Joiepirkey's Weblog

A Word in Due Season

WEMI going Seeker Sensitive?

Hey guys~
I got a chat yesterday from a local pastor informing me that WEMI radio station in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin, USA was saying on the air that they were changing their logo of the cross and taking the word Christian out of their name. I only had a second and wanted to see if anyone else had heard the news so I quickly posted: “WEMI goes Emergent? Seeker Sensitive? Washing the cross off their logo? For real? Wanting to know what’s up with that…” and then in the comment section I wrote:

what I heard and could not confirm was that on the radio today they (WEMI) announced that they were taking the word Christian out of their name and going with Family Radio and taking the cross out of their logo. But again, I couldn’t confirm on their web site. Did anyone else hear this? And why? It feels like denying Christ. Hmmm I need to think about this one and also hear their side.
Wednesday at 3:07pm · Like

A bunch of folks posted and then today I recieved this mass message from Paul Cameron, the GM of WEMI:

Paul Cameron April 15 at 12:03pm Report
Dear Face book Friends;

I’m writing in response to recent postings concerning Christian Family Radio.

The post read: “WEMI goes Emergent? Seeker Sensitive? Washing the cross off their logo? For real? Wanting to know what’s up with that…”

First, we ABSOLUTELY have not backed away from our Christian beliefs or mission. We are not emergent or seeker sensitive. We’ve changed our name, but not our mission. Our vision, mission and foundational principles as approved by our board of directors remains the same.

Vision-Evangel Ministries Inc. serves to educate, encourage and preserve the family through a contemporary and versatile communications platform.

Our Mission: Helping families build healthy relationships.

Foundational Principles:

1. We will advocate and protect the ideals of the traditional family as it is defined and established in the Holy Bible.
2. We believe that truly healthy relationships can only be attained through a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. We will feed the souls of individual family members by offering a daily diet of the Gospel in a variety of compelling ways.
4. The context and content of all our offerings will intentionally and unapologetically be presented from a Christian world view.

Our desire is to do more than ever before in these last days to help lead more souls to Christ. That’s why we became so excited when, after two years of research and survey results from seven hundred listeners and seven hundred non-listeners, we saw that there were so many people within our broadcast areas who are searching for the very thing Christ offers, we just needed to give them a reason to see what we have by focusing on what they are most focused on — family. In much the same way that Focus on the Family uses the family as a platform and Family Life Today uses family and marriage as a platform, though the word “Christian” isn’t in their names and the cross isn’t located anywhere in their logo or marketing materials, they clearly are Christian organizations intent on sharing biblical principles for living life today. As are we.

I want to make it perfectly clear, the cross is still in our logo. In fact, we’re highlighting it in just about every piece we have going out in ways we never did before — again, we are in no way ashamed of Jesus Christ, we’re ready to shout it from the hilltops. We absolutely are in no way, shape or form embracing the emergent church or other movements out there pretending to be Christian and hiding behind a “tolerance” label. Please review our foundational principles again—the context and content of ALL our offerings will UNAPOLOGETICLLY be presented from a Christian world view.

While some have raised the issue of Jim Wallis and Lifest, let me assure you that we did not “support” Jim Wallis by any stretch, but rather chose not to boycott Lifest when that whole issue arose. We did meet with the Lifest organizers prior to the event to express our concerns and we joined with several organizations to work to alleviate future issues along these lines. Following the event I met with Bob Lenz one-on-one and know that he, too, fully understands the position of our ministry. Believe me, we will be very caution about researching future keynote speakers, something we shared with Bob. As Christians, we are called to sharpen each other and help keep each other on the narrow path. That was the direction we chose to walk with Lifest during the Wallis controversy. Please do not interpret that to mean we “supported” Jim Wallis.

There have been some on air staff changes, but no staff member left as a result of this change. Patty Ulrich has been looking to retire from full time work and continue just as Aunt Patty and our Interview Coordinator. Scott Juve, who had hosted the Going Home show for seventeen years, asked for a change and is now on air from 10a to 3p. Plus, Duane Matz moves from evening host to the 3p-6p Going Home show. These changes would have been made regardless of our name change. We are united and excited as a staff to begin this new ministry emphasis, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that it is God-led. Our board, our leadership team and our staff have prayed extensively, seeking God’s wisdom and direction. It’s true, any change is a bit scary, but knowing God is in control has been incredibly heartening and empowering as we implement these changes and see what God will do with it. We are likewise encouraged by the passion and commitment of our listeners and supporters and invite you to join us in this journey.

WE WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE the opportunity to come out and speak to groups who have expressed concern to share with them the long, prayer filled journey we took to get to this place. We welcome your questions, as we are not backing away from anything or hiding anything. Give us a time, location and group and we’ll be there. We are convinced this has been God led, God ordained and God focused, as we took so much time and so much prayer and sought so much clarification throughout the whole 3 year process to get to this point.

Again, thank you for your questions—keep them coming! We welcome your involvement, after all, it’s as much your ministry as ours!

Yours in Christ

Paul Cameron and the Christian Family Radio team.

__________________________________________________

I found this to be odd being that Mr. Cameron is not my friend on facebook, but my wall is open to the public so I am cool with his response. Back to his message I wrote this:

Paul~
Joie Pirkey April 15 at 1:17pm
In your post above you write:
“First, we ABSOLUTELY have not backed away from our Christian beliefs or mission.” But can you see how people will think when they see you backing away from the name of “Christian”?

Then you write:
“That’s why we became so excited when, after two years of research and survey results from seven hundred listeners and seven hundred non-listeners, we saw that there were so many people within our broadcast areas who are searching for the very thing Christ offers, we just needed to give them a reason to see what we have by focusing on what they are most focused on — family.”
On family and not on Jesus? You say they are searching for the very thing Christ offers? Surely you can see they need Christ himself not the things He offers? And you are saying that God led you to this new focus? Away from Christ onto Family?

“Please review our foundational principles again—the context and content of ALL our offerings will UNAPOLOGETICLLY be presented from a Christian world view. ” and yet you are removing the title Christian from your name, why is that then? Because you haven’t said in your post here. And I find it to be very important.

Regarding the Wallis issue that you also brought up, I find it odd that you would not take a stand when Wallis was well exposed before Lifest occurred last year and also that you say you did not support him and yet you ran adds for his event. You say in your post, “While some have raised the issue of Jim Wallis and Lifest, let me assure you that we did not “support” Jim Wallis by any stretch, but rather chose not to boycott Lifest when that whole issue arose. ” and yet in your official letter in response to the Wallis issued at the time you wrote: “At this meeting I saw firsthand the passion Bob has for reaching out with the love of Christ to all ages and the conversation about the situation was very candid. Bob had spent 3 days with Jim Wallis before ever even considering inviting him to speak. He saw firsthand his passion for the lost and the hurting. I can also say that we all agreed that the message that Jim Wallis is bringing is one the church needs to hear and to respond to and that is the churches responsibility for the poor. Like others at the meeting, I do not agree with all of his politics, or even some of his non-essential theology, but his message is one that the church desperately needs to hear. ” Just seems that you are walking a very fine line and because of this careful footing I am asking why? What is motivating your choices?

I ask if you are going Seeker Sensitive because by the definition in the Christian Examiner, “A “seeker-sensitive” church (or ministry) is a church whose main purpose is to try to make the church look more attractive to unbelievers.” and then goes on to state, “In a seeker-sensitive church the influence that is brought in is about meeting one’s emotional or “felt” needs rather than preaching the gospel. In fact, the gospel is often paraphrased as an answer for those relational or marital problems, for the angry or the depressed. It is used as a cure for the basic physiological distress rather than teaching the good news of salvation and God’s forgiveness of our sins.” I would say that would be very similar to your assertion of, “…who are searching for the very thing Christ offers, we just needed to give them a reason to see what we have by focusing on what they are most focused on — family”

The problem here is not simply in the logo and the name change but is in the thinking that seems to be driving your direction. I am deeply concerned that it is not God directing these changes but Post Modern Thinking; the same ideology that moves Wallis into his Social Justice or Christ the Rock into the Insider Movement.

Here is a quote from Ross Rohde’s publication, Practical Considerations for Postmodern Sensitive Churches–A follow up to “The Gospel and Postmodernism”, he lists what he believes are the behavioral characteristics of the Postmodern person. These are the top three:
1.) I’m looking for a truth that works for me.
2.) I can only try to see life from my own perspective; reality is too complex to understand it all.
3.) I’m interested in the values of my group and my community.

So many people seeking God with out the cross are engulfed in this kind of thinking. The majority of educated people especially. Those with the most money. To get at some of that wealth churches and ministries need to scrub off the true cross bearing Christianity that offends those who think in Post Modern philosophies. What you are doing Paul, and what you are saying seem so much like this movement and I am concerned. Concerned enough to make a post like I did, concerned enough to research and pray and educate the Body about this dangerous thinking. So I ask you in all love and humility, are you being moved by the Holy Spirit in these changes or are you being driven by a marketing ploy that can easily see where the money lies?

What the world really needs is undaunted evangelists sharing the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, proud to wear His name,His marks, and His cross while making Him disciples. Let us all strive to obey so well…

I will be praying for your ministry and for the Valley,
Joie Pirkey
Shouts of Joy Ministries

Here is the logo change. The GM of WEMI has written to me, via an email out to supporters, and corrected me in saying that WEMI had kept the cross in the logo. He was referring to the “t” in the word the. Being that the t is the same font and size of the t in the text used for the rest of the wording I am simply not seeing it as a cross. But if you switch up your perspective it could be seen as a cross. However, just not feeling the “light on a hill” here.

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April 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments