The Baptist Beacon
". . . Not By Might, Nor By Power,
But By My Spirit, Saith The Lord." (Zechariah 4:6)
Editor Timothy Don Binion
Editorial: In February of this year the Power Team from TX. came to town to perform at the First Baptist Church of Hendersonville. They went to all the elementary, Jr High and High Schools and Stirred up the emotions of our kids with their charisma and physical strength. In order to see their big performance you had to go to the First Baptist Church. There they broke bricks, tore phone books, bent steel and performed other feats of strength. At the close of their show they had people come forward to accept Christ and get their free tee shirt. I saw the program on TBN and received correspondence from the First Baptist Church that included the decision card of an 8 year old who had attended at our church once. I wrote First Baptist Church the following letter, which was also published in article form in the local paper.
When the prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon, spoke out and warned those who "would like to unite church and stage, cards and player, dancing and sacraments," he was accused of being an alarmist. It's time once again to speak out and warn church people about becoming to worldly in their evangelism.
Any Church that begins a service with "it's show time" has lost sight of what church really is and has corrupted and cheapened the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ has no business marketing itself through secular amusement. Feeding people's appetite for entertainment promotes everything contrary to Christianity and the Lord Jesus Christ. My objections are simple. First of all this unscriptural method of evangelism is worldly and embraces unholy emotions, apathy and materialism. Secondly, it clashes with the pattern our Lord gave and introduces people to another Jesus. John MacArthur in his book; Ashamed of the Gospel When The Church Becomes Like the World best identified the problem as pragmatism. This pragmatism which is rooted in Darwinism and secular humanism has become the driving force of evangelism in some churches. Any Church that bows to the god of Entertainment and Amusement in order to bring people to Jesus has not brought them to the Jesus spoken of in the Bible. Introducing people to a Jesus of entertainment and amusement, will never bring people to real Christianity. Thousands may go forward at these shameful and worldly substitutes for the Gospel but it's clear to see that they are motivated by carnal charisma and not a crucified Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." No church or person has the right to change God's ordained means of bringing people to Jesus. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). God chose preaching as the means of saving them that believe (1 Corinthians 1:21) and no one has the right to change this method. The use of human strength or muscle_flexing weight lifters violates God's chosen method of evangelism. The Gospel presents a Jesus meek and lowly, bruised and beaten for the redemption of fallen man. It presents a people who strive to follow His earthly example through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew chapter four, Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He defeated Satan with "Thus it is written" and not through physical strength.
These entertainers introduce another Jesus and not the Lamb of God who can take away the sins of the world. It is another gospel in style and in content. Galatians 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Entertainment and Amusement, when mixed with religion produces paganism, mysticism, and idolatry. Simply doing it in the name of Jesus does not make it Christian. The end does not justify the means if the means is not according to the plan of God. Stirring up the emotions of little children to trust in a god of entertainment and amusement is wrong and unscriptural. In my opinion the Power Team's performance at a local Church in Hendersonville was a disgrace.
In Baptist circles the change from heart felt conversion to a pencil card salvation became the breeding ground for this type of carnal gospel. There comes a time when a group must decide whether they can honestly continue to use the name church when country club, workout center, theater, or circus would better describe their mission. This worldly evangelism method may work, but it works death and not life in the Lord Jesus. A person must repent and believe the gospel in order to be saved, not the strength of the Power Team, Ninja Turtles, or Power Rangers. The power is in the gospel. The Holy Spirit uses the gospel to convict and save sinners, not drama or sob stories told by overgrown gurus. Salvation is of the heart and not the body; the soul and not the intellect. Many Christians are embarrassed by the recent Power Team's exhibition at a Church in Hendersonville and this Baptist preacher is speaking out.