Capital Christian pastor leads a new kind of church

From the article here.

‘There’s something going wrong on at Capital Christian Center,’ says the tagline to a story that is sure to make Todd Bentley sycophants jump and shout. It continues, ‘Capital Christian isn’t your grandmother’s church. And Rick Cole isn’t your stereotypical evangelical preacher. The 3,000-seat church, which sits next to Highway 50 just 10 miles east of Midtown, feels more like a theater than a sanctuary. There’s not a cross in sight inside the church, and you won’t find any figures of a crucified Christ or images of bloody crowns of thorns. Two concert-style television screens hang high above the pulpit where you’d expect to see stained-glass windows. You will see trailers of upcoming church events and, depending on which service you attend, hear music beat out by musicians on drums, electric guitars, keyboards and brass.’ I am not one for icons in the Church, however, to completely remove the symbols of Christianity is to remove the image of the Saviour from the thoughts and minds of othe congregation.

The scathing judgments, activist tactics and vitriolic right-wing politics of the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons are giving way to the kinder, gentler centrist leadership of pastors like Rick Warren—author of the mega-bestseller The Purpose Driven Life—and Bill Hybels—who leads the “seeker-sensitive” Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois that incorporates services designed to attract the “unchurched.” They’re Cole’s contemporaries, and he credits them with influencing his thinking.’ What a shame that they see the gospel as judgmental, but doesn’t that say something about their own life? The purpose of the call to repent was to reach the unchurched, but again, this is an example of the human condition in which Man thinks he knows better than God. Further, we read, ‘When writing his sermons, he asks himself: “Does this sound religious?” If so, he tosses it.” So, here is a pastor in supposedly a Christian church, a religion of doctrine and theology, in which Paul the author of Romans, spent years in doctrine and theology – this pastor doesn’t want to sound like Paul, or Peter, or even Christ.

Getting to Cole’s more liberal tendencies (as if he had any other kind), the journalist notes, ‘“This message?” the man responds in astonishment, as the camera pans to the words emblazoned on his T-shirt in dripping letters, as though written in blood: “Sodomy & Hatred Are Sin: Christ Can Set You Free!” “This is a hate message?’. Would Christ be considered a messenger of hate? Did He not say that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword? Just what do you think He intended to do with that sword? Later, Cole these ‘gay-bashers’ ‘enemies’.

Perhaps his change is best indicated in this: “Cole grew frustrated about six years ago. Church attendance had plateaued. ” He sites Joel Osteen as a major influence on how ‘church should be done’. Church? Done?

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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    This cult awareness site has a long ongoing discussion regarding Radiant Life Church in Sacramento. It is very destructive and the senior pastor is being investigated currently. I would ask for your help in bringing about awareness of the dangers involved here. Going to this link will take you to Rick Ross, and is the first page of nearly 100 pages of information on the church.

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