Today, the LCMS is starting to see a new battle brewing between many faithful confessional Lutherans and a new breed of seeker sensitive, purpose-driven church growth proponents. Last week, some of the faithful confessional Lutherans in the LCMS posted a modern version of the 95 Theses that clearly condemns the false teaching of the market-driven, seeker-sensitive church madness in no uncertain terms. I post some of this excellent document below because there is much that non-Lutherans can learn from it. I encourage you to read the entire document linked at the bottom of this post and share it with others who love Jesus and cherish faithfulness to His written word.
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “Repent,” He willed that the whole life of believers should be one of repentance.
2. To “repent” means to be contrite for one’s sins and to trust Jesus Christ and solely in His completed work for one’s forgiveness, life, and salvation.
3. Those who describe the Christian life as purpose-driven deny true repentance, confuse the Law and the Gospel, and obscure the merits of Christ.
4. Impious and wicked are the methods of those who substitute self-help and pop-psychology for the Gospel in the name of relevance.
5. This impious disregard for the Gospel wickedly transforms sacred Scripture into a guidebook for living, a pharisaic sourcebook of principles, and sows tares among the wheat.
6. Relevance, self-help and pop-psychology have no power to work true contrition over sins and faith in Jesus Christ.
7. Like clouds without rain, purpose-driven preachers withhold the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins won by Christ on the cross and enslave men’s consciences to the law which they cleverly disguise as so-called ‘Biblical Principles’.
8. By teaching tips for attaining perfect health, debt-free wealth, and better sex in marriage, the purveyors of relevance undermine true fear, love and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
9. They are enemies of Christ, who distort the Word of God by tearing verses from their original context in order to use them as proof texts for their self-help, pop-psychology agendas.
10. Injury is done the Word of God when it is used as a source book for practical, relevant “life applications.”
22. The church is holy sheep who hear the voice of their Shepherd.
23. How can sheep hear the voice of their Shepherd when false shepherds preach self-help and pop-psychology?
24. Purveyors of purpose-driven relevance are not shepherds of men’s souls but wolves in sheep’s clothing.
25. Purveyors of relevance claim that self-help, life-applications and biblical principles are the means to reach the unchurched because they meet people’s felt needs.
26. Yet a person’s greatest need is one he does not by nature feel, namely the need for the righteousness that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ.
89. The church belongs to no man but to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, and Lord of the church.
90. Woe to the false prophets who cry, “Unity, unity” when there is no unity.
91. Again, woe to those who say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
92. Again, woe to those who say, “Gospel, gospel,” when there is no Gospel.