Everybody wants results but nobody wants to do what they have to do to get them done.
In ministry, you often encounter pragmatism as the motivation for doing things. If it works or gets results, you can't or shouldn't criticize it. In fact, you should probably do it as well ... if you really love Jesus.
This is particularly popular with regard to some sort of activity, event, or spectacle which draws a crowd whereby people are exposed to the Gospel. Surely, we want people to hear the Gospel, if we love Jesus, so whatever gets them in the door or within earshot is "all good."
I came across this via one of my former SWBTS students. (HT Aaron Landis) This was part of the services yesterday at NewSpring Church.
There were criticisms, of course. For example, one comment on the video said:
"Not only is this inappropriate for church, it's mediocre talent. Leave this music to the real pagans. Please don't let these wanna-be pagans do stuff like this anymore."True, he's no Brian Johnson and that's not Angus Young, but the hat & Harley t-shirt and school boy uniform would have added to the effect.
Yet, one of those in favor of this approach commented:
"This mediocre talent participated in hundreds of people giving there life to Christ in the last two days. What did you accomplish this weekend? With that kind of attitude I doubt you've ever led anyone to Christ. The person who was sitting next to my wife was cheering when they played it. 30 mins latter he was balling as he gave his life to God. Go tell him this sucked! While you're at it. Tell Jesus that it wasn't worth it."
Surely there's a line one should not cross while pursuing noble goals. Right? What's the line? Do you just know it when you see it?
Topless women as greeters might draw a bigger crowd to hear about Jesus, but that's unchartered waters ... for now. I think for most the ends DO justify the means, so that the means might even be perceived as wrong, sinful, or at least inappropriate ... on their own, but for the noble cause, tolerated, heralded, and imitated.
Admittedly, my line is probably further back than than for most, but I fear many buy into the pragmatism prior to establishing a line of their own. In the noble desire to see results, the line is crossed perhaps unaware. You have to respect the line.