Monday, November 18, 2013

Of Dogs and Ponies

10,000 comedians out of work and you're trying to be funny.

One of my favorite segments on Dave Letterman's old show was "Stupid Pet Tricks." In spite of the title, this was the most entertaining part of the show some nights. Most of the time, Dave, being the nutty guy he is, could make us laugh by making fun of himself or whatever miserable bit failed to get a response from his audience.

Dave, after all, was an entertainer and a very good one at that. So we watched him, night after night, to see what inspired goofiness he might come up with.

Trouble is, that over the last number of years, churches have tried to horn their way into the entertainment biz. Pastors have cracked wise as they leaned casually on their pulpits.

Various members have contributed "special" music (more about that in a moment). Bands have played. One lady recently recommended her church with the words. "We have a band" (So does the local bar).

Guitarists have rocked out (guilty right here, and let me just say that the only thing special about that music was the way the applause at the end of it made me feel). Sermons have attempted to address whatever issues you may be experiencing at the moment. Can the dogs and ponies be far behind?

Okay, okay, so I'm just an old fuddy-duddy. The thing is Christ laid out the Church's charter in the Great Commission. Two things: 1.Make disciples
2.Teach them

We follow Paul and the other Apostles through the book of Acts and we see them preaching the Good News, and establishing churches wherever people respond (pretty much everywhere they went, which should give us a clue about the effectiveness of the Gospel message [Isaiah 55:11]. Then they appointed elders (shepherds) to teach the converts and grow them in the faith.

You might point out that the times, they are a-changing. That such simple means are no longer useful in the sophisticated world we live in.

Here's a question. Are people still sinners? Another question. Are they doomed to stand in judgment before a righteous angry God?
What do you think would be the best way to warn them of their perilous situation? What way out of this peril can we show them? Sing "I Can Only Imagine" another coupla dozen times?

Jesus preached, "Repent!" The Apostles preached "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved."

What message do we have for our world?

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