by Patte Smith on Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 5:46pm
Pragmatism: a philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value.
Ten steps to becoming a "Pragmatic Church"
1. "Easy-believism" gospel.
2. Place emphasis on some "work" for salvation and not the need to recognize and approach a holy God.
3. Teach half-truths.
4. Teach that grace replaces (instead of produces) holiness.
5. Teach that love and truth are opposed and obedience is legalism or optional.
6. Use fleshly things to attract unbelievers for evangelism and teach them that carnal, worldly lifestyles are acceptable.
7. Avoid the Biblical teachings that create humility in man and exalt God.
8. Teach the means of grace are optional.
9. Be "seeker-friendly" and avoid being "offensive."
10. Place being "relatable" above "biblical accuracy."
"Wherever pragmatism exists in the church, there is always a corresponding de-emphasis on Christ’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty, biblical integrity, the power of prayer, and Spirit-led ministries. The result is a man-centered ministry that attempts to accomplish divine purposes by superficial programs and human methodology rather than by the Word or the power of the Spirit..."[Pragmatism] seems predicated on the idea that artificial technique and human strategy are crucial to the church’s mission. Many appear to believe that we can capture people for Christ and the church only if our programs are imaginative enough and our sermons are persuasive enough. Therefore they bend their philosophy of ministry to suit whatever techniques seem to satisfy the most unbelievers....The error of pragmatism is that it regards methodologies that “work” as more important and more viable than those that are biblical. A pragmatist is concerned primarily with whether a given practice is expedient, not necessarily with whether it is in harmony with Scripture."
~ John MacArthur
"We have come to a place in time where we measure the correctness of our plans simply by their seeming to contribute to our favorite aim. We estimate the soundness of our doctrine, not from its tendency to exalt and glorify God…but entirely by the apparent facility with which it enables us to get sinners to turn from their ways."
~ Horatius Bonar
"If we do wrong and no harm comes of it, we are not thereby justified. If we did evil and good came of it, the evil would be just as evil. It is not the result of the action, but the action itself which God weighs."
~ C.H. Spurgeon
"If results are the only things that matter, then a false religion that has the desired results would be just as good as a true one. Not only that, but if results are the only things that matter, then if you could find a way to produce these results without religion, you wouldn’t need religion after all. Most important of all, if results are the only things that matter, you aren’t really worshiping God – you’re worshiping results."
~ J. Budziszewski
“God will not be honoured according to man’s fantasy, but detesteth all good intentions which are not grounded on His Word.”
~ 1560 Geneva Bible notes
"All worshipping, honoring, or service invented by the brain of man in the religion of God, without His own express commandment, is idolatry."
~ John Knox
Da lucem, Domine: Give light, O Lord.
Cleanse Thy church of its corruptions. Burn away the dross, that the pure gold may shine forth.