Monday, April 21, 2014

Please Stop

"Please Stop" is going to be a periodic series of posts in which I talk about things that I wish would stop.  I'll get back to my series about second blessing theology later.  My family and I are on vacation.

"Please Stop" could apply to a lot of different areas, but I'm mainly going to deal with cultural, ecclesiological, theological, and spiritual issues.  The beauty of "Please Stop" is that I can write about whatever it is that I want, as much or as little.  I won't come back unless something has motivated me to do that.

Obviously, I could say, "Christian" boys wearing skinny jeans, please stop, and maybe I will, but that's not primarily where I'm heading with this series.  Once some of you start to read, you might be saying, "Please stop 'Please Stop.'"

Churches that put superficial, very shallow lyrics to either carnival music or Texas honky tonk, Please Stop.  I spent 45 minutes deciding where we would stop for church on the road.  What makes it tough?  You want a scriptural sermon, actual Bible preaching.  There is more than a 50% chance that you won't get that an independent Baptist church today.  The doctrine and practice of the church is important to me.  So we did all we could do to stop for worship on a Sunday night.  The pastor is sick.  He couldn't preach so he invited a friend to entertain his congregation.  I could describe to you what I saw, but it was the epitome of disrespect to God.  It centered right on men, what would please them.  The body language is all about "look at me."  Please Stop.

The word "celebrate" with church.  Please Stop.  I drive by a church with a banner for Easter.  It says to the world "celebrate the resurrection with us."  I saw this for a reformed Baptist church.  Who in the community, that isn't already going to church, is actually going to celebrate the resurrection?  Is this something you do on the spur of the moment?  And what is "celebrating"?  Where is "celebrate" in the Bible.  We celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries, but this word "celebrate" makes church sound like a party.  A party is what people in the world want church to be.  Everyone wants a party.  But celebrate?  Please Stop.

One more.  Ironic t-shirts.  I dream of a world without the t-shirts with the ironic statements.  Let's get serious before we get ironic.  The epitome of cleverness purchased by someone who isn't clever. Don't make baklava your first course when you can't boil a potato.  Please Stop.


9 comments:

Doulos said...

I haven't commented in a while. Just been hanging on for dear life at all these super-deep topics and trying to learn. Now this, I totally get. (Are you saying, "please stop" using "totally?)
It's quite therapeutic to hear a pastor bravely vent about such. Please don't stop :)

Michael Alford said...

This seems to be off to a very promising start

Jim Camp said...

The word celebrate! It makes me crazy as well, for what it is worth.
I can't prove it, but I would suspect that no one prior to the 1950's ever
used the term in association to the house of God or the services therein.
(Except maybe charismatic types). I like humorous t-shirts. I don't know
if that is different than ironic.
I cannot stand the modern religion boys in our churches either. They've got
Christianity in their mouths, but the world everywhere else. A young man
I know said "They know how to play the game". They say yes sir, carry a KJV,
& will even say "amen" during preaching; but it is glaringly empty. I know
some teens who struggle with various sin battles & even struggle with the
call of the world. This is understandable. But who would have thought we
would have such a problem with HYPOCRISY in our churches? Open, unrepentant,
fake Christianity, done for the appeasement of men? I'm sure everyone else has
seen these types, & watched them go to the world when set free from parents
& preachers.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Joe Cassada said...

I would like to hear you develop this thought further: "The doctrine and practice of the church is important to me. So we did all we could do to stop for worship on a Sunday night."

Not that I disagree, but that I think the "doctrine and practice of the church" in light of a family vacation is worthy of a whole post...of course, after your series on Keswick theology.

Don Johnson said...

Day of Atonement:
Leviticus 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Feast of Booths:
Leviticus 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.

Hezekiah's prayer:
Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

You did ask, "Where is 'celebrate' in the Bible?" - you ask, we answer...

Ok, I'll stop! (heh!)

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hahahaha Don,

OK. But you stopped at the last of the three, so it's not like there are more of them.

However.

The Hebrew word translated "celebrate" is sabat in the first instance, to cease, to rest. It's saying in essence, observe the Sabbath, which would be, to rest.

The next one means "to hold a festival," i.e., observe the feast of booths.

And the third one is halel, which is "to praise." To praise thee.

As I give you the upper hand, do you think that this is the connotative meaning of "celebrate" in this culture?

Don Johnson said...

Well, you know I am just yanking your chain, right? I thought I'd just check to see if "celebrate" was in the KJV, so I was quite delighted to find it three times.

As far as these three meanings go, I think number two might be more in keeping with the general meaning in our culture, whereas the last one, 'praise' might be what Christians would claim they are doing.

However, it certainly isn't the usual word used in the Bible for worship and it isn't a New Testament concept at all, as far as I can see.

I could see a sermon developing out of the "sabbath" the Sabbath word study, though.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Doulos said...

You can ignore this if you wish, but since you are my virtual pastor I do like your opinions. I say, "Please stop trying to say she isn't preaching." Maybe I'm wrong. Your take if you have time or pity for my confused mind?
http://sharperiron.org/filings/042314/29675

Bobby said...

Of course she is preaching. She accidentally referred to it as a sermon at about the 9:15 mark.

Now, I didn't say it was good or Biblical preaching. It was basically an Osteen type of mumbo-jumbo about "break-throughs", etc., but it was definitely an attempt at preaching.

What is interesting to me is the absolute lack of any type of Biblical stance among some of the SI commenters with Aaron Blumer being about the worst. His feeble excuse of letting God judge this is beyond belief. How are we to obey the mountains of Scripture that tell us to note, mark, avoid, separate, etc. from error and those that promote it if we follow his thinking? Very sad.

In the end NIU is another false, man-made attempt at ministry. It never was right and isn't right today for it is not of the Lord or His Word. It is another usurping entity that has zero Scriptural support for its grab at fulfilling the Great Commission that was only given to the local New Testament Baptist church.