Sunday was the worst day so far. It was worse than the day I was fired because it is the day I most connect with God. I most connect through preparation for and the preaching event.
This Sunday I listened to ok preaching at a foreign church and then I went home and listened online to the sermon preached from the pulpit I used to occupy. The sermon preached there was hidious.
The message was preached by M, a former elder. His message, “Submit to your elders no matter what they decide.” I guess that is what you do when you are an authority who makes a stupid decision….you have someone beat the drum of your authority.
Anyway…it is getting better. There have been a steady stream of emails and phone calls and personal visits to say, “Your ministry meant a lot to me.” I can’t count the people who said, “I have never been so interested in following Jesus as when you preach.”
People are kind.
I am now just a “normal” church person. I will follow Jesus, work my 50 hours and worship on Sunday. Who knows, it may be good for me. I just have to figure out a way to rewire my soul to find life in this routine.
The reason I don’t watch “Reality Shows” on the tube is because compared to real reality they are incredibly (literally) scripted and trite, pitiful shadows of what goes on in our day to day existence. Maybe that is the attraction.
What prompted this thought? Recently, I had the (mis)fortune to listen to M’s sermon to the faithful at THIS CHURCH immediately after the departure of their lead pastor. M’s poorly scripted, ineptly delivered and unbelievably disingenuous sermon – if a sermon is what it was – should have left me horrified. It did not. I’ve heard it all before.
The question is not why the speaker and his cohorts embrace such an unscriptural and self-aggrandizing view of “leadership”. It is deeply offensive to the human soul to relinquish power or to voluntarily walk away from a chance to exercise control over people and circumstances. That is the whole reason why the gospel is necessary in the first place.
The real question is why some of the good (no irony intended) folks at THIS CHURCH, or anywhere else, sit still for such pitifully self-serving drivel in the first place. I suspect it is for the same reason that “reality” shows are so popular on TV. The outcome is remote, predictable and requires no exertion on our part, only the acceptance of an, often preposterous, premise. We can play the game without risk by suspending our facilities of reason and pretending that this is really real. We can be a part of what’s happening without exerting ourselves or risking our social standing by passively accepting that what we are told is the truth and not raising troublesome questions. We can be participants without being engaged and without any risk – or at least, so we believe.
Open our eyes, Lord.
CH, you have a way with words…