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The Pablum of Popularity Christianity

I haven’t written a rant in a while, but this one has been slowly building in me for the last several months and finally this morning I determined to sit down and transfer my nebulous thoughts to the greater nebulousness of cyberspace.  Actually, my thoughts aren’t nebulous at all, they are very precise.  The popular form of Christianity is watered down, sugar coated, baby food.  I wouldn’t dare go so far as to call it milk in the same sense as Paul does.  I don’t think I could even call it skim milk, nor does it have enough solidity to be deemed ice cream.  All I can say is it is a runny, milk like gruel that offers almost no substance and very little sustenance.  To illustrate this, let me tell you about my morning.  I was riding around taking care of some basic errands and decided to skim through the radio to see what the Christian stations were offering.  The first one I found was playing a song about heaven being in the face of the singers little girl.  Grand love song, I guess, but I wasn’t quite sure why it was worthy of air time on a national Christian broadcasting station.  I scanned on, and found a talk show host closing out his segment with the pronouncement they were standing for “truth, justice and the American family way.”  Great, Superman has joined the religious right and moved to talk radio.  After that enlightening experience (and I think one enjoyable song), I had a few minutes to skim through a blog I had just subscribed to on my RSS feed.  This particular blog was just announced by a well known Baptist fundamentalist ministry and so the article I was reading was the vanguard of the blogging to follow.  In all I perused about two dozen articles.  In those articles I found a lot of lists of very useful, practical points on ministry.  I found exactly zero articles that offered anything like an exposition of the Bible.  I found only a handful that significantly used Scriptures.  Most of them were the authors ideas with a couple two references- not verses, just the verse reference- injected somewhere in the process.

This article would be rather worthless and nonsensical, except this morning was not exceptional.  Almost everywhere I turn in the popular expression of Christianity, whether it be from evangelicalism or fundamentalism, I find trite feel good messages that have little to no connection to the Word.  The exceptions to this are few, I can possibly name a dozen popular (and I use the term “popular” very loosely) preachers, author and ministries that are actively presenting a steady diet of meaty truths clearly built on the solid presentation of the Word of God.  We don’t need more lists of great ideas for building ministry, handling hurts, leading your family or witnessing in the workplace.  We don’t need more catchy phrases and songs about how much God loves us and how excited we are about being a Christian.  We need some meat!  We need some substance!  We need something that we aren’t going to immediately understand, that is going to require us to go home and dig and study and ponder.  We need some things that cut to the heart and pierce us even to the dividing assunder of soul and spirit!

I am a cessational sufficiencist.  That means I believe when God spake to John the last verse of Revelation, He ended His inspired revelation.  God is not giving new words today.  His Word is complete and finished.  That is the cessational part.  The sufficiencist part means I believe God’s Word is more than enough to deal with every situation that comes in any life at all times.  What God has finished giving to man is abundantly able to address every issue we face today.  I am not alone in that belief, I claim Divine companionship in that assessment and I am certain of many others who would agree whole heartedly with my stand.  That being the case, why don’t we who claim the Word to be enough preach and teach it as if it is enough?  Why don’t we who believe God’s Word has everything we need go to those preachers and teachers who major on the Word?  Why do we chase after popular expressions, neat lists and catch cliches?  Why do we settle for a proclamation of truth that is less than the truth of God?  Why do we settle for a proclamation of truth that rarely references the source of truth?  Why are we satisfied with runny cream of wheat when we have a banquet waiting us?