Ever been in a conversation that could’ve gone on without your presence?
I get the feeling that is what the Sovereign Lord bemoans when He enters into dialogue with His church. He’s wanting the church to ‘zig’ with Him but all she seems capable of doing is a nice little ‘zag’ maneuver and then audaciously pats herself on the back thinking the Lord Christ is wowed by her suaveness (yes, it’s a word) and dexterity. The things that are on His heart have not seemed to be captured in the weekly homilies coming from our pulpits. We’re on a whole ‘nother plane altogether (as in: get your seat cushions ready, we’re in a nosedive) and though God is wanting to talk about His Kingdom, we want to checkmate Him with ours.
So there I was on a recent Saturday night, while all other pastors are on their faces begging God for a sermon or on the internet getting a “ready-made” one, I was taking a different tack altogether. Because I had the Sunday “off” I thought I might see what the religious channels might be serving up (warning, heavy satire ahead). First up was a pastor from the midwest and he was talking about “seed” and “prosperity.” I actually heard him say this:
“Wouldn’t it be great if all we had in our church were millionaires and billionaires?”
Okayyyyy…that’s quite a dream you got there, sir.
“I’ve always taught that God wants you to be wealthy, but now I’ve changed that. God needs you to be wealthy.”
So, God has fallen on hard times? Hey buddy, can you spare a dime? Guess that’s to be expected after millennia of blessings pouring out of the windows of heaven. I mean, really, just how long can His coffers hold out? Let’s be serious…
“It’s been true that the wealth of the nations is laid up for the righteous,” he continued, ramping up his argument because, obviously, papa needed a new set of golf clubs, “but that is changing. The wealth of the nations is now in the hands of the righteous!”
Really, now? Tell that to the little old lady who has given fifty percent of her fixed income to the Lord for years and keeps the carpet in her prayer closet warm with her arthritic knees for missionaries around the world. I found it interesting that as the camera panned over the crowd, many of the faces it found were puckered and tired as if this dead horse had been beat on one too many times. Time to go…
I fumbled for the the clicker nearby and quickly terminated the hound out of that charlatan and switched to another well-known religious station. Warmly greeting me there was a man with a Clark Gable mustache and an Armani suit (are those expensive?) sitting in a makeshift study which was outfitted in late-20th century ‘tasteful gaudiness.’ His massive complex is in another midwestern state (what is it with the ‘American Gothics’?) and with gleaming white teeth, perfectly straight and balanced, introduced his topic as we went into the sanctuary as: “Seeding For The Billion Flow.” Mm-hmm.
Thank God the next station offered more meaty fare: Adrian Rodgers. But the kicker here is, he’s no longer with us! Not wanting to sound irreverant here, but is the only real message the Lord co-mingling with to His church coming from a dead guy? C’mon the church pews are filled with lost, unregenerate people dazed by a deception, a false security, that is leading them on a path straight to hell! And all we can think of to say is that Jesus really was rich because the Greek word for carpenter can also mean He was a lumber tycoon? Is that really relevant to a generation who needs the Gospel in its purest form?
What do you think the church should be talking about?