Faith is Like…

soldiers-bwFaith is like going into battle against impossible odds and being told by your General not to worry — that it will be painful, and you will get slaughtered, but you’ll win in the end. Some run and hide, but you move forward, following in his footsteps. You face the enemy and he defeats you. You get up over and over again and discover even your own body has failed you. You are overwhelmed by the enemy, conquered and killed. All of your effort wasn’t enough, and now your lifeless body lies on the battlefield. The General comes to you, breathes life into your lungs and raises you from the dead. He gives you the energy, strength, armor and weapons to defeat the enemy. He tells you to trust him and fight. You have a hard time believing him, because you’ve faced the enemy and lost time and again. But because you’ve experienced the General’s power to raise you from the dead, you trust him and believe he will, indeed, lead you to victory. He clears the way and helps you defeat each enemy you encounter. In fact, it seems like he’s doing all the work. Finally, the battle is over, and you’ve won. The General is awarded with countless medals, but he gives you one of them. Not because you earned it, but because he loves all the soldiers who fought with him and wants them to share in the celebration.

Does Your Church Believe in Seekers?

Your theology about “seekers” will determine how you structure your church services. Most Christian churches today are focused on making their worship services appealing to seekers. Whether it’s mimicking the secular world in its style of worship, or serving milk to its flock in the form of theologically-light, easily-digestible sermons – the contemporary Christian church has made Sunday mornings more about engaging “almost believers” and winning them to Christ, than strengthening and equipping the existing congregation of believers to confront the hostile world outside the church walls.

Churches have combined Sunday worship with evangelism – attempting to kill two birds with one stone – not knowing that by doing so, they’ve become less effective at both.

Sabbath or Sunday worship was established for the benefit of God’s people. It was a time for them to worship God, fellowship with other believers, and learn more about our Creator through the Scriptures. Though we are told that there will always be “tares” (read: unbelievers) among the “wheat” inside our churches – and that we shouldn’t bother trying to root them out (Matt. 13:29) – we are never encouraged to actively invite tares into our churches. “What fellowship can light have with darkness? … What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor. 6:14-15)

A “seeker” is someone churches think is actively pursuing God, but just hasn’t found Him yet, or hasn’t been intellectually convinced that Christ is the Messiah. However, the Bible makes it clear that there is no such person. In fact, the Bible states that natural man is at enmity with God (Rom 8:7), and there is none who seek after God (Rom 3:11). Only after being born again (i.e., spiritually regenerated) can a person even see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).

The Apostle Paul states in 1 Cor. 2:14, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

R.C. Sproul rightly describes the so-called seeker as “…not seeking after God, but seeking the benefits that only God can give him, while at the same time fleeing as fast as he can from the immediate presence of God.”

The doctrine of man’s spiritual depravity is crucial to our understanding of the “seeker” issue. I won’t go into all the conclusions this doctrine ultimately leads to (i.e., the whole of Reformed theology), but it’s enough to say that the Bible makes it clear there are no such things as “seekers,” and the Church should not busy itself with trying to cater to this non-existent demographic.