Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fascist roots of the Church Growth Movement

“Yea, hath God said?” Gen. 3:1
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

“Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’” John 18:38
“...Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” Col. 2:2-4

“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” -William Jefferson Blythe Clinton
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.” Prov. 26:4-5

“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State” -Benito Musolini
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Mr. Chris Rosebrough, Cap’n of the Pirate Christian Radio network and host of the daily show “Fighting for the Faith,” has been doing yeoman’s work identifying the tendril root of fascism in the post-modern church leadership movement. Understandably, readers may recoil at the word fascism, since it is misused in modern discourse. However, Rosebrough’s context is deliberate and accurate, highlighting America's founding on the Enlightenment ("we are endowed by our Creator") and contrasting with the subsequent Anti-Enlightenment (e.g. Kant: reality is unknowable; Hegel: truth is synthetic; Rousseau: individuals don’t exit, only society; Nietzsche: morals determined by community.)

Social engineer and management guru Peter Drucker, explains Rosebrough, adopted the former worldview at weekly dinner parties held by his father for Vienna intellectuals between the World Wars. (To put it in the Martin Luther College vernacular, that was Drucker’s “ministry crockpot.”) Drucker’s 1933 essay, “The Unfashionable Kierkegaard,” — to be read only after three cups of coffee — identifies social responsibility as man’s path between the hopelessness of mortal life and the hope of eternity. Drucker presses forward in the 2nd half of the 20th Century by shaping social organizations to fill the duality (eternal & mortal) of man.   In this 1989 interview, Drucker explains that people desire communities, and that churches should deliver what the market demands, but without worrying about doctrine or theology.

So where does the Church Growth Movement fit in here? There’s a thick black thread beginning from Drucker’s mentorship of Bob Buford’s Leadership Network, Bill Hybel’s Willow Creek, and Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven trainwreck. From that hydra, prominent names developed: Modalist TD Jakes, homosexual-affirming Andy Stanley,  Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll and others in the post-modern Emergent Church.  It isn't merely the adoption of management, marketing, and endless consulting and conferences which Drucker fostered into the megachurch movement. It is the abandonment of Sola Scriptura.

The following links are to outside sources for background reading. Proper Christian discernment is encouraged.  Below is the podcast of the presentation by Mr. Rosebrough, and the second link includes additional source material.

Chris Rosebrough on Peter Drucker: Resistance is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated Into The Community



“In order to make your church grow you must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader.”
(The link above also shows Warren twisting Col. 3:19 to infer that God commands church growth, but that’s another essay.)

1 comment:

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

To readers of IL: Mr. Rosebrough's lecture is a vitally important contribution to the understanding of today's Church Growth Movement and the Emergent Church, especially what these movements are from a philosophical standpoint. The term philosophy is important, because philosophy, not Scripture teaching, is the genesis and the nature of these movements. You've read about this sort of philosophy on Intrepid Lutherans before; in fact, the sort of philosophy that is at the root of CGM and the Emergent church is the same that we see active at the root of today's Educational movements, namely, the advocacy and spread of the epistemological learning theory called Social Constructivism (which I have written about several times on Intrepid Lutherans, most recently in several paragraphs toward the end of the essay, Music for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Part 2: Heinrich Schütz ...and other thoughts to ponder over the New Year Holiday...). According to these philosophies, the smallest unit in society is not the individual; rather, the social group is the smallest unit. Indeed, all of what was written in my most recent essay, Vatican II, the Church Growth Movement, contemporary “Sectarian Worship”, and Indiscriminate Ecumenism: A Brief History and Synopsis of their Relationship, is better understood with this fact in mind – especially Donald McGavran's pre-occupation with evangelizing "entire people groups," instead of individuals, and my footnote on the repugnant CGM theory of "scaffolding."

Much energy has been expended in defining and understanding CGM and the Emergent Church from a dogmatic standpoint, but Rosebrough is correct: these movements are not doctrinal in nature at all, so can't be understood well from that perspective – nor can they be responded to effectively if only analyzed from a doctrinal perspective. By attempting to do so, all that one succeeds at doing is to describe them, and in to respond merely to those descriptions. To develop a sound, biblical, doctrinal refutation of CGM, one must begin by understanding it according to its nature, that is, according to its philosophical and historical foundations. And this is what Mr. Rosebrough has succeeded in doing.

I strongly encourage our readers to listen to Rosebrough's entire lecture, download and read his written material, and struggle as much as possible to understand these imminently dangerous philosophies – which are living and growing among us, and bearing their poisoned fruit.

Mr. Douglas Lindee

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