Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wow, I'm glad I didn't step in it.

If you attended a form of the Church As We Know It today, may I ask what the topic of the sermon was about? Or rather, what was the tone of the topic? The further away I move from the Church As We Know It, the more I am struck by how negative are the ideas that get dispensed. As I listened to my porn station on the radio while driving one day last week, it dawned on me that every single message handed out during the short time I listened was negative in nature. Each preacher seemed to feel the need to remind us of how evil our culture is, how anti-family the democrats really are, how to keep teens off drugs and in church, how to not say bad words, how to not be in debt, how to not be influenced by movies and music. One guy bashed himself constantly against his sermon topic, reminding his audience that he struggles with this particular issue over and over again and is just another sinner saved by grace and that’s all any of us ever are and we shouldn’t expect anything more and God help us and be patient with us and forgive us and we are the problem and we are just all bad people, and lets bow for prayer….Whew! Not very inspiring. Future Pastor, if you are going to lead the Church of the Future, you have to change your orientation toward what it means to be a new creation. If we are in Christ, we are a new creature. I take that truth to mean that we really are new, brand new. Therefore, we can act like it. This also means you need to treat people like they are new. Expect them to do good, not evil. Act like they have the capacity now to know right from wrong. Trust them to be inclined toward the Spirit. The more you do this, the more they will believe it. The average leader in the Church As We Know It looks out from his pulpit at his audience and seems to think that these people are all about two minutes away from spiritual oblivion. This explains the tone of the sermon you heard this morning. The pastor doesn’t believe you are a new creation because he doesn’t believe it personally. My dad always used the old term, "He don’t know shit from Shinola." This is true of too many leaders in the Church As We Know It. It sounds harsh, but I really believe it is that simple. Future Pastor, the more you acquaint yourself with all things good and free, you increase the distance between what is good for you and what is detrimental. Then you won't need to spend so much time teaching people what is shit and what is Shinola.

1 comment:

glenn said...

I was thinking about how Jesus used condemnation and inspiration. Seems like he "comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable." Is following him about not doing certain things (sinning less) or is it doing what he did (aspiring to be like him)? Which emphasis ultimately works better for changing those negative habits that we struggle with? Here's to promoting a little positive holiness!

Wow, I hadn't heard that expression for years. Maybe it is because most people don't polish their shoes anymore.