Depression is high, teen suicide climbing, divorce soars beyond geosynchronous orbit, and youth are fleeing the Church like beach goers from a tsunami. Normally, when things get bad, people start asking the tough questions. But every once in a while, we find those companies and organizations which blame their downturn on the economy or anything but themselves. Has the Body of Christ done that?
We aren’t allowed to re-evaluate our micro-theology niggling—as in, maybe question the new Theologies we’ve published over the last 50 years. The Lausanne Congresses—Manila Manifesto and Capetown—were good, right? I mean, Billy Graham had everyone under one roof… except for the “silly Charismatics” that is. Who would want them anyways? It’s funny, the more the Lausanne Congress gathered, the worse things got. But, that could only be a coincidence. After all, coming together (excluding Charismatics) is as wonderful as motherhood and apple pie. (For the record, it wasn’t a movement. Movements aren’t orchestrated.)
Emergent Church was a movement, but it seemed to fizzle and… well, it disappeared before the “pop”. But not before a LOT of people walked out on Christ. When that happened, did we blame ourselves? Of course not. I mean, our mainline teaching hasn’t left America’s Christian youth PRACTICALLY STARVING for Jesus or anything. No. Arguments between the Grace of Jesus versus Lordship of Jesus… those are so satisfying to listen to… along with every reason in the book why Charismatics should get left behind—or why God doesn’t heal you because you don’t have enough faith. Wow, so uplifting… makes me just want to run into Jesus’ arms. Great evangelism tool also, those Christian squabbles. I can’t imagine why anyone would find the Emergent Church Conversation Movement more interesting.
No, we can’t blame Grace Theology, even though it talks about the Grace of the Cross so much that it leaves little time for becoming fascinated with Jesus. GT doesn’t teach against fascination with Jesus, no. It just filibusters the floor so we never quite get that far.
As for Lordship Theology, we can’t blame that either. Frank B. Minirth didn’t treat depression based on ideas from LT here at this link. Nosir. And we aren’t allowed to consider, just maybe, “…but Jesus is also Lord,” doesn’t make up 100% of a well-rounded spiritual diet. I mean, after all, Jesus is Lord! What else is there to talk about? That idea alone can raise vallies, level mountains, and heal the sick! (Except, God doesn’t heal anymore because we’ve reached the Love Chapter’s ‘perfection’, but you can’t expect the Church to be perfect. At least, that’s what Lordship Cessationists will tell you.) But that Lordship of Christ… Everyone who calls Him, “Lord,” knows Him, right? It’s almost as powerful as Rhaemaists regard “faith”!
Speaking of which, Charismatics and their nameitclaimit clubs couldn’t cause depression in the youth either. No way. “You need more faith. You’re suffering because you’re clinging to a secret sin. Up with it! Confess!” Sound like the frying of a witch or pulpits of the last 30 years? Not sure, I’ll get back to you on that. But why would that message make anyone feel like God has abandoned them? When Jesus said, “No one sinned. He was born blind SO THAT the Son of Man might be glorified,” His words couldn’t have applied to people today. Not a chance. They are perfect, them Charismatics. I don’t know why they were overlooked in invitation lists of the Lausanne Congresses.
Nor do Pentecostals have anything to complain about. God has new inspired words in every assembly, after all. People should “shut-up” and listen to the elders because they, “have a word from God!!!” Who wouldn’t want to listen to God after hearing that? The prophet only wants us to say EXACTLY what God tells him to say. God’s voice speaks through the “prophets” who hear Him all the time. You can read it on the blogs… You know, that genre called “Prophecy” known by its excessive use of superlatives and adverbs, run-on sentences, bad grammar, inaccurate predictions, and, most of all, serious lack of any beneficial wisdom. I’m ready to “hear God’s voice” after every “Prophecy” blog I read, aren’t you? Maybe you are among the 1% who don’t like that “Prophecy” genre and decided that, therefore, ALL Prophecy is wrong. Don’t think that modern Prophecy could be any different from that genre, whatever you do. (Especially if your mother was a Baptist.) What’s the point of a straw man if it doesn’t make you hate the real thing?
We can’t blame “godly authority” either. God appointed the pastor, after all. It’s as if he yanked a sword from a stone, called himself “Thor, God of Thunder”, and he alone is worthy (in his congregation) to hold the hammer. When the pastor speaks, that’s actually God speaking to you through him. Disagreeing with him is to disagree with God. You wouldn’t want to be “rebellious” against “God” now would you? So, why would the ecumenical teaching of “godly authority” make you depressed, you jerk! After all, the godly authority didn’t giver you permission to be depressed, so snap out of it!
I suppose we could buy more books on ministry strategery and how to evangelize people on the street in sixty seconds or less. But, with the economy and everything, I guess spending cash on books will have to wait. Farewell, Only Book Kenobe, you were my only hope.
We need to be positive and uplifting. It doesn’t matter that your kid attempted suicide. Just don’t complain about the teaching. It’s the pastor’s reputation that must be preserved. He carries Excalibur, after all. So, when you talk about any problems in the Church, just be super fluffy, not harsh in the least. And if you are a pastor, above all, don’t criticize any other pastors, even if they are wrong. Go along to get along. And make sure you pay your tithe. After all, the Lausanne “movement” showed that unity (excluding Charismatics) is the most important thing.
So, all in all, we’re not sure exactly what is causing the serious downfall of the American Church and its youth. Who is responsible then? I guess we’ll just never know. Life isn’t perfect after all. If you ever find the perfect Church, don’t join it because you’ll ruin it—that’s because you’re the problem, don’t you know. And being just a little imperfect is okay. So, being REALLY VERY VERY imperfect is excellent! As long as it’s everyone else who is imperfect, and not you. Things are great! Learn to deal with it and don’t be a malcontent during hard times.
[Note: This article is in full sarcasm, illustrating the absurd by being absurd. This is to give words to beliefs held by Christians all across America, who deny that they think this way, but all evidence hath shewn that they do. This thinking is not held by the majority of Christians, but it seems to be that of a very influential minority—a minority which has some of the loudest bullhorns.]