The following is an excerpt of the concluding remarks of the White Horse Inn from yesterday’s program, “What Would Moses Do?” dated, Sunday, February 17, 2008 (see sidebar for link to program). About the modern evangelical tendency to do anything and everything but the one simple thing Jesus asked the church to do–feed his sheep the Word of God, which Peter would go on to write, “the Word of God is the Gospel which we preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25b)
Horton: Now, the Bible is God’s instruction book. And that’s how a lot of people talk about it. Or it’s the owner’s manual. Well, what is an owner’s manual? An owner’s manual is a guide you go to that tells you how to fix your car. Folks, that’s the wrong category. The Bible is not primarily God’s instruction book. It has instructions, and they need to be preached, but it is not primarily that. In fact, the Bible is silent about half of the things that preachers want to talk about on Sunday morning when it comes to the practical. I can get a lot more help from Susie Armand about my finances than Bill Hybels.
Jones: Or diets, or things of that nature.
Horton: Yeah! I don’t need a Christian diet—I need a Christian gospel if you’ve got that. Tell me something I can’t get from Oprah or Dr. Phil.
Jones: Preaching is feeding time for the whole family.
Horton: Boy, isn’t that the case?
Riddlebarger: It should be!
Horton: But according to the latest study by Willow Creek Community Church, they concluded because their most active members said they were dissatisfied with their church—they concluded, “We gotta wean people off of the church. What this tells us is, as you mature, you need the church less.” They didn’t take away from that, they actually were not providing the nutrients that those people needed, even though they actually said in their surveys, “Not deep enough Bible teaching or worship.” Willow Creek concluded from that, “Yep. We’ve gotta make people ‘self-feeders.’” We’ve got to make it where they don’t have to depend on the church, whereas, Jesus said, “Peter, before I go—I know it’s you—I know you can’t handle a lot—I’m asking you to do one thing and do it well. Feed my sheep.”
The one thing Jesus asked the church to do. And Willow Creek says we need to teach people to become self-feeders. That is, at the end of the day, what moralistic therapeutic deism does. When you preach the law as gospel, people can find their own good advice on the internet.