…seeker sensitivity is a myth.

Rooted: An Examination of Scripture & Doctrine

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, event the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him or knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)

I told you and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (John 10:25-26)

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8)

One of the most critical concepts in the Scripture is the radical inability of humanity to choose God. Seeker sensitivity is a myth. Man cannot choose God on his own. Without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of mankind, there will be no Godward response of the will (Ezekiel 36; John 3). Free will is also a myth. The will is bound to the desires (i.e., we always do what we want to do), and the desires, barring regeneration, is bound to sin.

So why all the talk about seeker sensitivity? It would make sense if there was a biblical category for the seeker, but there isn’t. The one who is a seeker is one who has already been arrested by the Holy Spirit. That is why the gospel must be central in our churches, ministries, Sunday School lessons, family devotions, sermons and teaching. We preach the gospel in obedience to the command of Christ, that regenerated people might respond in repentance and faith. The gospel will bring God glory, either in the response of the regenerate, or the rebellion of the reprobate.


2 thoughts on “…seeker sensitivity is a myth.

  1. Why then did Paul mimic certain customs and ways of culture when he visited Rome? “When in Rome….”

    What is wrong with meeting culture in the middle. That to me is the beauty of Christianity; it’s ability to meet people where they are at. It’s the ONLY religion on the planet capable of doing that. Christians in Africa can still be Africans and Christians in Missouri can still be Missourians. They don’t have to abandon ALL of their cultural norms.

    Likewise, why can’t a church be “sensitive” to their surrounding cultures. What it looks like to be a Christian in Orange County, California SHOULD look very differently from what it looks like to be a Christian in South County, St. Louis, MO. Why shouldn’t the church reflect our differences?

    If SURFING is a major part of a people group’s culture, shouldn’t surfing culture be reflected in that people group’s way of dress, their businesses, their lifestyles, their worship?

    I don’t think REAL seeker sensitivity is about “duping” people into becoming believers, but rather it’s about being groups of believers who love people where they’re at. There is nothing manipulative, dishonest, or mis-representative when a church naturally reflect aspects of the culture around them.

    I concur that only the Spirit working in the hearts of people can bring people to Jesus. But I think TRUE seeker sensitivity is be about love… with no other motivation.

    What if a church offered a specific program to cater to an unreached people group in their community, and not one single person came to the Lord because of it? Couldn’t offering such a program simply be an act of love from a church to their community? Instead of arguing about gnats and camels, wouldn’t it be so much better if we just loved people with all of our hearts and prayed that God would work in their hearts?

    I think so…

    But, instead, we leave people in the midst of their pain, pray that God works in their hearts, and leave love at the door.

    Supporters of seeker sensitivity CAN be flawed in their theology, believing that their “works” will “win” people to the Lord. But likewise, those who are such staunchly against being sensitive to those who are seeking, seem to be just as flawed. They work SO HARD at coming up with reasons NOT to reach out to communities.

    What we do unto the least of these we do to the Lord.

    So if offering a culturally-sensitive program to an unreached group because it appeals to some aspect of their lifestyle affords me the opportunity to love them, why should we get so worked up about that? By loving them, I am loving God.

    I DO understand that seeker sensitivity can easily become a distraction, taking peoples’ eyes off of THE thing that TRULY changes people’s hearts. And that is why churches who ARE sensitive to the cultures of their neighborhoods must be lead by strong pastors who can keep their members and new believers focused on Jesus Christ.

    1. There is a difference between contextualization and spiritual inability. I agree that contextualization is important, but spiritual inability is fundamentally different. The idea that one can be a seeker goes against Scripture, whereas the idea of contextualization deals with applying the gospel in different cultures. We must always remember that the gospel doesn’t change and is applicable in every culture.

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