Dreaded Church Search: Seeker Friendly (Pt. 2)

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As the bulletin described, "The café service is for those who want to warm up with a Mountain Mocah Espresso based drink, or try one of our refreshing ice blended drinks. The café has three big screens and a cozy fireplace for an alternative way to enjoy today's message."

Why the divide? Why the snazzy sanctuary for that matter? They could just meet at Starbucks, bring their big screens and avoid the mortgage … and parking attendants … and reverence of Christ.

Then came (and went) the 20-minute sermon on the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. To introduce his sermon, the pastor played a totally un-relatable clip from the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie. Void of mentions of sin, transformation in Christ, and Scripture reading and full of Bible paraphrasing, this feel-good motivational talk was the tipping point.

As I listened to the sermon, I remembered a sermon by David Wilkerson, a Christian evangelist and founder of the addiction recovery program Teen Challenge, in which he delivered a prophetic warning against seeker-friendly churches such as the one we visited.

Wilkerson delivered his caution in a sermon titled, "The Gospel of Accommodation" at the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Missouri in 1998. Wilkerson warned against a consumer-focused formula that would be especially popular among affluent white Americans and would create "destruction from within."

"It's giving birth to mega churches with thousands that come to hear a non-confronting message. It's an adaptable gospel that is spoon-fed through humorous skits and through drama and short non-abrasive 20 minute sermonettes on how to cope," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson encouraged faithful Christians to recognize the gospel is confrontational in nature.

"There is a friendly grace, but there is a gospel that confronts sin," he said.

"It's not wrong to pray for growth," continued Wilkerson. "But if it's only to feed human ambition it will change the man into a devil."

As we walked to our car, I felt a heavy burden for the unsuspecting congregants of that seeker-friendly church. I commit to pray that the Holy Spirit reveal wisdom to this church's leadership and instill in their hearts a yearning for Biblical literacy and costly discipleship.

Our church search continues.

Originally posted here.

Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She earned her Masters of Arts in Government from Regent University and frequently contributes to conservative outlets. Follow her on twitter @ChelsenVicari.