Here are the 7 Temptations of the Western Church
1) Philosophicalism: “We are a Bible-believing people.”
Kingdom Corrective: Essential to a sincere belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word is an assumption that God calls his disciples to become a Bible-obeying people and not merely intellectual stakeholders of theologically orthodox positions. We understand that true orthodoxy affirms that biblical belief is a verb—doctrines that we humbly live and practice—rather than a noun—theoretical precepts to which we philosophically subscribe. Therefore, we choose to measure spiritual maturity and doctrinal integrity with the benchmarks found in our everyday obedience to God’s Word.
2) Professionalism: “We have a gifted pastoral team.”
Kingdom Corrective: The gospel is every disciple’s calling—not just a chosen few. Because of this, we seek to multiply Jesus’ disciples by developing and deploying the body of Christ into a diverse and infinitely reproducible co-vocational mission-force. Therefore, our vocational leaders see their primary assignment as equippers and multipliers of Jesus’ disciple-making insurgency.
3) Presentationalism: “Our worship is inspiring, and our preaching is strong.”
Kingdom Corrective: We are the functioning body of Christ in community, not a well-tuned Sunday service. Though we value the weekly gathering of believers for corporate worship and biblical instruction, we also understand that Jesus’ purpose for his body cannot be contained in that hour. Therefore, what we most highly prize, publicly celebrate, and consider as our ultimate act of worship is preparing the entire body of Christ as sacrificial servants for Jesus’ 24-7 mission and his imminent return.
4) Passivism: “Everybody is welcome.”
Kingdom Corrective: We actively search for lost sheep—not hope that lost sheep look for us. Therefore, we happily inconvenience our personal comforts and disrupt our religious preferences for the sake of effectively participating in Jesus’ selfless and courageous search and rescue mission.
5) Pragmatism: “We are one of the fastest growing churches.”
Kingdom Corrective: The kingdom of God is our only goal, and not the advancement of our individual brand. Because of this, we choose to measure growth in terms of city-wide gospel impact rather than excelling in a competition for an evaporating market share of the evangelically predisposed. Therefore, for the kingdom outcome of gospel proximity, we prefer to selflessly invest in united efforts of gospel collaboration rather than pragmatically contending for our own interests.
6) Partisanism: “We love our country.”
Kingdom Corrective: While national patriotism and political perspectives are normal and necessary for healthy and functioning democracies, our highest and exclusive allegiance is to the eternal kingdom of heaven—not a temporal nation, nationality, ethnicity, or political ideology. Therefore, we voluntarily lower all secondary loyalties so that our earthly perspectives might not become a stumbling block to the life and death mission of Jesus’ church.
7) Paternalism: “We train pastors around the world.”
Kingdom Corrective: We have a leadership that maintains a humble learning posture, holding to a sincere belief that Jesus’ church is expressed in a globally diverse mosaic that includes every nation, tribe, people, and language. Therefore, we engage global diversity with a gospel-centered posture that eradicates any hubris of geographical or cultural superiority by seeking to both learn and assist in ways that honor and edify the body of Christ wherever it is found.”
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