I just listened to a fairly recent “sermon” by a “young” “pastor” at a megachurch.
He took a few words from a Bible proverb about seeing problems and being wise and going the other way. He quoted Andy Stanley many times, and sounded almost exactly like him. He completely copied Andy Stanley’s style of preaching.
I am guessing he is maybe 35 years old.
I checked out their website and there didn’t seem to be a single person on the staff over age 40, maybe not over 35.
I felt like I was watching a website for LOGAN’S RUN church. (If you aren’t old enough to get my reference, please look up a synopsis of the movie.)
The focus of the sermon was success and superficial happiness in this life, not eternal joy in Christ and in Heaven.
The talk was about our “endgames” in life. Unfortunately, maybe they weren’t thinking about the fact that in only ten to twenty years, much of their church will be 50 to 60 years old!
They have the most slick website of any church I’ve ever seen.
Unfortunately, there was also almost total spiritual bankruptcy in this church.
Their website recommends “repenting of your sins” and “believing in Jesus” in order to be saved, in contradiction to the Bible’s simple command to “believe in Jesus” to be saved. (Stopping doing sins or doing good works or living a life of discipleship cannot save your soul, and does not contribute to salvation.)
The whole thrust of this church is all about: “YOU.”
There are a lot of churches like this. Your kid probably goes to one.
Apparently, the “me” generation is not yet dead. (All of us humans are naturally all about “me,” all about pride and anger and unforgiveness and self-justification and greed and covetousness and lust and gluttony and every kind of thing that comes naturally. That’s called sin.)
Youth and technology have such a powerful pull. Everyone wants a young, healthy, energetic body.
Everybody wants the latest upgrades in technology.
No doubt these are desirable. It’s just not -possible- for 40, 50, 60, 70, 80-year-olds and up.
So, our ultimate destiny: death, and then Heaven or Hell, is not being contemplated in the same realistic way by a 20-something as it is by a 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80-year-old.
Wisdom generally does not come from the young, and the experience of 30 to 40 years of adult living definitely cannot.
Jesus says to “abide in the word” and to “study to show yourself approved” regarding knowledge of the Bible.
It takes hundreds and then thousands of hours to deeply know the Scripture: to read, pray, obey, study, think, discuss, etc..
People today are under the impression that someone who has spent two hours preparing a “talk” will be able to mine the depths of Scripture and provide something profound. Maybe you can make a Powerpoint in two hours, but not a sermon of great depth, simplicity and wisdom.
This doesn’t happen in sports, in business, or really in any endeavor, and it doesn’t happen in the pulpit (if there actually is one).
The online church talk I heard today was all about what YOU can do to change the direction of your life. It relied on the myth (lie) that most of your life is under your control.”
Just make the right choices in life and give a lot of effort in life and your life will be Paradise on earth, the young senior pastor was saying.
Tell that to the people with health problems they did not cause, people who have spouses who cheated, people who have children who died in accidents and war, people with mental and emotional troubles, things that just did not work out no matter how much effort was given, etc..
People who have grown in grace and knowledge and who have lived some decades of adult life have some wisdom, they don’t have a theory given by a young “senior” pastor.
This guy was selling Paradise on earth in exchange for your good decisions and effort. If you are wise, everything will be wonderful, he implied.
Where was the forgiveness, grace, blessing and power of the Lord in all of this?
I didn’t hear it. I also didn’t hear the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ at any point during the sermon.
Technology and youth and hard work and a positive attitude have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Gospel and the eternal truths of God.