Archbold Evans Imagine Campaign

Jeremiah 23:16

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.”

King James Version (KJV)

On January 6, 2020, Jesse Kahler the pastor of Evan Church started off the year with a the challenge of using one’s imagination to pray big! He read a children’s book without words to encourage his congregation to have a sanctified imagination. He calls this a vision, a God infused “lets dream.” Jesse also chided some children’s books for hemming in imagination.

But just like John Lennon’s song “Imagine,”  Pastor Kahler’s vision for their church is just as twisted and convoluted as Lennon’s song. (This is a different blog post) 🙂

Jesse also spoke about a trip he and some of the staff took to Houston to have some kind of experience. They wanted to see if the experience would be a powerful thing their church could do. They were listening and experiencing and imagining if this experience would work in their church. There was no clarification of this so called experience, nor was there any scripture to back up their “experience.” How do you know this is what God wants? How does this line up with scripture? Did you compare what you were learning to the Bible? Because NONE of this is biblical.  The Lord cares about obedience not experience.

One of Pastor Kahler’s favorite words to use is lean. “Let’s lean” in, “we are gong to lean in on” or “lean into.” This may not seem like a big deal, but this phrasing is a subtle way of not standing strong on God’s Word. It’s more of a suggestion than a command. During his sermon he stated that, “we are going to be leaning in on imagination when it comes to the things of God.”  I wonder if he even did a bible study on what God has to say about imagination?

The Bible says,

Genesis 6:5 KJV
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 8:21 KJV

And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in hi heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s said; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Deuteronomy 29:19 KJV 

And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst.

Jeremiah 9:14 KJV

But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.

Luke 1:51 KJV

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Here are just a few of the verses about imagination that Jesse did not explain to his flock. He would have been more biblical if he would have encouraged his congregation to do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Instead he miss used Ephesians 3:20-21 to promote his un-biblical type of prayer of using the imagination. He then encourages his congregation to ask God for what they can only imagine. Jesse then speaks for God by saying, “not only is God able, but he wants to do more.”

Using Ephesians 3:20-21 out of context is a gross, misrepresentation of this passage.  If you look to who the Apostle Paul is speaking to, this passage is correctly put into context.  Saint Paul is speaking to the Gentiles.  In Ephesians 2: 14 the Apostle Paul states, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:16-19, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Then Ephesians 2:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that workesth in us, Unto him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This entire passage is about GOD and HIS GLORY, not your wants and desires. The Apostle Paul is praying that the attributes of God would show through in the lives of these Gentile believers, not that God will grant you all your wants and needs.  This passage is about bowing your knee to the Almighty God in obedience out of love for the Lord, not that your imagined prayers would be answered.

Jesse then quotes the bible verse, “your kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven” to support his own vision! This is also taken out of context.

Jesse then goes on to explain how the Apostle Paul became like a 2-6 year old child in his prayer life. Jesse states, “If you pray like this child you say, I don’t want the $5 Lego set, I want the $50 Lego set! These types of prayers are superlative prayers, imagined things.” This in not how the Apostle Paul prayed.  God is not some cosmic genie that is going to grant your every wish. What Jesse DID NOT say is that we are ALWAYS to pray for GOD’S WILL, not what we want. Jesus prayed and said, “not my will but your will be done,” to His Heavenly Father. “Your kingdom come your will be done!” The Bible is very clear that we are always to pray for God’s will.  And yes we are to pray about everything!!

Jesse also alluded that one of the parishioners would not have been healed if they did not pray for him. This is just absurd, God is sovereign and the glory should go to God for healing this man, not to the people who prayed for him. God always answers prayers sometimes it’s yes, no, or wait.  So praise the Lord that he was healed!!!

Jesse NEVER explained why we pray to the Lord and how it should be done in a biblical way.

My prayer is that the people who attend this church would read their Bibles and see if what is being said is true according to God’s Word. Be a Berean.

Archbold Evan is more of an Seeker Sensitive Church, than a biblical church and it’s sad to see how pragmatic the church is. They seem to care more about THEIR vision than God’s Word. It’s a scary thing to be under such un-biblical teaching and to be going against God’s Word. There are many people who will not enter the narrow way, they think they are saved but they will be in Hell, because they put their trust in a person, church, experience, an emotional feeling, a creed, a baptism, a confirmation class, etc… and say they are going to Heaven when the reality is they did not trust in Christ alone for their salvation.  They never examined themselves to see if they were in the faith, they are not a doer of the Word of God.

Here is an article about the Seeker Sensitive Church.  Much of what is described in this article fits Archbold Evangelical churches model.

I Did it My Way

1 John 2:15-17  

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

As I look across the landscape of Chrisitanity I can’t help but think, “what in the world is going on!??”  So many professing Christians have become enamoured with themselves.  They attend chruches that make them feel good.  The lights are dimmed and the stage is set for a performance instead of a sermon. Many church’s have gotten rid of their pulpits and pews. The church has become a mall type building complete with a coffee bar, a indoor playgrounds, and the sanctuary can become a gym for your recreational needs, complete with basketball hoops and soccer nets.  The sanctuary is no longer a holy ground, to which the God of the Bible is worshipped. Don’t get me wrong none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but where in the Bible is this type of chruch building supported?  Other chruches have become like the YMCA or a community center instead of a place that the saints meet to worship God.  Pastors are dressed in their casual clothing as if this is just another place to “chill.”  I just find this so cavaliar and irreverent.  Like wise this is how worshipping THE KING has become.  Cavalier and casual.  The chruch has started to worship emotionalism and pragmatism, convincing itself if they just sound sencere then they will convince people they are Christians, even if they look and act like the world.  No where in scripture does God tell us to be like the world and to follow our heart. 

The church reminds me of that old Frank Sinatra Song…. “I Did It My Way”