1950’s Church Models vs. Today’s Culture

Jeff Harris, a friend of mine and a former PC(USA) pastor who has started a new church in Butler, PA  called Crossroad Community, did a very good summary of the problems with post-World War II churches trying to do outreach with 1950's methods in today's culture.  There has been such a dramatic cultural shift in the United States that the culture no longer assumes or respects a Christian worldview. And also, the things that the current generation values are significantly different than the values produced by a corporate business model  that was characteristic of the 1950's and 60's.   This table below is a summary of the different values and shows the need to adjust our methodology of outreach and evangelism in order to reach the current generation. Those churches that rely upon the old models will be frustrated if not left behind. The methodology that worked in the 1940's and 50's will never work today.  Old Church Model Core Values 1950-1960 Era New Church Model Core Values 2010-2020 Era Faith   Fellowship   Family Biblical Instruction (Faith) Prayer (Faith) Relational (Fellowship/Family) Caring Ministry (Family) Transformation (evangelism, spiritual formation) Old Cultural Setting New Cultural Setting External Culture External culture (society) … Read more…

An Appeal to My Fellow Presbyterians

Come Out of Her – Leave the Dead to Bury Their Own Dead! In a debate, if we do not agree on what is truth or how to discover truth and how to determine what truth is, how can we ever decide who is right  and who is wrong?  If I say, “Truth derives from God’s revealed Word,” but you say, “All truths are relative and depend upon the individual… whatever a person believes is true for them,” then how can we ever agree on anything? Will we not be talking past one another? “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Amos 3:3, NKJV. “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities,” Revelation 18:4, 5, NRSV.   There are many Presbyterian pastors, churches, and laity who are now wondering what they should do. The confessing church, made up of the conservative and biblically faithful believers, has been filled with grief, disbelief, and dismay. They finally lost the majority vote … Read more…

My Resignation from PC(USA) – A Prophetic Letter 1990

What follows is my letter of resignation from the Presbyterian Church USA in 1990 over what I could see coming in the denomination. It was a prophetic vision anticipating the natural and the inevitable consequence when the opinions of men are elevated above the Word of God. That prophesy has come to full fruition 21 years later as this denomination has fallen into total apostasy with flagrant and boastful violation of the Word of God in sexual immorality.  “By turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly…For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to … Read more…

Models of Church Government – an Outline

Hierarchical Model Nicolaitan Spirit   – Nico = To Conquer/Laitan = the laity, the people. “So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Revelation 2:15, KJV.   The error of the Nicolaitans was to teach that the  priests were given secret and special knowledge not available to the people, and thus were also given the rights and privileges to administer the sacraments and operate in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, not available to the laity. This created a special holy, religious class of priests that were above the people and supposedly closer to God than ordinary Christians. It also created an unbiblical hierarchy where the only way to have access to God was through the priesthood and then the pope, thus putting a wall of separation between God and his people.  This hierarchical structure also happens in independent, authoritarian churches and personality driven churches, where the pastor is seen as God’s voice to the people. That pyramid would be much simpler and would look something like this: But we have one High Priest, Jesus, who is the only Mediator between God and Man: “For there is one God, and one mediator between … Read more…

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