This Little Church went to Market [eBook]
Is the modern church reaching out or selling out? Will the True Church please stand up!
This is a book that is very up to date and relevant and as such is worthy of a wide readership in Christian circles. The broad concept of the book is that much of the modern church (at least in the West) has felt the need to become relevant to present day society. This in principle is a good thing. The problem has been that in trying to do this the church has sought to attract unbelievers by adopting many of the practices of the world and by seeking to market its message in a package that would appeal to the so called “unchurched.” Gary Gilley contends that the result of this has been twofold:-
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)