“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feed?

dead sheep - squeletton

The first post in this series will concern itself with the feed that is provided by the shepherd. Feed is important to all living things; and in this case, the better the feed, the healthier, and more capable of survival the sheep. And yet... When we look at what passes for feed in this modern day we see a shocking dearth of decent feed.

The flock today is being fed with junk food which does nothing but put on spiritual fat and make them lazy. Junk food satisfies the immediate craving, but contains few nutrients, and a steady diet leads one to disease and obesity.

In a world where everything is being questioned, from the authority of the Scriptures to the deity of Christ, do people REALLY need 'sermons' (I hesitate to even honor these talks with that title), on sex? Do they really need more information on the import of marriage partners to be sexually intimate with one another? I think not.

But, this certainly brings in some free publicity and will pack the church with people. Heck, if you play your cards right, you will even be invited to the Colbert Show.

But is this what the people of God need? Is this the proper subject for a Sunday Morning Sermon Series; the time when God's people come together to worship Him, the time which should be devoted to God and Him alone?

And, I am not simply singling out this series -- the list of sermon series that have been taught in the church lately are abysmal. I won't do them honor by posting them on this blog. But, the same pastor I mentioned above had a recent sermon series introduced by Hulk Hogan!! And then you have the amazing plagiarism which takes poor, unscriptural sermons and spreads them out amongst all the churches who slavishly follow the 'big guys'.

What people need today is solid, Biblical exposition -- sadly, most people in the church today are Biblically illiterate, but culturally 'relevant' (whatever that may mean to them). Cultural relevance, the way it is displayed in some churches, is meaningless when one gets the big diagnosis, or loses their family or job, or both.

Frankly, 'cultural relevance' is a trojan horse used to hide the lazy, unbiblical self-absorbed rantings of many who want the title of pastor. This form of 'relevance' is foisted upon the church today; yet there is nothing actually culturally relevant about using gutter talk behind the pulpit, or dressing like a fourteen-year-old, or telling people off from behind the pulpit. Rather, these are all symptoms of an increasing narcissism that is infecting the so-called pastors of many churches. Their brand of cultural relevance is nothing more than grass that will wither and dry up. In a few years they will be passe.

Matthew 24:35 -- Heaven and earth will pass away, but my [Jesus']words will not pass away.

Isaiah 40:8 -- The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

The promises of God have carried the people of God through several millenia of persecution, pain and death. That is cultural relevance! The culturally relevant silliness of today cannot even carry one through the week. Let us get back to preaching and teaching the Word of God -- and let us throw out the false shepherds who are doing nothing but fleecing the flock, being so greedy as to even break open their hooves and eat the flesh found within!

3 comments:

Evers said...

Good observations, Ray.

I'll add that out of curiosity I clicked through to the offending church... and struggled (as a fairly web savvy user) to find their sermon archive.

And found myself shaking my head thinking, "The best sermon subjects they can come up with is cheap knockoffs of our corrupt culture?"

Evers said...

I'm curious ... based on some of your statements... how would you evaluate the ministry of Mark Driscoll at present? I find he has remarkable gifts at Biblical insight & exposition; but seemingly poor discernment at how absolutely worldly and narcissistic he appears with his "wit" -- in a way that seems incompatible with the NT requirements of an elder.

Ray said...

I have only heard a few of Mark Driscoll's sermons. I don't find him to be as good as some claim, nor as bad as others claim.

I think that his discernment falls prey to his desire for 'relevancy'.

I don't know Mark personally, and as I stated, I have not listened to many of his sermons, but the bits that I have heard just seem to come across as wanting to be viewed as 'cool'.

Of course, truth be told, if every word I ever spoke was recorded and blogged by hundreds of others, I am sure that there were be plenty to critique.

Bottom line - I don't think that it's proper to be vulgar, or lewd, just because you can.

I am at a church full of people from all walks of life -- from bikers to ex-addicts to the man on the street. And I have never felt the compulsion to be 'cool' by using gutter language to show how 'in touch' I am with the people around me.