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I saw a video from an online Washington Post article tonight that saddened me. A comic named John Oliver bludgeoned televangelists and "faith preachers" with his sarcasm and a dose of reality. This "faith message" he mocks is one I grew up with, but on some of his points I actually agree with him. He genuinely portrays the way our message appears to "outsiders."
Full disclosure: I do believe in God's ability and willingness to heal and bless us. But I don't think we've done a very good job of sharing God's heart. While there is much truth to what some ministers are teaching, their message often gets lost in the bizarre (and sometimes manipulative) ways they choose to share it.
I'm attaching the link for those that wish to watch it. BE WARNED: This video contains very strong language and brutal sarcasm. If you are easily offended, please don't watch it!!!!! And don't hold me accountable for wrecking your perfect little Christian world. I believe we need to understand what the world around us truly thinks about Christianity in order to engage it. If you choose to watch the video, please read the rest of this article first...
Tweet This: We need to understand what the world around us truly thinks about Christianity in order to engage it.
Pastors, ministers and Christ-followers need to find a way to adjust their speaking style and language to present God's truth to a cynical world. This is exactly what Paul did in Acts 17. It's also what Jesus did by teaching through parables (stories). If we're going to reach a 21st Century audience, we HAVE TO adjust our style (not our message) to engage them.
We need to be careful not to arrogantly protect our *style* of ministry under the guise of, "I'm not going to water down God's Word just to draw a crowd!" Jesus learned carpentry from Joseph, his earthly father. But how many carpentry illustrations did Jesus' biographers (Gospel authors) record Him using in His teaching? ZERO! He adjusted His delivery - NOT HIS CONTENT - to connect with His audience. He spoke of farming, fishing, trees and interpersonal relationships - NOT A SINGLE REFERENCE TO CARPENTRY - so that His hearers could properly understand the heart of God. We need to follow His example!
Tweet This: Jesus adjusted His delivery - NOT HIS CONTENT - to connect with His audience.
For the brave Christians that wish to watch it, here's the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/08/24/john-oliver-has-received-thousands-of-donations-for-budding-televangelism-ministry/
I'm interested in your thoughts on this subject. You can weigh in below. Please keep all comments and replies civil. It's okay to disagree; but let's not be disagreeable.