Archive for May 14th, 2008

bottleRemember in scripture where it tells us that God will provide holy men to feed the lowly spiritual peons. And that when the spiritual peons are spiritually hungry, they are to go to the holy man, the one who can truly fill them up. But, if the spiritual peaons are not getting spiritually fed (whatever that means), then it is the fault of the holy man. mmm… that passage really spoke to me.

I find it really hard to believe that people still believe this stuff. I mean, that should have flown at the window when Luther presented the biblical idea of the priesthood of beleivers. When most people say that they are not getting fed, it usually doesn’t mean that their souls are suffering due to what is happening at church. It usually means that they just want more theology taught to them from a hired holy man, to hide the fact that they really don’t have an actual relationship with the living God. Really what we have created is a spiritual consumer culture. I come. I get fed. I leave. If my spiritual life isn’t vibrant, it must be because the man who has the seminary degree isn’t feeding me right.

I am absolutely disgusted with what we have created — an obese community of beleivers. We have so much knowledge of God, so many resources available to us, and so many freedoms to pursue our faith… but we still cry out “FEED ME!” to those who have studied the exegesis of Hebrew and Greek texts (and I graduate on Friday with one of those degrees, so I can say that). AS if they have some magic spiritual food that will make everyone full. What we need is pastors who don’t see it as their job to feed people. We need pastors who make a living out of making people HUNGRY enough for God, that they go on a relentless pursuit of Him.

And for the last time… where in scripture does it say that exegetical preaching is going to save the world?

by the way, if you haven’t checked out this blog, you absolutely MUST!

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In a recent post by “the editor” was titled “Rick Warren’s Methods are causing Decline in SBC.”

I thought to myself, “wow, that is amazing! I would really enjoy reading the research to show that Rick Warren is single handedly taking down the Souther Baptist Convention. I mean, we know that the SBC (and every other denomination) is in decline right now, and we finally have the answer! Grab your pitch forks, torches and keyboards!”

Alas, I was disappointed. The article only held a quote from Paige Patterson that said this

Weak preaching and cultural adaptability are just two of many reasons Southern Baptists give to explain the decline of membership and baptisms.

Really? I mean, REALLY? This guy is the president of my convention!?! Every summer I make my way through East Texas, visiting family members that live in small towns in the beautiful backwoods of the lone-star-state. And, every Sunday I attend First Baptist in whatever city I happen to be in. Sadly, I have watched these churched decline dramatically in the past 20 years of my life. And it is the same all over the US. But guess what — these church have about as strong of biblical preaching as you can hear, and their pews are about as counter cultural as you can get. Yet they are all still in decline!

So, we can say that it’s the new preaching and the new seating that has us in decline –yeah, that’s it (committees mumble “here here” and “ho hum” in agreement). Or we can look that logical reasons. Maybe we could address the fact that we love our turn of the century cultural practices more than we love people. Maybe we could address the fact that being a Christian means that we live in a safe and sound bubble of Christian music, Christian radio, Christian coffee shops, and Christian diet programs, rather than engage the world. Maybe we could address the fact that “mission” is a word that only happens by a few in foreign lands. Or we could blame it one the preaching and pews (as if we didn’t have enough of it). Just a a thought for the morning.

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