In the modern times in which we live where every body has got the attention span of a gnat it is not surprising to see that many times some pastors opt to dress too casually in t-shirts and jeans to try and emulate popular stand up comedians. Well it actually works…these churches surely get filled up very soon. Most of the churches actually have high turn overs with new faces literally fighting for empty front row seats every week (and an even higher numbers leaving through the back door in search of funnier and more entertaining routines).
Church growth gurus now advocate for “hip and relevant” programmes that are geared to effect maximum entertainment and comedic fun at the expense of discipleship and Bible study. The youth groups are actually not far behind. (Oops! I guess that is the understatement of the generation seeing that its in church youth groups and clubs that the bar is usually lowered to be as permissive as possible to allow as much folly as can be crammed in a short time away from the adults). Aren’t we then surprised when we have Bible illiterate congregations? So are we yet aware where these “comedy wars” will take us?
Alan Redpath had some interesting things to say on this topic:
“God is trying to tell us that our current popular version of Christianity – comfortable, humorous, superficial, entertaining, worldly-wise – is exposed for the irreverent presentation of the Gospel of Christ that it really is. A preacher is commissioned to give people – not what they want – but what they need. No man has any business walking into the pulpit to entertain. He is there to present Calvary in all it’s fullness of hope and glory.”
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I have wanted to read Michael Horton’s Christless Christianity for a long while. Glad to find some one who has read it and made a book review. Thad Bergmeier (Changed by The Gospel) explains….
In summary, Horton provides a scathing rebuke of the American gospel presentation. And this gospel message, which is summarized by Christian Smith’s–Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism–has only been successful because hundreds of thousands of people accept it. It is a gospel about them. It is a gospel to meet their comforts. But it is a gospel without Christ. His main argument in this book is “not that evangelicalism is becoming theologically liberal but that it is becoming theologically vacuous” (23). In case you do not know, vacuous means empty or without content; put in the context of this book, it means that evangelicalism has become without the content of Jesus Christ. In the book, even before he states that purpose, he has a statement that I think adequately represents the book.
“My concern is that we are getting dangerously close to the place in everyday American church life where the bible is mined for ‘relevant’ quotes but is largely irrelevant on its own terms; God is used as a personal source rather than known, worshiped, and trusted; Jesus Christ is a coach with a good game plan for our victory rather than a Savior who has already achieved it for us; salvation is more a matter of having our best life now than being saved from God’s judgment by God himself; and the Holy Spirit is an electrical outlet we can plug into for the power we need to be all that we can be” …Read More!
There is never a quiet day in Evangelicalism. What? With the hordes of mega church pastors there is always one running a web cam of himself in bed on a church roof, another pleading with television executives to show him and his family on reality television or another promoting a dubious sermon series for church celebrities. Just when you thought we have had enough of these endless antics, another was crowned as king and paraded wrapped in a gawdy scroll. I kid you not. These
servants of God pompous stooges will have you entertained at the expense of faithfully preaching the gospel. To the average pagan down the street this is enough fodder to impugn the name of Jesus Christ afterall aren’t pastors already dragging it in the mud? Well…
This week, Bishop Eddie Long, the pastor of suburban Atlanta’s megachurch New Birth Baptist Missionary Church, apologized to the Anti-Defamation League for partaking in a religious ceremony where he was wrapped in the Torah scroll, and paraded around his congregation as a newly appointed king. The Torah scroll in which the Bishop was wrapped was recovered from a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
Bishop Long, however, is no stranger to controversy. Two years ago, he settled out of court for sexual impropriety with four young male accusers, and just recently his wife filed for divorced.
Taken by itself, the degradation of the biblical doctrine where only Jesus Christ is king is nothing less than blasphemous. And, if you are Jewish, the envelopment of a man in such a sacred text could be nothing short of offensive.
But the larger issue here is that men anointed by the church to these positions of power must realize that their public missteps have deeper implications that further impact the relevance of the [church]. Upon reflection, how does this recent incident also suggest that the chains of a one’s ego have a much stronger will over the freeing power of humility? …Read More!
By Team Tominthebox News Network. Full Link here.
New York, New York – Pastors across the country suddenly found themselves in a bit of a predicament this past weekend as Sunday morning quickly approached. The trouble began Saturday afternoon when word began spreading that the Sermon Writers Guild was going on strike on the grounds that they were not being paid enough for their work.
The Sermon Writers Guild has, for the most part, been a secret to the church-going public. Founded in 1977, the organization started out as a small group of theologians and laypersons who were “gifted and creative in the art of preaching” but lacked the charisma necessary to pastor and lead a congregation. When the group was formed they began offering sermon writing services for “witty pastors who lacked scholarly abilities” and who were “less than studious” for a fee of only $20 per sermon. Over the years the guild expanded to over 1500 “ghost preachers” who have written sermons for some of the most famous pastors in the country. Read More
In the heat of the battle the dirty sweat drenched and blood furrowed brow of the commander perks up as he peers at his scanty remnant. He has seen his men put up a fierce resistance. The devastating onslaught has been from all fronts. Menacingly sustained at times. The reserves are running low. The platoon is now surrounded. There is no time to reminisce or sleep. Fatigue and final consumption never felt so close. His muddied badge barely sticks to his bosom while a few pips are clearly missing from his right shoulder. Despite the haggard silhouette there is no mistaking the undiminished authority he still wields. It will be at least a day or two until the 1st Calvary Division would arrive in the eastern skies –if only they would hold on for that long. However if all failed-the platoon had gone through this worst case scenario over and over; the last resort would be to die fighting than be taken in. Read More
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