Thursday, November 01, 2007

Faith and fluff

Vicki Gaines opens a window into "true peace in the age of counterfeits":
. . . fluff and drivel won't teach us to abide in Christ. It won't sustain us when we're hurting or weighed down in pain. It won't emphasize discipleship, or teach us that life in Him is all about grace. Preaching nowadays gives formula fixes, easy answers, and "steps" to a better life. We eat it up. Not that anyone's ever transformed by these messages. Burned-out, maybe. But Jesus didn't die so we'd keep hammering away. Not until we exchange our life for His, and let Christ finally live through us, will we experience the beauty of a life at peace.

A buddhist once said he enjoyed Joel Osteen because his sermons have "something for everyone." That's not quite true. I, for one, get nothing from Osteen's preaching although he's a warm and friendly guy. Even bubble gum causes decay if you chew it long enough. If I want poignant stories, funny jokes, or pop-psychology, there are plenty other sources. I need a minister of the gospel to preach Christ - not entertain me. But the hireling shepherd feeds the sheep what they want, not what they need. Their positive thinking breeds false assurance. This is dangerous. Lives are at stake! The shepherd who denies us the whole truth and nothing but the truth is saying 'peace, peace,' when there is no peace. A good pastor will lead his flock through the narrow gate, to Christ, the Good Shepherd.
Amen. I recommend Vicki's whole article.


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