In this chapter of “This Little Church Went to Market”, Dr. Gary Gilley explains the way worship is being done by the seeker-sensitive church today. And what is missing from it.
But the hour cometh, and now is,
when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:
for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
The modern church does not take issue with worshiping God in spirit – if anything this component has been elevated at the expense of its soul mate, truth. In our increasingly postmodern society truth is out and relativism is in. (ch. 8)
But Dr. Gilley challenges us to look at how Jesus and the apostles approached their world. Would they change their tune to match the beat of the world in which they lived?
When the church sees itself surrounded by unchurched Harrys and Marys who no longer believe in truth, objective values or morals, it is obligated to choose a strategy to reach them. (ch. 8)
He then quotes a leader who had been involved in the church growth movement as warning this:
. . . Today, people can be happy, healthy members of evangelical churches without ever having to face a God who is anything more than a “buddy”, a Saviour who is anything more than an example, and a Holy Spirit who is anything more than a power source. And that can happen without faith, repentance, indeed, without conversion. (ch. 8)
How far has the church indeed fallen today?
From here, Dr. Gilley goes on to address the main issue plaguing churches today – that of the sufficiency of the Scriptures. Christian leaders and pastors no longer have confidence that the Scriptures are all they need to meet the needs of the world and their congregations, instead they think they must look elsewhere. He uses the passages of 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:15-4:2, and Psalm 19 to tell us of how “the Scriptures alone (with the help of the Holy Spirit) are capable of teaching us how to live life, how to mature in godliness, how to handle problems in a God-glorifying way and how to know truth. The Bible needs no help from the wisdom and experiences of men.” (ch. 8)
So how should a faithful preacher preach the Word of God?
I rarely visit a church or attend a Bible conference anywhere in which the Scriptures are truly expounded. Story-sermons, pop-psychology lectures, “Dear Abby” style counsel, drama, musical productions, and interpretative dance are replacing true preaching. (ch. 8)
We need systematic, expository preaching that involves the intellect as well as the spirit. We need preachers who uphold the supremacy of God, the sufficiency of the Scriptures and the doctrines contained therein.
The seasons come and go, the trends arrive and depart, the popular mood shifts and changes, but the preacher’s task remains the same: to proclaim God’s Word faithfully. (ch. 8)
If you are just beginning this book study of “This Little Church Went To Market” with us, you are welcome to begin the series here. To purchase your copy, you can buy one on Amazon (paperback and kindle – affiliate link) or on Dr. Gilley’s website here.