Are Megachurches The New Liberals Of The Day?

In case you haven't noticed, there has been a lot of talk surrounding Albert Mohler's recent blog post titled, "Is The Megachurch The New Liberalism?"   It has been my experience that a person can comment and even criticize something within the church and get away with it relatively easy.  However, when you actually put a name or a face to the criticism, things tend to get a little heated up.  That is what has happened.  In the article, Mohler criticizes and sites megachurch pastor Andy Stanley as an example of how liberalism is slowly seeping into the megachurch.  This criticism then opened up the door for more interesting things to happen.  In response to Mohler, the megachurch pastor, Rick Warren, tweeted Mohler obviously showing concern for the title of his blog post.

So, are megachurches becoming the new liberals of the day?  Dr. Todd Fisher, a pastor of Immauel Baptist Church states, 
"Yes, there are many pastors of megachurches who are faithful to the Bible (as Mohler noted), but the reality is that there are many, not just one, who are not. The pressures of the culture are making doctrinal faithfulness too challenging for many. That was Mohler's point- and one that should be well received."     
Chris Rosebrough at "Fighting for the Faith," also does an excellent job of pointing out what makes a church liberal or not.  In his online radio broadcast he covers the history of the megachurch and many of the struggles that it is facing today.  I would highly suggest checking his program out.   

Two brief points for us to consider today.  

The first is that we need to be careful not to label all megachurches as liberal or all megachurch pastors as unfaithful to the Word.  By the same token, there is reason to be concerned with the de-emphasis of theology and the down play of doctrine that happens (generally speaking) in megachurches due to the pressures they face in trying to be "culturally relevant."  There is no doubt that many megachurches are tempted by liberalism, as noted by Mohler, but may also be held captive to the spirit of Pelagianism.      

Second, if my memory serves me right, megachurches only make up 2% of all churches in the United States.  To my knowledge the average church in America does not worship 2,000-5,000 parishioners but around 50-100 on a typical Sunday.  My point is this, do we give megachurches too much attention?  I believe we do.  If they only represent 2% of all churches, why do we look to them as if they are the norm and give them so much weight?  I believe it is time for us to put megachurches in their proper context.  While we can learn from many megachurch pastors, we need to be careful to understand that their stories are really an anomaly and that we derive our mission, values and identity not from apparently successful churches but rather from the Word.    

To Read More On This Subject:
The Cambridge Declaration
How Do You Diagnosis If A Sermon Is "Christian?"
What Is Moral Therapeutic Deism?


Unknown said…
Good post, once a church starts to believe that the Bible is not sufficient they open the door for libralism to creep in. And its a slippery slope I learned a lot about the slippery slope of liberalism from reading about Spurgeon and the downgrade controvery