Great to see you brother. I hope all is well or improving greatly. I know we have all missed you a lot. And we find no shortage of your vintage passion, precision, and wit this day, amen. I would not view this group as a gospel approach model to follow. Nor would I suggest it is pristine in forthright doctrine. In some ways it does appear to be somewhat of a throwback to the emerging church concepts of an ongoing “conversation” in contrast to weighty real and solid doctrine. Understood.
While I was in the nursey ministry of a huge doctrinal heavy church, the leadership wanted to put together a light teaching plan to engage the kids we were watching during the worship hour. Having done so we were met with quite a very very young group of children where it was clear would not process near at all to the level we aimed. Albeit, this should not be reason in any way to use seeker friendly outreach models, like Hillsong (and even still never get to the deep doctrines to help people understand initially more comprehensively and assist believers to grow), in our missional culture of postmodernism afraid to have opinion or spooked to have conviction, wokeness, transgendered ideology foisted upon children, critical race theory and taking education by critical race theory and cancel culture storm, as well as making Marxism seem palatable, noble, and empathetic, it might not be completely untenable to take to account that much of our mission field today has drastically shifted from foundational norms of the country we grew up in. In some ways, HeGetsUs would appear to attempt to meet an ideologically trampled culture with what helps move them, as Pastor JD says, “One step closer to Christ.”
No doubt we do not want to support diluted efforts in promoting the gospel (or while so doing…avoiding the gospel), nor partner with normalizing dissociation from scripture while pretending to be about it (any more certainly than it has already occurred within big Eva–a train-wreck). And to that i would see it noble to take issue with such clothes some wear and certainly such public messages that border eisegetizing Christ. Amen. However, I would believe it also wise too for the church recognizing the state at which she might appear to the world at this late hour into consideration and (without compromise) perhaps even learn how to best reach Gen Z and Gen Alpha from this kind of event of advertising that brings much dialogue to the table. When Jesus confronted the rich young ruler, He targeted the issue where that man would rely on his own sense of rightness before God in contrast to Christ. HeGetsUs, to me, seems to be an attempt at allowing people an opportunity to remove some measure of cultural blinders placed upon them. Perhaps in hopes at being at a place more likely receptive to scripture.
If it is as late as we think and this is the last year for the church on earth, running with Paul’s Phil 1:15-18 concern, that it is good that Jesus is preached, perhaps there might be something said of that today too.
ISSUES FACING PAUL’S DAY
- Paul surely faced huge theological missteps as some preaching from rivalrous hearts–because those of the flesh could not clearly see doctrinal nuances for sure
- The 1st century would have been a time where a prophetically open-ended prophecy was still flowing and moving in new revelation and unction’s of the spirit not yet committed to holy writ as a closed canon
- In the 1st century the potential of a canon not yet closed surely would provide a context for rise to greater heresy potential
And yet, Paul in that context (much more wild lands than ours) affirmed that at least Christ was being preached. And in so much as we might not agree upon how our views of all that is necessarily protection of doctrine challenged today, the notice that we not even consider at all today those aforementioned bullet points, for me, would cause pause in if the tension we hold today regarding the protection of doctrine is as informed as it could be when looking at such matters. What the spirit might do with far less church approved methods could be opportunities too. Especially in light of taking into consideration how well evangelicalism is doing with genuinely reaching Gen Z etc., if what Gen Z mostly sees is the church being critical of them. We would not look at Pastor JD’s encouragement to bring people one step closer to Christ as seeker friendly. I applaud that merciful and wise heart. I understand that we should not make all of gospel presentation a mere leading one step closer to Christ approach. Granted. From what I have seen we live in age of seeker friendly churches and authoritarian churches. I line up much more with authoritarian. But from what i have seen in that with my own experience over decades is Protestantism kind of having borrowed smoother application of Romish Catholic imperialistic style rule. Kind of like how fascism is socialism with a human smiley face. I’ve seen the ills of seeker friendly. And i’ve experienced the ills of authoritarianism. Neither is exactly biblical. We may not agree upon this, but we do see quite a whacked church at large today. And taking a breath and just getting a sense of what this might translate like to our mission field, I think empathizing with the mission field is not compromise. We may not agree.
As an example GCC is about to have another Shepherds conference. I recall several years back one of the pastors from GCC saw the culture as goliath and the church as David. This is perhaps somewhat subtle or not so subtle, but Christ saw it as the harvest or a field of mission in contrast. Today there is a cultural tendency within the church i believe to conquer the culture. Which of course brought to its ultimate conclusion would mirror dominionism or kingdom now perspective. I don’t believe critiquing HeGetsUs is dominion theological. But what my point is, so how are we reaching Gen Z? Perhaps prophecy updates helps, amen. They are interesting and intriguing. But we really have no plan in place in general (speaking of evangelicalism) to reach them (aside seemingly from the seeker friendly types). And while we ponder how to, many die every day or become increasingly hardened by world. Can’t it at least be understood though on some level that at least millions were exposed to check out Christ related to some measure of biblical accuracy? And we want to make our spiritual lives adverse to that? When the rapture might be this year? Those just don’t exactly add up for me.
I am also for doctrinal clarity and have pretty much argued for it all my life (holding to account even the discernment ministries where they seem well to go astray). I would say 70% of all my conversations have to do with that. So i understand the hotness about not wanting to let the world distort the gospel or the image of Christ. Amen. I totally get a right heart in ministry defending the faith. Amen. But are we looking at how to help Gen Z with their hangups about the church (in an age gone rogue in the world and in the church)? Would we know how to as people in general help souls be led out of the quagmire of their own heart, or just label them like that because its easier that we might feel better landing on holy ground? This kind of troubles me. And is a genuine concern. Matthew 9
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Maybe its not altogether unreasonable as to how this can play out in our age is all I’m saying. Hope that makes sense. Blessings.