07 September 2011

"Code Orange" Speaker Craig Groeschel

As was mentioned in the article Steven Furtick's 12 Days of Revival, our favorite up-and-coming, fashionable pastor is planning a big event for next January. He wants to gather a group of speakers together in order to cause an "eruption" of God's power and movement. Uh huh, okay, sure. The speaker lineup for Furtick's Code Orange Revival is quite extensive, so let's take a look at these leaders one by one. As I mentioned in my earlier article, I'll be offering a brief overview of each speaker in separate posts so as to avoid writing (and thus, you reading) the equivalent of a 15 page blog post!

First up is Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, which is based in Edmond, OK, but is basically an internet church. In the past, Groeschel has participated in Bill Hybels' Global Leadership Summit. As pastor of a bonafide Willow Creek Association church, Groeschel's Willow Creek ties are strengthened even more by his endorsement of Willow Creek Pastrix Nancy Beach's book, Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church. Of this book, Groeschel states, "Nancy Beach is one of the most influential leaders in today's church. Her experience, vulnerability, and authenticity will empower women to courageously step into their God-given role with confidence." I guess neither Groeschel nor Nancy Beach has ever read 1 Timothy 2:11-14.

Visiting the website for Groeschel's "church" is also quite an adventure. The short bio of Groeschel on the LifeChurch.tv website reads:
Craig is the Senior Pastor for LifeChurch.tv and provides leadership and guidance for the church as a whole. Following a vision God gave Craig for a different kind of church, he and a handful of people launched LifeChurch.tv in 1996. (Online source)
So, according to this, it seems safe to assume that God is giving direct revelation and "vision" to Craig Groeschel? Okay...

The "Vision & Values" statement of LifeChurch.tv reads similar to the "codes" that are found on so many church websites these days. Among other declarations, this document states:

We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ.
To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing.
Seems like an interesting attitude toward sharing the Gospel. Oh, wait, never mind, the Gospel isn't actually mentioned at all in this "Vision & Values" Statement! Well, if they want to do something that "no one is doing" they could try preaching the Gospel, because there definitely are not many churches doing that these days! Somehow I suspect that wasn't what this statement had in mind.

So, what can one expect when visiting one of the actual campuses of LifeChurch?

Well, if that doesn't entice you then nothing will. If only Jesus had promised and delivered live worship music and fun teaching for the kids, then perhaps He wouldn't have lost so much of the crowd in John 6. It's also nice to see that the "thought-provoking messages" will be based on the Bible. It would be terribly boring if they were simply preached directly from the Scripture.

On the "Next Steps" page, LifeChurch describes how one can "become the person God made you to be." It seems to me that something significant is missing...like repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This just looks like a list of works to me...

The missing mention of repentance comes as no surprise, however, upon review of LifeChurch's beliefs, wherein they speak about their doctrine of man:
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". Sin separates us from God and causes many problems in our life. (Online source, underline emphasis mine).
Um, Pastor Groeschel, sin is more than just "an attitude of disobedience," it's a condition, a disease that ravages every man from conception. And it does more than just "cause many problems in our life." If a man does not repent, sin will be the cause of his condemnation to eternal Hell and torment. Open your Bible, study the doctrine of total depravity, and find out what the unregenerate man is really like. Then preach repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our salvation.

There it is, speaker #1 for Steven Furtick's big 12-day Code Orange Revival. Stay tuned...

3 comments:

  1. These men are filled with vain imagination and visions not from The Lord... They speak contrary to Gods WORD...and are puffed up and haughty. These types of men only have followers because churches today are largely spectator events with tares lining the seats, looking to be entertained, seeking to be made to feel good about themselves, and willing to follow men in big, splashy, state -of-the art entertainment venues.

    Sprinkle some seemingly bold or sensationalistic preaching in and make sure to use some Bible verses, and the people will follow their hireling right into the apostate church death grip. (aka emergent, sensual, ecumenical, seeker sensitive, purpose driven, etc.)

    God is not mocked... There is yet a witness calling out this farce for the charade it is.

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  2. Obviously you have never been to lifechurch.
    Your close minded, negative comments are anything but holy and God seeking.

    And you're Galations 1:10 scripture at the top is borderline blasphemy. Do you really think it's ok to use the word of God to justify insulting other churches and pastors?

    Grow up.

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  3. Bethany,

    Obviously you did not read the comment policy before posting. If you had, you would have seen that you are in violation of 2 points:
    - Opposing viewpoints are welcome, but will not be published if the argument is something to the effect of, "You're a meanie." If you disagree with what I have said, please present your argument respectfully and from the Scripture.
    - If you post a comment to an article that is more than a month old, I cannot promise that it will be published.

    Nevertheless, I am happy to respond to your comment.

    You are correct, I have never attended Lifechurch. I also have never consumed rat poison, and yet I know that it's not something that I want to put into my body.

    The fruit of Groeschel's ministry is quite public, and his teachings are readily and widely available as well, so I do not write blindly and out of pure personal preference. If it is "close minded" and "negative" to test a pastor's teachings against the Word of God, then so be it. I only wish someone had told that to the Apostle John when he told us to "test the spirits" in 1 John 4. Or perhaps Paul should have rebuked the Bereans for testing his teachings against Scripture...

    Your judgment regarding my use of Galatians 1:10 is rather ironic, since you are upset that I am judging and "insulting other churches and pastors." And the point of the Scripture is that Paul lived to serve God, not men, and his message was therefore quite unpopular with the world. I, too, do not desire to please the world with my work, but rather God. And when the holy Word of God is being twisted and abused by men who claim the title of "pastor" I find it far more necessary to speak up and raise the red flag rather than to sit back and watch the sheep be led straight over a cliff.

    Thanks for reading.

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