The service was very polished, from the banter between people on the stage to the overall presentation and comments. And yet a couple of hard words were made in intentional jest that seemed to be a bit too raw for my spirit (reminding me of another preacher in the mirror whom I know quite well). The message itself was also against the grain of my spirit... seemingly about how God has given people who really love him the ability to live physically healed lives on continually prosperous incomes. Even the songs emphasized this kind of "name it and claim it" ideology.
Okay, all charismatic theology aside (because we could debate that for a long time), the community we're in has been described by some of our friends as having many "self-made" people. In other words, here is a church service that is telling a number of individuals who like to get by on their own (and maybe believe they don't need God because things are going so well) that the reason things are going well in their lives is because God loves them and longs to give them healthy bodies, long lives, and a rich financial future.
So... "relevant" or "non-relevant?"
As a side note, we all left feeling like the average person would either never come back because of the tremendous guilt they feel for not having that life OR they would come back and take all the classes they could and quickly become members so that they could have the perfect life described by the pastor.
Perhaps I'm being a bit short-sighted, but isn't Billy Graham a bit under the weather these days? And all those great things Mother Teresa did... then she got sick and died. Doesn't Bill Hybels have to keep an eye on his heart because of his family's history with such matters? I could be wrong, but didn't James Dobson have a minor stroke not too long ago?
Maybe they just need to have more faith.
Again... "relevant" or "non-relevant?"
Because seeing that we are here to follow after the possibility of a new church for this area, that is a rather relevant question.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." (2 Timothy 4:3)