Speaking at the 2012 Together for the Gospel Conference, Mark Dever warned that churches that aren’t careful about conversion are committing suicide. The conference is headed up by conservative New Evangelicals, such as Dever, Al Mohler and John Piper, who are concerned about things such as “male headship” and “the need for church discipline.” Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, said that “thousands, if not millions, of church members sitting in America’s pews aren’t really born-again Christians” (“False Conversions,” Associated Baptist Press, April 11, 2012). “The problem I am pointing to is not just that of the occasional hypocrite lost in their own unrepentant sin,” Dever said. “I’m talking about systems which seem to produce false converts so much that it’s not just one man … but whole congregations that like Israel of old are typified and characterized not by holiness but by worldliness.” This was a perfect description of the Southern Baptist church in which I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, but it is a warning that is nearly as appropriate for the average Independent Fundamental Baptist church today as for Southern Baptist. The reason that churches become filled up with nominal Christians include a shallow Quick Prayerism soul winning program, carelessness in receiving church members, failure to preach the whole counsel of God, lack of a pointed call to discipleship, and neglect of discipline. What Dever and his “conservative evangelical” buddies do not say at these conferences is that their own sensual, mystical “Christian” rock and their stubborn renunciation of separatism and their phony definition of “legalism” and their amillennialism are just as suicidal to a church’s spiritual life as carelessness about conversion. Their allegorical approach to the interpretation of prophecy is no light matter in that it destroys a proper biblical worldview.
(Friday Church News Notes, April 27, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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