Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the prophet, and the Glory of God
Have you heard about what happened to Kirsten Powers? I will tell you all about that, but first I must tell talk about something very disturbing.
It may not seem very important, but recently a highly regarded expert made 14 predictions for the American Church in 2014. If what he says is true it is the worst news for the church in American history. Here’s why:
It says essence; Americans do not want to hear the Gospel. Many churches will close their doors and combine with other churches. Massive layoffs of church staff are coming. Cities will clamp down on any new church building to protect their tax base. Only mega churches will grow.
None of that is good news, but saying that only mega-churches will grow is really bad news. This is because it is implies:
1. The church is not supernatural. To survive she is compelled to apply marketing concepts that are from corporate America. Programs must be based on what the public wants and rebranding Christ to answer the secular objections to His teachings.
2. That he is giving a ringing endorsement for the seeker sensitive model. The dirty little secret that few want to admit is that seeker churches do not win unbelievers so much as they attract complacent believers.
For a lukewarm believer who wants less accountability but still feels a twinge of guilt about church attendance, the mega church is the perfect hiding place. They can lose themselves in the crowd, be assured the service will end on time and the chicken soup for the soul sermons can salve the pain of their double life.
3. Since the seeker model does not win souls, growth can only come from stealing sheep from other churches. This is the worst news. Let me use Wal-Mart as an example of why this is so destructive. When Wal-Mart came to your town, it did not increase the number of people who needed sweat socks and beef jerky. It merely herded the buyers into one location. Many other stores who could not compete with the price and convenience shut down. This is a brilliant concept in the business world but disaster in the Christian community.
Like Wal-Mart, the mega church does not increase the number of buyers. It only rearranges where the already converted worship. Churches that cannot compete shut down. Making matters worse, these lukewarm Christians suffer spiritual malnutrition and get even weaker. The army of God suffers a perilous drop in quantity and quality without even knowing it.
Mega churches can be the best party going on the deck of the Titanic. As America sinks, the ballroom is filled with people partying as if there is no disaster. It is possible for a celebrity pastor to beam with confidence even as America, on his watch, suffers the most cataclysmic moral decline in history.
Our actual numbers are dropping. Our influence in America is declining. But this addiction to false success blinds us to these realities. The Christian birth rate in America is virtually zero. We are not replacing the Saints who are dying off. Every day we lose influence because there are less of us in number to counteract evil legislation.
But is this expert right? Is this how the story of the American church ends? With our numbers dwindling except for a few pockets where the soldiers are getting weaker? Doomed to fade into irrelevance? Apparently not.
Kirsten Powers is the outspoken atheist that we all know from television. She despised Evangelical Christians. She epitomizes the unreachable American intellectual. Listen in her own words to why she is now fervently following Christ.
“then one night on a trip to Taiwan I woke up in what I felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality Jesus came to me he said here I am it felt so real I didn’t know what to make of it I called my boyfriend but before I had time to tell him about it he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. I honestly while I was upset I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses that but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later I will cost I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”
Part two tomorrow