New Turnstile Church strategy: We avoid God’s Word to keep you from sin 7

Almost two weeks ago, I asked Perry Noble supporters to give us examples of Noble’s biblical wisdom. I asked someone to describe the emperor’s advertised grand clothes, not seeing any myself, and all of his supporters on this site (and there are many) decided he was best left in his jeans and tee shirt.

Perhaps Noble was a little peeved at being abandoned on these pages, but if you review his tweets from last weekend, it appears that he provided his own response, which was, to paraphrase, It’s best that I don’t preach as well as some others.

How else do you explain this tweet?

The worse thing God could give some of us is more information b/c it would not draw us 2 Him but cause us to run from Him in disobedience!

It must be nice to think you can give advice to God, though perhaps he’s just emulating his pal Steven Furtick, who thinks God spent too much time talking about Moses and wasted all his time on Leviticus. Or Andy Stanley who says we should excise the word shepherd from Jesus’ teaching. As he says, “That word needs to go away.”

Andy Stanley also says that concealing or dumbing down information is a useful leadership technique:

Here’s an incredibly important principle. You cannot communicate complicated information to large groups of people. As you increase the number of people, you have to decrease the complexity of the information.

We talked about church marketing earlier in the week, and here we see how a sales mentality can corrupt faithful preaching. Note two lessons that Tony Morgan says are a characteristic of proper church marketing:

We focus less on what we say and more on how we act.

We reduce the number of competing messages we are trying to communicate.

The spoken word is deprecated and replaced by action, guided by a local pastor who thinks there’s benefit in intentionally hiding the whole counsel of God from his congregation. As Noble reminds us, an emphasis on continual action also suggests that we can stop learning.

Many times with me it isn’t always learning something new…but rather being reminded of what I should already know!

Stay shallow, friends. Stay shallow.

(An alternate interpretation of Noble’s first tweet would be that God only gives new revelation to people who are willing and able to properly respond to it, which often includes Noble himself. Such an interpretation suggests that the Bible is insufficient, and sets up pastors as special receptors of extra-biblical wisdom. It also limits God in whom he’s allowed to speak to.)

7 thoughts on “New Turnstile Church strategy: We avoid God’s Word to keep you from sin

  1. Paul Sep 11, 2009 10:05 pm

    I have a question. What would happen If Noble, Furtick, Warren,Stanly etc. did not market their church? What i mean by that is their use of business marketing techniques. For example, there is a church where I live that purchased time on about 5 billboards on the interstate with cool pictures with the caption “church like you’ve never seen it!” All these guys use the same type of concept. I heard Warren on an interview with Hannity and Colmes on Fox say, and i quote “Try Jesus for 30 days!” when telling Colmes about Jesus. If these guys stopped all advertisements (tweets, blogs, e-vites, webpages, billboards, flyers, pep talks before, during and after sermons, motivational speaking, whatever…) Would their churches grow? Would they still have their following? just a thought.

  2. David J Horn Sep 12, 2009 12:17 am

    I would like to add this question to Paul’s post:

    What would happen if all the entertainment got replaced with some deep Bible teaching for six months? Would these churches grow during this six month series called “Teaching the deeper meanings of God’s Word” campaign? Would the members get bored and drift else where?

  3. Barbara Sep 12, 2009 7:37 am (from the first megachurch pastor in history)

    In part:

    1. The first answer I shall give to the question is this: To preach the gospel is to state every doctrine contained in God’s Word, and to give every truth its proper prominence. Men may preach a part of the gospel; they may only preach one single doctrine of it; and I would not say that a man did not preach the gospel at all if he did but maintain the doctrine of justification by faith—”By grace are ye saved through faith.” I should put him down for a gospel minister, but not for one who preached the whole gospel. No man can be said to preach the whole gospel of God if he leaves it out, knowingly and intentionally, one single truth of the blessed God. This remark of mine must be a very cutting one, and ought to strike into the consciences of many who make it almost a matter of principle to keep back certain truths from the people, because they are afraid of them. In conversation, a week or two ago, with an eminent professor, he said to me, “Sir, we know that we ought not to preach the doctrine of election, because it is not calculated to convert sinners.” “But,” said I to him, “who is the men that dares to find fault with the truth of God? You admit, with me, that it is a truth, and yet you say it must not be preached. I dare not have said that thing. I should reckon it supreme arrogance to have ventured to say that a doctrine ought not to be preached when the all-wise God has seen fit to reveal it. Besides, is the whole gospel intended to convert sinners? There are some truths which God blesses to the conversion of sinners; but are there not other portions which were intended for the comfort of the saint? and ought not these to be a subject of gospel ministry as well as the others? And shall I look at one and disregard the other? No: if God says, ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people’ if election comforts God’s people, then must I preach it.” But I am not quite so sure, that after all, that doctrine is not calculated to convert sinners.

  4. Barbara Sep 12, 2009 11:29 pm

    The worse thing God could give some of us is more information b/c it would not draw us 2 Him but cause us to run from Him in disobedience!

    That bugs me. Especially in light of the usual response that people in Scripture have when there is any revelation of God to them – Moses, Isaiah, John (in Revelation), Job – they put their hands over their mouths, bow down to worship, fall to the ground as if dead. Jesus said in His High Priestly Prayer in John 17 that “This is eternal life – that they know You.” The testimony of Scripture, time and time again, is not one of increased disobedience in the face of God except in the case of unbelievers. But His children, those called of Him, those with whom He has a covenant – with knowledge of God comes both love and obedience. To know Him (and that includes information about Him) is to love Him, and we already have Jesus’ reminders, that if we love Him, we will obey Him.

    So, Biblically speaking – if you’ll pardon my Georgia expression here – that dog don’t hunt.

  5. James Duncan Sep 13, 2009 12:11 am

    Good point, Barbara.

    It’s a profoundly foolish statement.

  6. James Downing Sep 13, 2009 12:24 am

    That’s one of those quotes that I couldn’t believe I was reading. I would love to hear Perry’s convoluted justification on this one. This goes beyond Perry’s normal immature coutry-bumpkin talk. This is actively stupid.

  7. David J Horn Sep 13, 2009 12:30 am

    That statement from Perry makes perfect sense in the light of what he is doing with NewSpring Church. The more information his followers get from God through His Word, the more apt they are to be disobedient to Perry’s decrees and visions. So in Nobleland this statement makes perfect sense. The last thing Noble wants is for his people to understand Col 3:8 and not loving the world. Ponder that for a while….

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