Friday, May 4, 2012

WHAT CHRISTIANS BELIEVE ABOUT....PART ONE

I AM NOT PARTISAN
By "partisan", I mean that am a straight shooter. I call it like it is. As with any other theology that is suspect, I want to be as honest as I can when I critique a particular, sermon, doctrine, or practice of The Crossing church.  The purpose of my blog is to examine the teachings and practices of a controversial church, The Crossing, in light of the Bible; does The Crossing uphold what the Scriptures teach or do they not? My blog does not exist to just blindly shoot holes through The Crossing church uncritically, arguing a popular position if the teachings and practices I am critiquing are biblically justified. I want to uphold Truth, and rejoice when Truth is preached. In other words, I don't take sides.

WHAT CHRISTIANS BELIEVE ABOUT ...BLOOD, THE CROSS, THE GUY WHO DIED ON IT; WHY DOES IT MATTER?
 Now that I have clearly stated the intent of my blog, I want to give praise when praise is due. I just got done watching the April 5th Easter sermon preached by Crossing Church pastor Eric Dykstra called, "What Christians Believe About...Blood, the Cross, The Guy who Died on it; Why Does it Matter?". This was actually a great sermon! It marks the first time I have ever listened to a Crossing Church sermon by Eric Dykstra and heard the Gospel message clearly proclaimed throughout the entire sermon, and in that I rejoice!

ERIC DYKSTRA IS GIFTED...
....I don't think anyone can deny that. Eric Dykstra has an IQ. He has a unique, frantic style in the pulpit, with all four limbs flailing away accentuated by his shrill, expressive voice. Eric uses his gifts to clearly communicates his message in way that is shockingly funny and demonstrative. Has he always done this in the past? Yes. It is the way the good Lord made him. Has he always communicated biblical Truth in the past throughout his whole sermon? All prior sermons I have listened to he has not, and I admit, I haven't listened to all of them. Did Eric Dykstra clearly communicate biblical Truth, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in his April 5th sermon? Yes!

CONTENT....
The biblical text Eric Dykstra used for his sermon was Isaiah 53; a very apt selection, given the Christocentric nature of this famous passage of scripture and the fact that it was an Easter sermon. I applaud the fact that Eric read the text, stuck to the text, and did not take the text out of context. As stated earlier, his preaching style was and is unconventional, [My pastor Bob Glenn of Redeemer Bible Church is equally dynamic] but is it unbiblical? No. I understand his method of contextualization, that is, understanding his target audience, knowing where they are at in their lives, and explaining the Scriptures in a way that makes it easier for them to understand according to their customary way of approaching spiritual matters.The Apostle Paul did this, and he is certainly someone we are commanded to emulate.

SIN
Overall, I thought Eric communicated the doctrine of sin in a way that his audience could understand. He didn't give a full exposition on the doctrine of sin, and I would have liked to hear him explain sin in the context of "lawlessness', as in [1JOHN 3:4] , that is, explicitly breaking God's laws incurring actual guilt in God's court. But overall, I thought he got the point across to his audience.

THE CROSS
Again, Eric is to be applauded for a very good exposition of the cross. The doctrine of imputation of our sins to Christ was clear, concise, and memorable. 

FAITH 
"Justification By Faith Alone" was the clarion call of the Reformers. The Bible is clear that we are justified, that is, acquitted in God's court, by faith alone, apart from works. And Eric Dykstra nailed it with beautiful simplicity citing the Apostle Paul in Romans 10: 9, 

"if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved".
That's pure Gospel gold! 

CONCLUSION
There were a few minor problems, but I don't really want to get into them. I am just grateful the Gospel of Jesus Christ was clearly preached at The Crossing. By comparing my critique of Dykstra's April 5th sermon today juxtaposed with my last post about the demonic nature of false religions and philosophies, it would appear as if I am going to go join The Crossing church. Well, no, that is not the case. A single solid sermon from a controversial church does not necessarily indicate a trend away from heresy. I'll still be keeping my watchful eye on The Crossing. I intend to go through this entire sermon series as it rolls out over the next few weeks. I have a few sermons to catch up on, bu hopefully I can get caught up in a couple weeks. But you can count on biblical objectivity from me.
  
THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONCLUSION...
...ending on a positive note, favorable to Eric Dykstra and The Crossing church, if I were an unbeliever who was invited to The Crossing and heard the message Eric Dykstra preached on April 5th, was there enough Gospel Truth in his message to be saved? My answer, Yes, abundantly! And I praise the Lord for that! 




      
 

3 comments:

  1. HI, I found your blog about a year ago through One Mothers Journey. My husband and I had been attending the Crossing Church on and off for several months, I wasn't content with that church but I was desperate to find a place where I could settle in and connect with God again. I was willing to try even if it meant I had get busy and serve the church, thinking I would be fed the truth somewhere along the way. Maybe I just needed to take my eyes off myself. I can hardly believe we were nearly sucked in. I heard from a friend at work about the issues the curch ahd been having. I listened to Cris Rosebroughs talk he did in Elk River...It changed everything. I finally realized God and the truth were still there!! Now my husband and I listen to Fighting For the Faith fairly often, I have also found The White Horse Inn, Ligonier, Tullian..It's a whole new world. It's like the Bible makes sense again and even more so than ever before. We are still looking for a church though. Listening to sermon after sermon checking different websites etc. I am tempted to move to Florida and go to Tullian's church!! Anyway, sorry so long. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. Thanks for your response. You could always try my church home, Redeemer Bible Church in Minnetonka. Just look for the link on my blog side bar. "Solid Food Media" is the preaching archives available; that too is on the side bar. It might be a long drive for you, but then, when solid, Bible-based churches are as rare as an oasis in the desert, it might be worth a try. I would be glad to meet up with you if you and your husband are willing to give it a shot. The preaching is on par with Sproul, Tullian, etc. Praise the Lord that the efforts of my blog are not in vain!

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  3. anonymous Crossing guyJune 13, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    Hi Casey. Thanks for being honest when you felt the gospel was preached faithfully at the Crossing.

    I have attended the Crossing since September of 2009 and been a consistent volunteer since October. I do believe the church is true to the gospel and is preaching Christ faithfully and appropriately. I see a solid, conservative southern baptist foundation beneath all of the high production value stuff and the other bells and whistles designed to attract 30-something, mcdonald's eating, harley riding american men and their familes. It's a good mix for "thrilling believers with the truths of an awe-inspiring God" and "moving seekers one step closer to a real relationship with Jesus". It's not for everyone, but I am learning, being discipled, and helping others with my time and talents. It's an outstanding church home for my family and I.

    You said: "I intend to go through this entire sermon series as it rolls out over the next few weeks." Just so you know - this is a 20 week series. You'll have a lot of listening and critiquing to do if you want to cover it all!

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