13 February 2007

This about sums it up

As I flip through the television channels late at night or in between Masses on Sundays as I take a brief respite, I will occassional stop and listen to one of the evangelical style non-denominational preachers that are so easily found these days.

What always strikes me about them is one thing: I never hear them talk about Jesus...or the Father...or the Holy Spirit. After this I usually remember that their "ministries" are typically named after themselvse... It really does say something quite profound about their message.

Amy gives a link to thoughts of Melton Duncan who spent an evening with Joel Osteen learning about him and his message. He says this:

Joel’s own sermons are not like those of his fathers (the late John Osteen). They strike me as the next generation of the Charismatic movement. They aren’t about experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life; they are just about encountering your feelings. He talks over and over again about your relationships with other people and in the end he doesn’t really ask you to do anything - except try to change. His language is a mix of manifest destiny and late night infomercial. If I had to characterize the 600 words “sermonettes” I heard I would say “Charismatic emergent, non-threatening, non-spritualized therapeutic language.” Maybe American Idol with Paula as the lone judge.
Never once did I hear the words Gospel, Jesus Christ, Trinity, Sin, Cross (except in Scripture songs sung by performers and in a video testimony played before the Osteens arrived in arena).
It really makes me wonder why people even go to listen to Joel or stop and listen to him on the television. The focus is not on God but on man, and this is true of so many others around today. Sadly, it is true even within Catholic preachers.

I think this new style of "preaching the Gospel" really demonstrates a deep absence of maturity on the part of many in Western socieyt today that we need someone to continually tell us how to get along with our family, friends and society as a whole. We need far less focus on individualism than we have today.

At the same time, this style also demonstrates an obsession with humanity at the expense of the divine. If a noted Christian preacher can give several "sermons" without ever speaking of the God or the Gospel or salvation, something is very seriously wrong with both the preacher and with those who tune in for the message.

I am not saying that these people have nothing valuble or insightful to offer. What I am saying is that this does not deserve to be called "evangelism" or "preaching" and that the amphitheatres where these talks are delivered do not deserve to be called "churches." Maybe one large dysfunctional self-help group would be more fitting.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:27 PM

    I like the odd ones, the underdogs in life. My wife got me into to American Idol a while back. This unusual fellow is a Christian and very, very Interesting guy. I hope he makes it to the top five at least because he has a lot we havent seen. His name is Chris Sligh. Below is an audio link which is the most Catholic song I have ever heard that was written by a conservative Christian. Please take the time to listen and if you watch AI vote for him.
    The song is "Communion Song" and Chris Sligh wrote it. He is my families' American Idol Lets help him do good and as Chris Sligh put it, "Make David Hasslehoff cry" Please send this to any or all of your Christian e-mail lists.


    http://www.worshipideas.com/CommunionSong_VocalDemo.mp3

    http://chris-sligh.info/content/view/37/1/

    http://chris-sligh.info/content/view/37/1/
    Just click the play symbol Communion Song

    Lord here we are We've come to be filled
    Reached out our hands to received the blood you spilled
    Humbly we bow here with hearts on display
    To take of the Body that took our guilt away

    And we come here yes we come
    Take us in Here we are come in and know us
    come take our hearts
    This is all our hearts live for is...
    Holy Communion...nothing more...nothing more

    Lord here we are Naked in sin to taste of the wine
    And be made clean again
    Humbly we bow here to take of the bread
    Bled forgiveness run like new oils on our head

    And we come here yes we come
    Take us in Here we are come in and know us
    come take our hearts
    This is all our hearts live for is...
    Holy Communion...nothing more...nothing more

    Lord Have Mercy ...Christ Have Mercy..
    Lord Have Mercy on us (repeat 4 times)

    Take us in Here we are come in and know us
    come take our hearts
    This is all our hearts live for is...
    Holy Communion...nothing more...nothing more

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