6/09/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Rev. Ex-Evangelist ~
While working out at the gym this past Sunday morning, I watched a mega-church, "non-denominational", charismatic minister deliver his sermon on the television monitor in front of the treadmill I was on.
The guy was dressed casually; no stuffy and formal, traditional dress coat and tie. This guy had a cool hair-cut and glasses. His delivery was flawless, funny, entertaining and personable. He looked like he works out regularly. I guess he is about 40+ years old. He was a total hipster.
You could tell by the verbal response of his congregation that they think this fellow is the best thing since sliced bread. I know they thank God that they have such a cool, modern and holy ghost-anointed pastor.
But for all the cool cat vibe he presented, and the background music accompanied by electric guitars, drum-sets awesome sound-system, choir and assorted bells and techno whistles of American-style "contemporary worship," his message was the same old, irrational, nonsense that I use to preach decades ago.
What he said was this: God wants to bless you so much IF you will just exercise faith in "His promises". God can't lie; trust "His Word"; reach out and accept by faith what "He" wants so badly for "His children" to receive!
He urged them to not block all the wonderful solutions "God" has in store for them by their lack of faith; exercise that muscle of faith! He said it all with such charm and empathy.
Of course, I noticed that he did not spell out the clear flip-side of this line of theology: you are at fault if you are not getting your prayers answered and not being materially blessed by God.
On a superficial level, it was a positive, uplifting message: our Invisible Friend Jesus/God has your back! Just use the debit card called "Faith" to make a withdrawal from your heavenly bank account! What a positive and uplifting fantasy! His message made his audience shout and dance for joy. It's soooooo simple! Faith unlocks God's storage bin of spiritual and physical blessings!
I was thinking to myself: what a load of crap! That's it! I coined a new word for what I was hearing: THEO-CRAP!
I also reflected on how dangerous his message could be if people tried to apply it to a real-life medical emergency. They are being taught to ignore real problems while waiting for "God" to come down and fix it for them because they are now exercising faith. A recipe for disaster.
I'm so glad I no longer have to get up on Sunday morning and preach make-believe and fool people into believing that I have some kind of special knowledge or insight that they don't about God or how the world supposedly works on invisible "spiritual principles". It's nice to go to the gym on Sunday morning and afterwards go get a cup of great coffee at a nearby shop, read the paper and just relax.
I'm glad I now use my Sunday mornings for something constructive and useful. Since I left all that behind, I truly do have a "day of rest" from the week.