May 15

What came ye to see?

Bulls, blood, and bar-b-que pastor?

There is a basic thing you need to understand about the average evangelical's mindset: as long as they hear the Gospel you do whatever it takes. Practicality, taste, safety, and even theological correctness can all take a back seat if it gets one person to pray the Sinner's Prayer.

Trust me, this is the culture in which I was raised.

While well meaning, I came to distance myself from it because I saw it as inauthentic, manipulative, and ultimately neither a psychologically nor Biblically sound means of changing people's lives. Yes, I know lots of people have and do, but I also know that for every 10 that "walks the isle" only 1 or 2 will make any kind of long term change.

And here we have what the writer deems the "6 most ridiculous stunts" that pastors have used to get people to church.
For the most part I agree. Mostly.

Bull riding in church? Sure. As a recreation of Gilgamesh's slaying of the Celestial Bull in the Ennuma Elish. Or is it Theseus and the Minotaur? No? Must be Mithras. First we stole his birth day now we are stealing his shtick. Really, you would have thought that all the mentions of golden calves in the Torah would have been enough to suggest that one is a bad idea.

Fight Church? I have been in some business meetings that almost ended that way, but I think its a bad idea. Not to mention inherently un-Christian.

I am somewhat neutral on the whole live animal thing. I do think its unnecessary spectacle, and if the animals were ill treated then it is a bad thing.

The only one of these I think is a good idea is the motorcycle club. That is a long term bonding experience that draws people together through common activity and, while perhaps not ideally ecologically sound, really does no one any harm. It is no different than a church softball team. This is no a "stunt" as its purpose is not to draw people in, rather it is identification of a subculture and adjusting to meet them where they are. Nothing wrong with that.

So, keep the spectacle out of it. Try love, compassion, understanding, and basic truths of what you believe. If that wont get them then a big show is not going to keep them. Keep the stunts out of the church.

Unless you are challenging the prophets of Ba'al to call down fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel. That I will come to see.

Leave a Reply