truth is something that people don’t want to have to deal with. The Truth tells us that we have made some mistakes, that it is our responsibility, and that we need forgiveness to escape punishment.
Seeker sensitivity seems to give off the idea that when someone comes to church they must feel welcome and made comfortable…like this is something that isn’t going to bother them. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are so glad you’re here. This service is for you, and today we are going to hear about how God accepts you just as you are.” And if you say that enough, people will truly believe that God always accepts us as we are. Well, the church leaders in the New Testament saw things a little differently than we do now. They weren’t there to make anyone feel comfortable or even welcome them but to stir things up, to preach a Truth that convicts the heart and attacks sin. There seems to be a stipulation to being a part of the church: repentance. God doesn’t accept us just as we are for forever! He wrote out a guideline for life that leads us to build and develop within us the character of Christ! We have to understand that God does accept us, but does not want to stay where we’re at. He wants us to change and the Truth is supposed to do that.
If we have gone so far as to preach a gospel that doesn’t stir up within us an uncomfortable and lifechanging feeling, then we have failed! If the Truth doesn’t change us, we have made God out to be less holy, less faithful, less consistent! People don’t come to church to hear that they are doing well. Think about it…the broken come to be mended, the sick come to get healed, the hurting come for comfort, and we can’t offer that if we preach a gospel that makes Truth an “okay” thing to hear. Truth needs to pierce the heart. There is no comfort with sin, no comfort with guilt that goes on unconfronted with the Truth. How can people possibly know what God desires of us if we are “seeker sensitive”? How can people have their souls saved if we spend our time making sure they are comfortable in their surroundings?
I’m not suggesting that we don’t welcome people into church. I’m suggesting that we stop selling Christ with what people want and win them to the Lord with God’s very own Truth. Seeker sensitive churches continue what the United States has created in the minds of its citizens: consumerism. A majority of truth preaching churches don’t seem to have large congregations because people aren’t hearing what their “itching ears want to hear”. What you win them with is what you keep them with. If you win them with the Truth they will leave the church with the Truth and won’t ever leave the church until it’s no longer being preached. I believe people come with a desire for change in their own life. They come with guilt that needs forgiveness. They need their heart to be pierced. They know they’ve done something wrong and need to know how to be forgiven. They are looking for something different than what they see everyday. God’s Truth gives them that.
I truly believe that this isn’t something new, or that I’m the only one who thinks this. There is a generation that’s rising right now that sees what’s going on in the church and doesn’t like it. Seeker sensitivity has made the church complacent…which is a terrible sin that God simply cannot stand. This attitude about church is wearing it out and has caused the world to laugh at us and our freedoms to be taken away. We don’t stand for anything anymore because we have been told that we need to be seeker sensitive…try and avoid all conflict and let people have what they want. We don’t love our enemies when they “strike” us, we ignore them (not what God tells us to do). We are called to love our enemies and if we’re going to love them then they need the Truth. And yes, it will convict, it will make them feel uncomfortable, it is imposing. What we have to realize is that it is more than simply our beliefs that are being imposed on them, it’s a reality that they’ll have to face on Judgment Day, a Truth that if they don’t receive now they’ll wish they had when it’s the end.
Here’s a truth for you if you are a Christian: people are dying and going to hell…are you doing anything about that? If you’re not a Christian, here’s a truth for you that I’m pleading with you even to the point of tears: God is real and Jesus died for you, God wants a relationship with you that will last for eternity even in His presence, God wants to change your life and has a great plan for you, and if you don’t repent you know what happens in the end…have you done anything about that?
Sorry, guys, I’m not seeker sensitive. Jesus loves you…I love you. Love isn’t a “seeker sensitive” thing.
Just for laughs: And this post doesn’t mean “be a jerk”. But if you are going to be one, at least be a loving one.