Baptized Pagans

March 10, 2006

"In [this city], churches are wealthy enough to market themselves a crowd (I am also guilty). And how do we market? By asking and supplying what people say they prefer for their church experience. Given that my community finds ‘relevance’ the most important value to hold, I have been feeding them human enrichment rather than eternal and powerful truth (I have been like Joel Osteen in style with a little SBC culture thrown in). I have grown a church of baptized pagans."

That’s just a portion of a truly remarkable email I received today.  A dear brother, of exemplary humility and striking faithfulness in his pastoral labors shared with me the problems that he had created by following popular church growth methods.  External growth had occured, yes, but, he confessed, "I have grown a church of baptized pagans."

Consider what it means to have a church of baptized pagans.  I remember a few years ago, reading in Mohtama Gandhi’s autobiography this frank admission:  “What I want to achieve—what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years—is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Moksha (spiritual deliverance) . . . I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him . . . For it is an unbroken fortune to me that I am still so far from Him . . . I have not seen Him, neither have I known Him,” (Gandhi, Autobiography, p. 252).

Too many of our churches are made up of too many people who know God as little as Gandhi.  Too many of our churches are too full of baptized pagans.

Lig, make sure folks hear this at Ligonier’s national conference on the church!  God bless you while you’re there!

CJ, are you still there?

Al, wasn’t this blog your idea?

And can anybody help me get these fonts to match up!?