1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.2 Timothy 4:1-5 (LSB)
The proponents of the seeker-sensitive church growth model may very well have had good intentions when through it was spawned the rise of contemporary mega-churches such as Willow Creek and Saddleback Valley Baptist and their clones….
The focus was outreach to the unchurched. While that appears to be a proper function of the New Testament Church one of the model’s fundamental components is actually an antithesis of the clear instruction to Church leaders found in God’s Word. That component is pragmatism.
Pragmatism is deadly to New Testament Christianity because it is based on human reasoning and human ingenuity in solving problems or issues. It utilizes expediency in dealing with issues rather than prayer and obedience to what is clearly taught in scripture. The reason expediency is wrong is that its solutions will always be short term in focus while neglecting the long term. Here is a secular example. Think of the United States Social Security system. It was designed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It was based on the number of workers and on the cost of goods and services at that time. However, that was more than seven decades ago and with the ravages of inflation plus the number of Baby Boomers nearing retirement age, we have a system that is upside down and completely irrational in scope and function. That is a product of the expedient approach to problem solving.
Posted in 2013 with the title “What’s Wrong with Pragmatism?”