Maybe it’s me…

I just have trouble getting excited about a pastor’s statement regarding the growth of his church in a difficult locale:

Does frozen ground necessarily imply hardened hearts? Not if a charismatic congregation in Connecticut is any indication. This thriving assembly is challenging the notion that churches in New England won’t grow beyond a few hundred members.

Faith Church in New Milford, Conn., is growing 25 percent annually, and today has roughly 2,000 members in a region considered one of the most difficult to evangelize in the U.S. “People are people, and the gospel is the gospel no matter where it is preached,” said Faith Church pastor Frank Santora, 37. “My message is, ‘With Christ on your side, you can win in life and you can overcome.'”

I hope there is more to the message than that and I wonder how that message would “preach” in Communist China or in Saudi Arabia.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. With Christ on your side, you can win in life and you can overcome.

    This is not the gospel, regardless of what Pastor Santora says. And yet, this message is why his church is growing: he’s telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they NEED to hear.

    I agree with you– I hope there is more to the story than this.

    Reply

  2. I concur with Ed that this is not the gospel at all.

    Jesus Christ is not a success coach we all need to have in our lives. He is our Savior and he rightfully should be acknowledged as such and more.

    When I learned that he was implementing strategies from the Purpose Driven Church, I decided to leave the church. Before I could officially leave for good, we had a talk about it and in that convsersation he personally said to me that he would not water down the Gospel at all, in his sermons. He has watered it down in this message and in the link below, the Gospel was explicitly diffused.

    After hearing him say to the congregation, in an audio recording that Jesus came to save us from the Grey-Eyed Monster of Pessimissm, he preached a false gospel and completely portrayed Jesus as another type of savior to the congregation.

    Paul said of anyone who preaced another gospel, “let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9).

    Sadly, when I left the church two and a half years ago, he had said to me that he was fully confident that he could stand before God on his day of Judgment and not regret or feel guilty of implementing these seeker-sensitive strategies. That was the greatest red flag I heard from him and his opposition to teaching the Scriptures in a thorough exegetical and hermeneutical manner that he is responsible to do, as a pastor for the congregation.

    Rather than preaching biblically, he said he wanted to preach positive, uplifting, practical help type sermons like Joel Osteen. The proof is audibly true from his lips in the recording at this link.

    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2009/04/defeating-the-grey-eyed-pessimism-monster.html

    Reply

    • Kurt…thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences. Unfortunately, this type of preaching and teaching is becoming all too popular. After all, it works, so to speak. This is Christianity as “therapeutic deism”, as it has been called.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Gary on May 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    People lets use wisdom here. The Bible places great value on wisdom.
    If you reject what Pastor Frank said, then you accept the opposite of what he said.
    That is how wisdom works.
    Therefore your belief is ” With Christ on your side, you will lose in life and you can not overcome.”

    John 16:33 ( Jesus speaking ) ” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart ! I have OVERCOME the world.”

    Guys, please, be gentle : )

    Reply

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