The Powerless Change Makers
One of the great magnets at the heart of the one-world church today, one of the things drawing all brands of “Christians” together, is social work. It’s the old social gospel revised, and it excites everyone from Nashville to Rome. It’s as big a uniting factor as contemporary music, contemplative prayer, and the modern (“pick your favorite”) Bible versions. The evangelicals and the emerging churchers think of themselves as great change makers. Being dispensationally confused, they think they can change the world. They talk about “mission,” referring to social justice work, more than “missions,” referring to “traditional” missionary gospel-church planting. An example is CATALYST, a community of “influencers, storytellers, innovators, cultural architects, and social entrepreneurs in our generation” that exists “to create change makers through training, resources, and gatherings that unify, equip, and challenge our community to engage and impact their world for good.” (I wonder why we don’t read about any of those things in the book of Acts?) CATALYST was founded in 1999 by John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, and other “thought leaders.” The April 16-17 conference in Irvine, California, includes a “change maker panel featuring a conversation on how the church is partnering with community agencies in LA to create holistic change.” They boast of the “ability to reach across denominations,” which is the one-world “church” element. They say they love doctrine, but they don’t, really, because a zeal for biblical doctrine would get in the way of their agenda. In reality, they are pragmatists who have replaced the program given by Christ to the apostles with their own (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; Acts 1:8). The interesting thing is that the rise of the contemporary evangelical change makers over the past 20 years has coincided with a dramatic reduction in the influence of Christianity on society. When the prominent type of “evangelical” Christianity was a more “fundamentalist” type, the influence on society was greater, even though the emphasis was on gospel preaching, separated Christian living, and doctrinal purity rather than social work. (This is not to say that there is no social aspect to the gospel; we are talking about emphasis and program.) The change makers, with their worldly music and pragmatic principles and “good time Charlie” philosophy, have proven to be powerless to bring real change.
(Friday Church News Notes, April 17, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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