The saga continues . . .
Last week I was at a family wedding where the "seeker friendly" nightmare reared it's ugly head once again. It was a great wedding but the sermon was a train wreck . . . maybe train wreck is a bad analogy because at least they aren't boring. His text was from Ephesians 5, at least the parts of Ephesians 5 that he liked. It was a further reminder of the modern phenomenon of highlighting Bible verses with liquid paper.
C'mon, have a guess at what was missing? Did he leave out "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church" or "wives submit to your husbands as unto Christ"? I guess most european men have a phobia about getting beaten up by some hairy armpitted female activist.
The "preacher" replaced Ephesians 5:22-24 with an "anonymous letter to a bride". Now I'm not saying it's bad to take advice from people but there is a serious problem when you substitute God's directives with man's ideas. Things went from bad to worse when salvation was explained as "saying yes to Jesus" which is very strange code for repentance and faith. I can promise that preacher that on the day of Judgment Jesus will not be looking for our acceptance.
I was getting so aggravated by all of this that my dear wife handed me a vallium sandwich in the hope of sedating me. I approached the preacher after his sermon to question him. The conversation went something like this:
Cameron: Hi, I just wanted to ask you a question
Preacher: Yes, what is it?
C: I was wondering why you left out verses 22 through 24 when preaching from Ephesians 5?
P: ?????? (puzzled look)
C: The part that says "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
P: Yes I know that part.
C: Why didn't you preach it?
P: Oh I don't know . . .
C: Are you afraid to preach that?
P: No, I'm not afraid.
C: Then why did you avoid those verses? You're giving an incomplete picture without them. It's like trying to preach the gospel without calling people to repentance.
P: I didn't have enough time?
C: You used more than 5 minutes reading a letter from someone about being a bride. It would have taken less than a minute to read what God has to say about the matter. You're not called to preach what you like, you're called to preach what God says.
P: I can't preach everything that's in there.
C: I'm not asking you to preach the whole book, just not to delete verses that are integral to the passage.
P: I'm trying to communicate with people where they're at.
C: Where is that?
P: Oh I think I'd better be going, I've got some knitting to catch up on.
(OK, ok I made up the knitting part)
I'm going to close with a quote from Doug Giles because I don't think i could put it any better myself.
"When I hear one of the ubiquitous whiny, weepy ministers get on TV or radio and whimper about Jesus and life, I think it’s no wonder we’re getting our ecclesiastical clocks cleaned by secularists; our “leaders” are oh so very lame.
Look, God’s men aren’t suppose to be effeminate, spiritually neutered, prancing nice guys. Biblical ministers are to be sons of thunder who are daunting and not David Archuleta-like grinning hand-holders and cliché dolers to messed-up wienies. You can’t transform boys into men when you’re a Peter Pan pastor. Capice?
If your church is remotely serious about salvaging society then here’s a little raw 411 for you, el pastor: You’re not going to change the world by being nice but by being bold. And to be bold boys you must have high doses of holy testosterone. Matter of fact, in Moses’ day you couldn’t be a priest if you didn’t have cojones (see Deut. 23:1-4). I say we, the Detergent Church, start kickin’ it old school again and retable that deuteronomic prerequisite for current ministers and wannabes; i.e. you don’t get to lead if you don’t have your boys intact."
quoted from http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DougGiles/2008/05/24/the_detergent_church?page=2
This came to my email today:
55 minutes ago