“Cherry Picking” Jesus

Now that the small groups are gone 🙂 , it is time to nix sermons too.  And why don’t we just get rid of the pulpit all together while we are at it (another story for another time). 

To talk about Jesus from the pulpit has become politically incorrect.  I have noticed over the years (or at least I finally woke up out a trance to realize I was sitting passively as words were being pounded into my head), that sermons have become more of motivational, 5-points, how to be a better leader programs.  Jesus Himself never really gets talked about in sermons anymore, and if so, it is about a cause not the person.

Really listen to sermons today, break them down.  You will likely see that they confuse the cause of Christ with the Person of Christ.  If a sermon says Jesus is Lord, the backbone of the sermon defines that to mean “Jesus is my core value”.  Well, Jesus is not a cause, He is actually a real living being.  Focusing on His mission is not the same as focusing on Him Himself.  To pitch Him that way is to dilute His divinity.  To pitch Him that way keeps people in the seats, exactly what most sermons are trying to accomplish.

Where did this 5 point, verse “cherry picking”, to live a moral life, by our rules, sermon come from?  I have no idea, but I am pretty certain it needs to stop.  All this does is create moral rules to live by, by using the Bible as a rule book, and ends up producing legalistic “Christian” thinkers.   

A sermon from the pulpit can’t “make” Christians.  The best these type of sermons do is make people “appear” to be Christian (and the outside people looking in can see right through them).  It makes a bunch of “almost Christian.” followers.  A “Christian” is not the product of a study, retreat, program or a worship service sermon.  Christians are a product of a very personal experience of surrender and acceptance as a community in Christ’s Body together (which may or may not take place in a study, retreat, program or a worship service sermon…  especially when many studies, retreats, and sermons are void of talking about who Christ actually IS.)

Again, I am not talking about the person giving the sermon.  I cannot judge the heart of the deliverer.  I am sure their motivations are true.  I can point out what seems to be coming out of the sermons as I see it.  Who here sees the BS I see and hear, or am I full of BS myself?  Go ahead and answer that question.. I can take it 🙂

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7 thoughts on ““Cherry Picking” Jesus

  1. I’m right there with you. To be fair though I had a preaching pastor tell me I was full of it when I said the same thing on my blog a while back. Guess we’re both spouting BS.

    1. Bobby – good to hear from you. If people would take the time to break down the sermons they listen to, I would bet most of them would find what we are talking about.

      Take care!

  2. Triple load of BS here! (that means I agree with you).

    Though to be honest… I desperately miss preaching. I always felt guilty afterwards, but even still, I desperately miss it.

  3. Often, “worship” in evangelical churches has become a spectator sport and “all about me.” This is the reason I “moonlight” at a liturgical church. I see the worship as more Christ-centered and celebrating the “Christ-event.” Maybe not perfect, but it’s scratching an itch for me right now.

  4. Seriously, check out the emergent church movement. I think it’s right up your ally. 🙂

    The purpose of a sermon is to teach exactly what you describe: how to become a better Christian. Or, more accurately, how to show our love for Christ through obedience to Him and His Word. Jesus Himself taught us not only to love God emotionally, but how to live a righteous life through what we do that honors God. Preachers, pastors, Bible class teachers, small group leaders, etc. are simply attempting to do the exact same thing.

    Probably the biggest thing He asked of us that is the hardest for us to accomplish is to forgive each other as much as He’s forgiven us.

    If you’d be willing, I’d love to start an email exchange with you regarding this and other topics. Thoughts?

  5. Lady Tam Li – I think there is a big difference between teaching and preaching, and I see a strong problem of preachers “cherry picking” verses to make rules on what to do and not do. Legalism is an invisible disease among the “system”.

    Also, the Emergent church movement might be good for some people, but I am not trying to find a church or any movement. I believe there is ONE true Church that makes up His followers and I am already a part of that.

    An email exchange is fine, but I would prefer commenting on each others blogs so others as well as us can learn together.

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