My buddy Chris Gonzalez has been hitting it out of the park with his recent blog posts about "Smells like Church Spirit"! If you have missed them, go get caught up.
One minute you will be grabbing your side from laughing so hard, and the next minute you will be on your knees asking for forgiveness. Here is the web site address, and please don't waste your time in the comments section trying to teach me how to do it where it is a link where all you have to do is click on it. That would be too easy and I am old school.........you gotta work for it here baby! :)
One line from his post today just grabbed me around the throat and it still has me. Here is the sentence: "My loyalty to God and depth of spirituality was measured by the degree to which I could defend those fat sacred cows." You know what sacred cows he was talking about.......no need to digress any further by naming them. The part that probably bothers me the most is that the criteria of defending sacred cows is STILL the measuring stick for how "strong" or how "sound" you are as a Christian amongst many of us today. Am I mistaken? Chris used past tense language when he said "was", but I know congregations and "leaders" who would use that criteria today. Is it as prevalent? Probably not. Thank God. But I contend it's STILL there. If you don't believe me, go "Google" some names of ministers that you know are not old school or institutional mind-set guys. It's not for the faint of heart, there are some ugly things being written all under the umbrella of defending sacred cows.
I heard at the PU Lectures this year that a few years ago Disney World did an exit interview and found out people were leaving the theme park disappointed. No kidding! Can you imagine that? Me either, but it happened. Guess what they were down about? They enjoyed the rides and other frills, but they had also come to see ONE person and hadn't seen him. Who in the world would that be? Yep, Mickey Mouse! DUH! People were let down when they had spent all that money and spent all that time, and yet at the end of the day walked away without seeing Mickey. So, they brain-stormed about how they could solve this dilema. If they put him at both main entrances, some kid might have a stroke when he came in one gate and saw Mickey and then took the tram over to the other gate and saw Mickey again in about 5 minutes. They couldn't rock some kids world with him or her finding out there wasn't just ONE Mickey. So here is what they decided to do. Every day at Disney World there is a parade. One guess as to who the Grand Marshall is! If you are at Disney World and attend the parade, it's a done deal you are going to get to see the ONE PERSON you came to see.....Mickey Mouse!
Who are hurting people coming to see when they come to our churches? As crazy as it might sound, it's not our "sacred cows". There is ONE PERSON they want to see, and He is the one person that has the answer they are searching for. They want to see JESUS, and we better make sure they see Him the first time they come.....even if it takes a parade. We don't need them to leave disappointed that they saw a lot of good things, but they never saw the Savior. It won't matter that we are "unique and distinct" if they don't encounter the Christ. Some have suggested that we need to shut our doors if we quit being unique and distinct.........wrong. We need to shut them when people who come to find Jesus leave disappointed and end up going to AA to find Him.
Headed to vacation land next week, so no more bloggin for a while! This addiction is strong, so I'll probably encounter some rehab while I am gone. Hope everybody has a WONDERFUL 4th!