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Conforming to the pattern of this world

Ken Haskins
First Christian Church of Carson City

A church planter was asked, “What kind of church will you plant?”

Confident in his mastery of all the latest church-growth strategies, he replied, “A mega church.”

Within a year, he had his mega church.

The church is to “go and make disciples.” In her going, she must “become all things to all men so that by all possible means” some might be saved. The mandate is by all means to “go” with the Gospel, rather than to conform to the pattern of this world and then invite the world to “come.”

Paul admonishes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Striving to become mega, many churches are conforming to the pattern of this world.

The sacred is becoming secular. Churches are becoming “centers.” Crosses are being removed in an effort to be more inclusive and less offensive. Baptism and communion are giving way to convenience. The latest best-seller is being received more favorably than the Bible.

The seekers’ wants are becoming more important than the will of God. Service is giving way to being served. Self-denial is being denied in favor of prosperity preaching. Lovers of self and lovers of money have never been happier.

In these culturally relevant churches, salvation and transformation are out, and self improvement is in. Converts are out, and crowds are in. Disciples are out, and decisions are in. Worship and education are out, and entertainment is in. The elderly are out, and young adults are in. Christ is out, but Santa and the Easter Bunny are in.

If you’re feeling left out, I’ll see you in church, friend.

n Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.