We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Friday, November 8, 2013

Your Message Must Drive Your Method

[Paul] is careful to demonstrate that his methods match his message.  This text [1 Cor. 9:19-27] is especially instructive to those who struggle, as most of us do in our churches, to discern the relationship between the two.  We often hear it simplistically stated: The message must remain the same, but methods must change.  Often this rationale is used to justify methods that are considered avante garde.  However, it is naive to consider that there is no relation between the two.  Paul’s methodology was driven by his message.  And this should be true in our ministries today.  While we remain in the world, we are not of it.  It is this principle throughout that offers the most practical and sustaining value of this text for our own situation.

Dan Mitchell, The Book of First Corinthians: Christianity In A Hostile Culture, p.134


Steve Bricker said...

An excellent point! The method should reflect and exalt the Lord as much as the message.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Exactly! Which is why I find it so abhorrent to watch videos of these emergent "pastors"!

Ron Livesay said...

A few months ago, our pastor preached a message in which he addressed your point very strongly.

At one point, he addressed the many human inventions, and as he called them, "stinking gimmicks," that are so often used in an effort to bring people in to the church. If we are not careful, we can forget the truth of the statement that "what we win them with is what we will win them to."

Here are some direct quotes from the sermon:

"We're filled with so many stinking gimmicks ... they're all around us, these stinking gimmicks."

"Almost anywhere and everywhere we find stinking gimmicks to try and draw people in. They are everywhere ... trying to be relevant..."

"These people (the early Christians) didn't have any stinking gimmicks. They prayed and ministered the Word."

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gee, I don't think he liked those "stinking gimmicks"!

I have too often had to repeat to someone that "what you win them with is what you win them to" because they praise these mega-assemblies for their "relevant" messages. The Church at large is training people to be self-focused!

Anonymous said...

Amen! I can' t stand gimmicks. We are called to speak the truth in love to the lost, and pray for them. The Holy Spirit has always been effective in bringing conviction to people's hearts - that's His job - conviction of sin and conversion of the repentant soul.

The Holy Spirit is always glorifying Christ. Gimmicks do not glorify Christ.

Paul didn't want the cross of Christ to be emptied of its power. I'm afraid Christians turn to gimmicks because they don't think proclaiming the Gospel and praying and the Holy Spirit "works". I wonder if it's a lack of faith in either God's message or method, or both.

No one can be manipulated into salvation.