This Little Church Went To Market Paperback – 6 Jan 2014
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1. The gospel message has been watered down to the extent that there is little or no emphasis on the holiness and righteousness of God; the sinfulness of mankind and the necessity for repentance. The ultimate judgement of God and the reality of hell for those who refuse God's offer of salvation through the atoning death of Jesus Christ is deliberately avoided for fear of putting people off. Instead an attractive gospel is offered in which the emphasis is placed on finding fulfilment and satisfaction and having your needs met by accepting Christ.
2. The church itself has become more a place of socialising and entertainment rather than a place to worship God and a place to receive sound doctrine and teaching on the basis of which we can take the gospel message to the world.
The sad results of this is that the church has become more and more like the world and offers an easy Christianity that demands little change of lifestyle and certainly something far different from the demands of Jesus, "If any man would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt. 16:24) In addition the message of the gospel has been so compromised that the church has in many places lost its "saltiness" and no longer holds up a moral standard against the decadence of modern society.
The author focuses on two "market driven" churches in the USA which have thousands of people attending. The "success" of these churches has been a model that many are following. One comment someone made about one of these churches was that it was a mile wide and half an inch deep.
Our world as ever needs a clear cut, pure gospel message. Nothing less and nothing else. The words of the apostle Paul to the Galatians could well be applied to many churches today, "If we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned." (Gal.1:8)
This book is one I would unhesitatingly recommend to Christians particularly in the West. I am not saying that I agree in every detail with the things written in it, but the overall message is one that is worthy of serious consideration especially by those involved in Christian leadership.
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Jesus did not do market surveys, He did not measure success by size. In fact, we read in the Gospel of John that many people left Him because His teachings were too hard.
We all need to examine our specific church to determine if parts of Scripture are being glossed over or diluted. Our loyalty should not be to a specific church or pastor, but to Jesus Christ.
As you read this book, you'll discover the methods that churches are using to attract the unbeliever. These seeker-driven churches want to cater to the unchurched Harry and Mary, while abandoning the Cross and watering down the gospel to meet there felt needs. Gilley also quotes theologians like MacArthur, as well as use scripture to refute these secular methods that have weakened the church to a critical state. This book may make you angry, uncomfortable or break your heart for those who are lost and deceived.
I highly recommend This Little Church Went to Market to anyone who attend or serve and lead in a seeker-driven church. The $5.99 you spend on Kindle or the $8.99 you spend for the paperback edition is worth every penny. This is especially when many professing Christians are being entertained by the music, inspired by the pragmatic teaching and sadly led to an eternity in Hell.
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