Christian preaching continues to be debased as evangelical pastors resort to all sorts of gimmickry to attract and retain members. Evangelicalism simply refuses to let lost people walk away, says expositor Mark Minnick, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. Minnick contrasts evangelicalism’s modus operandi with Jesus’ treatment of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19. The ruler came asking what he could do to inherit eternal life, but when he refused Jesus’ command, Jesus let him go.
Many evangelical churches are so audience-and-results-driven that they simply will not do what Jesus did, says Minnick. They will not, like a herald, simply repeat the words of the sovereign. Instead they turn their services into a showcase for music and entertainment borrowed from the worst elements of culture – in order to keep all comers coming.
Or they turn to inanity. One church recently enjoyed a series of messages based on Dr. Seuss books. After a multimedia show summarizing a Seuss story about a patient elephant named Horton, the pastor told his people thoughtfully, “Horton is such a great example of the faithfulness of God.” The pastor’s sermon was interrupted by the children’s pastor, impersonating a vegetable, who wildly and irreverently told the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. The sermon was as shallow as the church is big. (mountcalvarybaptist.org, 10/12/08; reformation21.org, 9/17/08)