Sunday, June 21, 2015

Maybe The Theologically Worst Tweet Ever

I saw this from C.J. Mahaney:

If there was ever a statement that fed into the clergy-centric, event driven style of institutionalized church that has led to generations of Christians, millions strong, who see the faith as an event to attend and a passive, observation based life, this is it. Here we have a statement that is not only Biblically indefensible (there were no monologue sermons ever described or commanded in the New Testament) but also incredibly prideful (sitting in silence and listening to a sermon is the highlight of the Christian life?). Is it any wonder that so many of us sit around all week doing none of the things we are actually called to do in Scripture while waiting for the next Sunday to roll around? Is it any wonder that we have "superstar pastors" who surround themselves with sycophants and think they are above the little people in the pews and sometimes above the law? Is it any wonder we have so many clergy who are depressed when our professional religious culture places this much emphasis on a 45 minute talk that invariably is not able to meet this standard? Is it any wonder that people who are looking for something transcendent instead are invited to come to church to hear this all important sermon and leave looking for something else? Is it any wonder that there is a mass exodus of Christians from organized religion, sick to death of the ego driven model we see on display here?

Pastor, if your ego is so self-inflated that you think that your talk on Sunday is the most important moment in the life of a Christian, more important than a father taking a moment to talk to their child about Christ or more important than reading the Scriptures or praying or more important than a husband showing his love for his wife or a Christian visiting a widow or a Christian giving food to the poor or a Christian sharing the Gospel with their neighbor, then you sir are a proud man filled with a demonic level of pride. I can think of innumerable ways a Christian serves God in meaningful ways in a given week and none of them happen while sitting in a pew, surreptitiously looking at the clock to see how much longer the sermon is going to last.

Christianity is a faith centered around a Person, not "the preaching event in the local church". It is a life to live, not an event to attend. I don't care how many academic accolades you have or how many people endorse and buy your books or which fancy conferences you speak at or how many people show up to listen to your "preaching event", if this is your mindset then you haven't a clue what it means to live the Christian life and you probably have no business being an elder in the church.

4 comments:

Elvis A said...

I am so glad you have tackled this issue. You have done so consistently but given the current fadaholism in Christian circles it is important to expose it as you have done. One can tell that your interpretation is an effort to draw people closer to God and not some other secondary issue. To Him be the glory and may God continue to bless your mind.

dle said...

You just smacked down every major Reformed voice on the Web, because what Mahaney tweeted is universally upheld by them. I doubt you'd find a dissenting voice.

Aussie John said...

Arthur,

Proverbs 16:22 "Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly".

Arthur Sido said...

Dan, I am 100% sure that anyone in the Reformed blogosphere would wholeheartedly agree with Mahaney.

Elvis, thanks for the word of encouragement!