HomeBLOGMy analysis of Gateway Seminaries article entitled ‘Breaking out of the Christian subculture,’ written by their President Jeff Lorg
January 5, 2019
My analysis of Gateway Seminaries article entitled ‘Breaking out of the Christian subculture,’ written by their President Jeff Lorg
Admittedly I am not a gifted writer. I err often (grammar, spelling, sentence structure etc.). Sadly I’ve erred in doctrine too. But when I realize it (the doctrine), thankfully the Lord convicts me, and grants me repentance. Furthermore our Theology and Ecclesiology matters, so since this was written by the President of their seminary, and these are Biblical issues; my analysis is appropriately necessary. Though we may not like it. Critical thinking is a necessary component of discernment.
“Discernment is not the difference of knowing Right from Wrong but it is Knowing the difference between Right and Almost Right.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
Recently I saw this article  on my Facebook news feed. It was posted on the Facebook page for the ‘Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention,’ and written by their seminary President Jeff Lorg.
Last October I posted a video of a lady from this same seminary. I was simply distributing Gospel tracts at a heavily populated venue here in Redlands. I hadn’t even began to preach yet, and she opposed my mere handing out tracts. She said I should have friended them first. I’m seeing more of this bad fruit coming from Gateway Seminary. Therefore where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Lorg structured his below article into six paragraphs. Therefore I will do an analysis of each paragraph, in their respective order.
“The longer you serve as a Christian leader, typically the less connected you are with unbelievers. That’s one of the dirty little secrets of Christian leadership. We are supposedly on mission to unbelievers, yet our job requirements isolate us in the Christian community. Being a Christian leader requires personal discipline to avoid the trap of spiritual isolation leading to ghetto mentality – trying to create an alternative community to the secular where we live every day.” – Jeff Lorg
Lorg advised that as a “Christian leader” one of his “job requirements” is to isolate themselves amongst Christians. This is mistake #1. When we look at our callings and commands by the Lord as a “job” or a vocation, we have already miserably failed. In John chapter 10 the Lord Jesus warned that a Good Shepard would be willing to lay down his life for his sheep, that they would be a shepherd not a hireling. If we don’t have that right, then we are not a true “Christian leader,” because a leader leads by example. But at least he called it what it is, “a dirty little secret(s).”
“As leaders, it’s also easy to become locked into a Christian ministry mindset. By this, I mean we naturally think of engaging unbelievers through creating, organizing, and controlling Christian ministries. While many of these are good, they all have a fatal flaw. They depend on unbelievers to engage them – to come to a service, activity, or program to learn about the gospel. Again, while this is a vital and effective model, our definition of cultural impact with the gospel can’t be limited to this singular approach.” – Jeff Lorg
I agree with Lorg admitting that failure to do this is a “fatal flaw.” Because the duty of the church is to go out out into the public realm, and share (or preach) the Gospel with them. Not invite the unsaved wordings to our buildings that we wrongfully call “church.” Today a majority of professing Christians will invite someone to church, and then wrongfully (or cowardly) call that evangelism.
“In 2019, one of my personal goals is to break out of the Christian subculture, doing a much better job of infiltrating my community with the gospel. My podcast for the first two weeks of 2019 will help you accomplish this same goal.” – Jeff Lorg
Lorg has the right idea here. But this should not be a “2019” new year’s resolution. The Lord commanded His church to go, and to be ready in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2). Going out into the world and sharing (or preaching) the glorious Gospel should be a normal every day part of our lives. The anomaly in the church should not be the few that do this. The anomaly should be the few that do not.
“We are not to preach merely to those who come to listen. We must carry the Gospel to where men do not desire it. We should consider it our business to be generously impertinent—thrusting the Gospel into men’s way—whether they will hear or whether they will not.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
“Some time ago, I shared with some ministry leader friends (all effective, committed leaders) about the important of infiltrating the community with the gospel. One guy agreed with the importance of this concept and said, “Let me tell you about a woman in our church who is a good example.” He then told me a story of a woman who had a burden for unwed mothers. She formed a board of local Christian businessmen, created a Christian ministry entity, raised money, rented a house, took in some women, and now has a thriving ministry.” – Jeff Lorg
Again “infiltrating the community with the gospel” is commendable, but I wonder what their “Gospel” message would entail. Would it include the whole counsel of God, both God’s Law and Gospel? Or would they unbiblicaly tell the unsaved world “Jesus loves you”, or that “God has a wonderful plan for your life?” Would it include today’s unbiblical soteriologies?
Regarding this women’s ministry. That sounds like today’s ecumenical pregnancy counselling centers, that offer to “minister” to the mothers after they’ve already killed their babies. Then to add insult to injury, these mothers are erroneously called “victims.”
An unfortunate fact is that some of our best professing Christian families can be effected by the sin of “unwed mothers.” But this is not a sin that we should only respond to in a reactive way, we need to be proactive. In John chapter 4 when Jesus approached the woman at the well, He did not raise money, rent her a house, and take her in (aka the ‘social justice gospel’). No, He called out her sins, and He rebuked her for her sexual immorality. Because the fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God (Eph. 5:5, 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
“My response was, “That’s a great story. I’m glad for the work she is doing. But her story isn’t an example of what I’m talking about. In fact, in many ways, it’s the opposite of what I am proposing.” My friend was surprised and intrigued. I hope you are as well.” – Jeff Lorg
“While it is admirable to create a ministry to reach a group with a need like this, there is another approach to infiltrating the community with the gospel that we seldom promote. Join me on the podcast to learn more about this distinction I am making and what you can do about it.” – Jeff Lorg
I do like Lorg’s use of the word “infiltrate.” The church needs to be more vigilant, more militant, and even scandalous. But not scandalous because of sin, scandalous because of our being salt and light, and being hated by the world (Matt. 5, John 15:18-27).
We should not concentrate on reaching particular people groups with “a special need.” We need to indiscriminately go out along the highways and hedges (Luke 14:23), and share both the Law and Gospel with every creature, upon all four corners of the earth (Mark 16:15).
Yes it’s important that we disciple, train and equip each other within our congregations, and even inside the seminary classroom. But if we’re not getting bloody in the streets (figuratively). If we’re not willing to die for the cause of Christ, then we’re not authentic.
“Christianity – We can do it the easy way, or God’s way!” – John Bunyan
As Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16 ~
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
 Gateway Seminary, “Breaking out the Christian subculture,” https://www.gs.edu/presidents-blog/breaking-out-of-the-christian-subculture/ (Accessed January 3rd, 2019).