"We Would Like To See Jesus," OR MAYBE THAT FAMOUS GUY
Providing the newest best/worst example of off-the-rails Christianity, the Woodlands Church is featuring NEW TEXAN'S QUARTERBACK AND FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK DESHAUN WATSON as their "SPECIAL GUEST! on the weekend of June 17-18. Check their website where WATSON is on THE FRONT PAGE (www.wc.org). You can't miss "Founding Pastor" KERRY SHOOK breathlessly hawking WATSON'S VISIT in prime-time commercials during Houston newscasts.
COME SEE THE FAMOUS GUY! - am I the only one who sees a problem here?
Promoting Watson at the Woodlands Church is only the newest best/worst example of a growing mega-church trend toward featuring OH! MY! GOODNESS! guests. There are other examples.
- Houston's Lakewood Church, featuring JOEL OSTEEN as Pastor, recently announced the visit of actor MORGAN FREEMAN.
- San Antonio's Cornerstone Church flaunted a visit by right-wing political commentator, author, and filmmaker DINESH D'ESOUZA.
- Not to be outdone, Oak Hills in San Antonio trades heavily on the presence of DAVID ROBINSON, NBA Hall-of-Famer and former San Antonio Spur (http://oakhillschurch.com/videostories).
- Former NFL quarterback, first-round draft pick, and Heisman Trophy winner TIM TEBOW has made a second career out of being the designated church visitor, perhaps because he has no future as being an MLB designated hitter.
- None of these groups buy TV air-time to promote the visits of SAM the teacher or SALLY the postal worker.
As cringe-worthy as it is to watch the denominations fall into the featured famous-guy trap, watching our brethren stumble into the same misguided desire to centerpiece THAT FAMOUS GUY is even more cringe-worthy. If we bring him, they will come? We really ought to know better.
Compare the off-the-rails train-wreck of featuring FAMOUS GUYS with the teachings of the New Testament.
- Jesus (another fairly famous guy) said, "Do not call anyone on earth 'father'... Nor are you to be called (esteemed) instructors" (Mat. 23:9-10).
- Jesus (maybe you've heard of Him?) also said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all" (Mk. 9:35).
- As he was being worshipped by Cornelius, Peter (a guy below the Jesus level, but certainly above NEW TEXAN'S QUARTERBACK AND FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK DESHAUN WATSON) said, " "Stand up...I am only a man myself" (Acts 10:26).
- Similarly, Paul (right there with Peter) said, "Why are you doing this? (I am) only human, like you" (Acts 14:15).
- Paul explains, "The ministry Jesus has received is...superior (because) he is superior mediator...since the new covenant is established on better promises" (Heb. 8:6).
- An angel explained and clarified the object of all of Christianity, "Worship God!" (Rev. 22:9).
Worship God! Who Knew?
All of these passages remind us (did we forget?) that we are to worship God "in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24) through the mediation of Jesus. Our every aim ought to be to focus all of who we are on all of who God is, through Jesus seated on God's right hand ensuring an open way.
The entire ethic of eliminating each and every human from our worship, for our adoration, from our undue respect, from our SPECIAL GUEST LIST, and even from very much attention at all is summarized in John 12:20-21.
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE JESUS."