17 August, 2007

Pensacola Christian College Trains "Missionaries to Mega-Churches"

Note: Some of the names of people in this article have been changed to protect their identities.

Memphis, Tn - It is a typical Sunday morning for a man we will call John. He wakes up early, spends some time reading his Bible over a cup of coffee, prays, and then gets ready to go to church. Only for John, "going to church" doesn't mean the same thing as it does for everyone else who will be going there on this Sunday morning. About a year ago John joined a rather well known and a rather large Southern Baptist church in the Memphis area, but for John the decision to join had little if nothing to do with his desire to fellowship with other Christians and grow spiritually. For John joining the church had everything to do with evangelism and missions, evangelism and missions not outside of the church to the community, but inside of the church to its members.

"Years ago I felt the call" stated John. "As I entered P.C.C. years ago I met new friends, many of whom felt the call to missions. Some of my friends went on to Africa, others to South America. I began to feel a burden for all of those lost souls out there that attend these liberal, apostate Baptist churches out there, you know the ones that use guitars in worship and don't believe in the King James Bible. There's no way that most these people can be saved. They need to hear the gospel."

John is part of a larger plan of action conceived by P.C.C. over a decade ago. The plan involves training men and women to be secret missionaries to "mega churches" throughout the United States. Students are trained to learn how to become involved in the churches, how not to appear offended with the New International Version is read, how to endure contemporary music, and other liberal tendencies.

"If the student follows his or her training well, no one will even know why he or she is there at the church" stated Dr. Michael Keaton, head of the Biblical Studies department at P.C.C. "Their goal is to get involved and to, as quickly as possible, gain a teaching position so that they can spread the true gospel throughout the so-called church."

"So far it's been a tough go" stated John. "It's very difficult attending Sunday after Sunday and having to put up with all of that mess that's passing off as the 'gospel.' I'll never forget the first time that they started playing those drums during the worship service. My heart just sank. I started praying for all of those some 10,000 lost souls around me. Then the preacher opened up his Bible and started reading from the NIV. It was all I could do to keep my composure. Then one day in Sunday School the teacher used an example from some movie called Lord of the Rings. I just closed my eyes and prayed for his lost soul."

John eventually hopes to work his way into being able to teach a Sunday School class in the future.

"I've made a lot of acquaintances" he stated. "There are some nice enough people, but they're just lost as a goose. But I've volunteered with a lot of church activities like soup kitchens, fixing up people's houses and stuff like that. I've also volunteered to teach some children's Sunday School, and have been put on an alternates list."

As it turns out John is not the only "missionary" that is working in the church.

"There are 60 of us here at this one particular church" he stated. "We all know each other behind the scenes, but we play it down in church. Each of us has the same goal, to truly bring this gospel to this church and see it become a shining example of Independent Fundamentalism for the future."


Anonymous said...

This might be funny if it didn't parallel real life so well.

I will soon be an "m" to "C" and it amazes me how much effort we spend evangelizing people who have heard the gospel many times (here in the US) when there are milliions of people that have not even heard the name Jesus.

The church should be putting North American missionaries out of business (so to speak)IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Amen! So there are others who feel the need to reform these so-called "churches" with their loud music and NIV Bibles! For shame! And how dare anyone watch movies!! (Unless approved by the college...afterall, they should be the judges of what is appropriate and inappropriate. It has nothing to do with your relationship with the Lord and conviction!)

Good stuff as usual, Tom! I enjoyed my alma mater, but there were some things I just couldn't understand. This blog hits a few of those areas right on the head!

Al said...

As a resident of Pensacola I truly appreciate this piece. I don't know if this was part of your intent but I think one of the problems with PCC is that it gets confused... It has come to think that it is the church. The college tells the students where they can go to church. If you get kicked out of school does that mean you cannot attend church there? No wine, no dancing and by all means no Calvinism.

Very funny.

al sends

Anonymous said...

Oh, woe is me! I'm an unrepentant, NASB heretic!

My church does have a "loud music & drums" program and a more classically-oriented one, too. (I'll get Bach to you on which one I prefer.)

Calvinism? Isn't that a phrase or a word like "transmogrify"?

Anonymous said...

No doubt our churches by and large need reforming, but I wouldn't start with guitars and Bible translations. That would probably be around #'s 7 & 8 on the list.

jul said...

Haha...quite funny. I do have to say that Galatians 2:4 came to mind though: "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves."

I don't know who is in the more dangerous boat, the church members or the 'missionaries'!

Anonymous said...

Someone should send missionary's to the Campus Church and teach that drums don't send people to hell, people who reject God go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Love it! As a Pensacola resident and friend of several graduates, this is far too funny for words. These people banned The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because it used the word "hell." How do they expect to function in the real world?!

But, in response to the first comment, while there are many in other nations who have not heard the gospel, even millions upon millions, do we not need to examine ourselves? Our church is a theological shambles in America. The churches of Africa and China, though they may be somewhat outnumbered (which is also in doubt), are certainly more passionate about Jesus Christ than most churches in America. Look at the news. Our culture is dying. If there is to be an America in two hundred years, the church needs to get itself in line. Should we have missions? Of course. But should we not also have a passion for reformation in the church, for bringing the church in our nation closer and closer to Christ? We must.

Terry Lange said...

Seems to me like this is practicing deception but not being totally honest about one's intentions when joining a church. Wouldn't they be lying if they said that they agreed with the church and in reality they did not?

If this were practiced in the same manner by a cult, then there would be an uproar about it.

PCC needs to re-think what they say and what they are doing. Just because someone plays a guitar and uses an NIV does not mean they are liberal, apostate, or even unsaved.

Ganesh Totaganti said...

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