Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Rats Will Run for Cover!

It was so familiar hearing J. Vernon McGee reminisce about growing up on a small southern farm. Of rising early, lighting a lantern, and walking to the barn to tend the animals. He described opening the door and how the light shown in the darkness. And how the birds in the rafters would begin to sing and how the rats over in the corner would run for cover.

This suggests a parable our Lord once told, a parable of wheat and tares, and how the “children of the kingdom” and the “children of the wicked one” were to “grow together until the harvest.” For us this presents a problem, for wheat and tares are indistinguishable for a time. So how are we to know?

The answer is surprisingly simple: show forth the light of His Word and the birds will begin to sing and the rats will run for cover!

A Hostile Takeover

Hostile Takeover: a generally reviled tactic in the business world of taking control of a company for personal advantage and divesting its assets without regard for that companies management, board of directors, shareholders, or workers.

Unfortunately, the Hostile Takeover has a counterpart in the evangelical world. Consider how Rick Warren has disenfranchised those who have labored a lifetime in their local assemblies:

Be willing to let people leave the church. And I told you earlier the fact that people are gonna leave the church no matter what you do. But when you define the vision, you're choosing who leaves. You say, "But Rick, yes, they're the pillars of the church." Now, you know what pillars are. Pillars are people who hold things up ... And in your church, you may have to have some blessed subtractions before you have any real additions.

Rick, through his books, conferences, and simulcasts, has encouraged churches around the world to trash the gospel "once delivered" for his "new improved version" or as he calls it “vision.” And for those of us who oppose this gospel alien to His Word, he has a solution: make the place where we once worshipped our risen Lord so abominable that the Spirit within us will demand we leave.

A Rick Warren Takeover: what used to be a reviled tactic in the evangelical world of taking control of a local assembly for personal advantage and divesting its assets without regard for that church’s Lord, board of elders, shareholders in His Holiness, or fellow workers in the Truth.

Why does the world recognizes a “hostile takeover” when they see it, but so many in the church do not?

“…for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16:8).