Do you remember back when pastors were skilled orators and could get a point across without providing an object lesson? Those were the days.
Now it has become popular for pastors to stretch the limits of the absurd to get across their points. The strategy of providing physical objects to convey a point was once limited to children’s church. However, there seems to be a general rule that the larger a church, the more the congregation is treated like children. There are exceptions to this, and some large churches, like Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, still focus on providing a grown-up and mature flavor of Christianity. Many others insist on perpetuating the juvenilization of Christianity. Megachurch pastor Ed Young slept with his wife in his bed atop the church. Megachurch pastor Steven Furtick shot water out of a Super Soaker into the audience. Others have ridden bulls in the sanctuary, came in riding a motorcycle down the aisle, and zoomed down into the pulpit via a zip line. The Cornerstone Nashville Church recently brought in cougar, lamb, lion, mountain lion, ram and miniature ponies in a sermon about going back-to-school.
So “back-to-school” sermons are a thing now. And on top of that, apparently, the church needs real-life animals to get some kind of point across.
Pastor Galen Davis compared the lion to the mountain lion and used it to discuss the similarity and difference between fear and faith.
According to Fox News, “The mountain lion, Davis explained, isn’t considered to be a big cat because it cannot roar; instead, he said, it screams. “We have to move from being a people of fear to a people of faith,” he told churchgoers. “That when the scream of fear comes in our life, we know it’s not the real lion … We know that it’s not what God has for us.”
Right. Soooo…apparently live animals need to be present for the awesome back-to-school analogy.
PETA sent a letter to the church asking them to sign a pledge never to use animals in their services in the future.
PETA has a “Christian outreach division” and its Vice President, Colleen O’Brien, said they are, “encouraging Cornerstone Nashville to serve the meek by pledging never to exploit vulnerable animals ever again.” Church leaders have refused to respond to the letter, stating publicly that they wouldn’t engage in conversation because it wouldn’t be “intelligent.”
While we agree that animals were created by God to either be eaten or to be worn (or in some cases provide companionship, entertainment, or be made into glue or medicine) and aren’t at all considering the validity of PETA’s complaint, we do agree with one critic online who said, “Is it really necessary for you to use animals to preach a sermon? Why?”
If you would like to find a “grown-up church,” please consult the ARBCA directory. You might also search out Founders Friendly churches, the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE), or the National Council of Family Integrated Churches (NCFIC).
[HT Fox News]