Non-Christians (oops we meant the 'un-churched') are just not going to come to church to hear someone preaching expository Bible sermons (or so the story goes). So why not preach about popular TV shows instead and try to loosly tie them to the Bible? Pastors are already exegeting blockbuster movies and comic books, so adding popular TV shows to their repertoire just makes sense.
Below we've posted the graphic for the upcoming sermon series at South Hills Church in Corona, CA. (This is the same church whose pastor rather than preaching about Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday thought it would be better to preach about dysfunctional relationships. We can't wait to see what he preaches about on Christmas Day. We bet it will be about weight loss or new year's resolutions). Now pastor Chris Sonksen is going to tie the popular TV show, Heroes to the Bible. He plans to let everyone at his church know that they are 'heroes' and that "THEY have what it takes". Sermon Topics Include...
• How courage can help YOU conquer a storm (Noah)
• How faithfulness can keep YOU from quitting (Abraham)
• How generosity can multiply YOUR impact (Rebekkah)
• How commitment can take YOU beyond YOUR limitations (David)
In Sonksen's religion you already 'have what it takes' to be a hero. You just need to learn how to put it into practice. But a careful reading of the scriptures will show you that Noah's story isn't about Noah's courage at all. It is about God's justice, God's mercy and God's salvation. Noah was FAR from virtuous. Noah shamed himself and scandalized his sons through the sin of naked-drunkeness. The story of Abraham is NOT about Abraham's faithfulness. It is about God's faithfulness! Abraham lied about his marriage to his wife (twice) in order to save his own skin. Abraham also fathered Ishmael because he'd lost faith in God's promise. Rebekah was far from generous. She conspired with her son Jacob to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob and steal Esua's birthright. (stealing is the opposite of generous) As for David, we all know how well he kept his commitments. He was a murderer and an adulterer.
Reducing these Biblical stories down to morals or virtues (like Aesops fables) that we can somehow apply to our lives so that we can be heroic completely misses the point. The thing that we all have in common with Noah, Abraham, Rebekah, and David is that we are all wicked sinners. We are not virtuous, courageous and faithful. Instead we are faithless, heartless and ruthless. We are not heroes we are all villains. The Bible tells us that all of us are sinners in need of a savior. In other words, NONE of us 'has what it takes'. We, like Noah, Abraham, Rebekah and David NEED a hero and a savior to redeem us and save us. That's why those Biblical stories are NOT about Noah, Abraham, Rebekah or David, they are ultimately about Jesus Christ.
But, Pastor Chris is a proponent of the infomercial gospel and has bought into the lie that drawing large numbers of people to church is what determines success. He preaches these types of man-centered feel good messages in order to be seeker-sensitive and attract a big crowd.
We wonder if Pastor/Life Coach Sonksen has heard the news that this approach to church has been proven to be completely impotent at making disciples of Jesus Christ?
We wonder if he has the moral character to admit that he's been doing the wrong thing and repent? We wonder if he will stop preaching pop-psych and self-help. We wonder if he will stop pointing people to themselves and will instead point the people in his church to our one true hero, Jesus Christ?
1Cor. 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.