I found this video on YouTube via Jonny Baker’s blog. The link was retweeted numerous times by my friends on Twitter with comments such as “This is the best sermon I ever heard and this guy isn’t even a Christian.”
Have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOqycchC8Hc Warning: Contains some course language.
While I wouldn’t say the content is as relevant for Australian Christians as for those of the American Evangelical variety, it does reflect a sadly growing trend here.
It raises another question that needs to be asked: What ARE we known as in the broader community? Crackpots? Lunatics? Or do they see us as simply poorly-informed, ignorant people?
Or . . . are we the exception who dare to see God at work amongst every person we meet, every situation we encounter, and jump at the chance to join God in this work?
* * * * *
I downloaded a podcast this week from a nearby church. Call it curiosity. I have seen the church advertised and know a few who attend it, and I wanted to see what it was all about.
Listening, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the statements that were being made. In all, only two verses were quoted, yet numerous times the pastor declared, “God says” or “The Bible says.”
He was speaking about worldviews and how we ought to have a Christian and Biblical worldview as opposed to a worldview that didn’t acknowledge God. It seemed to me that he was, first of all, preaching to the choir based on the sometimes wild response from the congregation.
It also appeared that he was presenting a partial, incomplete (and uninformed) perspective which was black-and-white, right-and-wrong, truth-or-lie. There was not, in his opinion, any room for a worldview that acknowledged God yet also respected latest scientific advances in the areas of evolutionary theory and the makeup of the universe. After all, he assured his listeners, increasing numbers of scientists are turning to accepting a literal six-day creation and, likewise, there is a trend of growth in the numbers of atheists turning to a belief in God.
I haven’t seen this. In fact, my experience seems to be the opposite. I don’t know where he got his information, but it was certainly what the congregation wanted to hear.
And this brought to mind another verse which (surprisingly) is used by many to warn people like me against listening to supposed “heretics:”
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3 NIV)
Judging by the “Amens” and “That’s rights” I heard throughout the sermon, I’m wondering . . . Who has the itching ears? Could it be that those under the teaching of this man could simply be looking for validation for their own preconceived ideas? Is it possible that people go to a church to be affirmed in their beliefs rather than to be shown a new way to believe?
Judging by the video clip and the podcast experiences, I would say as resounding “Yes.”
How can we break down this way of thinking and replace it with a more seeking, searching, learning, and growing–and inviting–way of being what is called “Christian”?