Sunday, April 26, 2009

When You're More Worldly than the World

"Shock Theology," as I call it, is becoming more of the fad these days in view of the growing number of churches that are trying to fill their ranks with people who are looking for church thrills.  Sadly, such tactics do fill the pews, but usually this is accomplished at the grave expense of a real Gospel witness and a sound reputation among men.  Of course, we've been here before, but this time, the world is striking back:   

MELBOURNE, Fla. —  A church giving sermons about sex may have to find a new home.  Brevard Public School District's risk-management department has threatened to boot New Hope Church out of Sherwood Elementary because of a worship series titled "Great Sex for You."

Church leaders mailed 25,000 fliers, asking residents "Is Your Sex Life A Bore?" ... Mark Langdorf, the director of risk management, says the mailers generated complaints, were not appropriate for elementary school children and shouldn't be used to advertise the sermon in the school.

Langdorf says the church's lease contract is under review.

[Full article here]

[Original photo/mailer here]

"Great Sex for You" - that's nice... 

This is the same headline that I often see in my e-mail's spam folder.  Such messages are instantly deleted, and for a good reason.  Now, we can sympathize with a church that is being rejected and persecuted for its godliness; but when churches employ a "Shock Theology" that is unnecessarily offensive, and alienating to the world, then I'm less inclined to offer much compassion.  Of course, people make mistakes and God can intervene in His Providence and even use such efforts despite their desperately flawed tactics, however, as Christians we must remember that we have the most serious and important message in the world, and we have been commissioned to deliver it with great joy and great solemnity (Acts 20:18-21).  Alternatively, those who preach theological spam, in the name of Christ, should be ashamed of themselves.  My prayer for New Hope Church is that they would confess this matter before God and men as a means of communicating a genuine Gospel humility to those who desperately need to see and hear it.