Great Stuff — Fascist roots of the Church Growth Movement
Found over on Intrepid Lutherans:
“Yea, hath God said?” Gen. 3:1
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
“Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’” John 18:38
“…Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” Col. 2:2-4
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” -William Jefferson Blythe Clinton
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.” Prov. 26:4-5
“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State” -Benito Musolini
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Mr. Chris Rosebrough, Cap’n of the Pirate Christian Radio network and host of the daily show “Fighting for the Faith,” has been doing yeoman’s work identifying the tendril root of fascism in the post-modern church leadership movement. Understandably, readers may recoil at the word fascism, since it is misused in modern discourse. However, Rosebrough’s context is deliberate and accurate, highlighting America’s founding on the Enlightenment (“we are endowed by our Creator”) and contrasting with the subsequent Anti-Enlightenment (e.g. Kant: reality is unknowable; Hegel: truth is synthetic; Rousseau: individuals don’t exit, only society; Nietzsche: morals determined by community.)
Social engineer and management guru Peter Drucker, explains Rosebrough in the episode above, adopted the former worldview at weekly dinner parties held by his father for Vienna intellectuals between the World Wars. (To put it in the Martin Luther College vernacular, that was Drucker’s “ministry crockpot.”) Drucker’s 1933 essay, “The Unfashionable Kierkegaard,” — to be read only after three cups of coffee — identifies social responsibility as man’s path between the hopelessness of mortal life and the hope of eternity. Drucker presses forward in the 2nd half of the 20th Century by shaping social organizations to fill the duality (eternal & mortal) of man. In this 1989 interview, Drucker explains that people desire communities, and that churches should deliver what the market demands, but without worrying about doctrine or theology.
So where does the Church Growth Movement fit in here? There’s a thick black thread beginning from Drucker’s mentorship of Bob Buford’s Leadership Network, Bill Hybel’s Willow Creek, and Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven trainwreck. From that hydra, prominent names developed: Modalist TD Jakes, homosexual-affirming Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll and others in the post-modern Emergent Church. It isn’t merely the adoption of management, marketing, and endless consulting and conferences which Drucker fostered into the megachurch movement. It is the abandonment of Sola Scriptura.
The following links are to outside sources for background reading. Proper Christian discernment is encouraged. Below is the podcast of the presentation by Mr. Rosebrough, and the second link includes additional source material.
Christianity Today — The Business of the Kingdom Management guru Peter Drucker thinks the future of America is in the hands of churches.
Christianity Today — MANAGING TO MINISTER An interview with Peter Drucker
Holy Bible Prophecy — Drucker’s Discipleship by Elliott Nesch What the Emergent Church, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels Have in Common
New Yorker — THE CELLULAR CHURCH How Rick Warren’s congregation grew.
Fast Company — How Willow Creek Is Leading Evangelicals by Learning From the Business World Willow Creek, one of the nation’s largest and most powerful megachurches, leads evangelicals by learning from the business world’s best.
“In order to make your church grow you must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader.”
Pastors.COM — Break Through These 3 Barriers to Growth
(The link above also shows Warren twisting Col. 3:19 to infer that God commands church growth, but that’s another essay.)
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