Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Coddling of the American Church

(Monroe County Community College)

Yesterday I purchased Michael Brown's new book Jezebel's War with America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. I respect to Michael a lot. He has a PhD in Semitic and Ancient Languages from NYU. Probably, he is our greatest Messianic Jewish scholar. And, he was one of our featured speakers at our summer conference in 2018.

I'll finish the book today. I just read this quote, and thought it blog-worthy. Here Michael echoes thoughts that I and others have about the state of the American Church. He writes:

"Today in our pulpits there is often so little sobriety, so little fear of God, so little conviction. The preacher must entertain. The sermon must be off the charts. The people must leave smiling. Always. Only. 
A strong, loving challenge might turn congregants away. A word of caring rebuke might scare off the big givers. A sobering talk on the judgment to come might be too disturbing. The people might complain, “Pastor, when you talk like that, I don’t feel safe!” So instead of confronting, we coddle, and instead of warning, we waffle. Nothing can disrupt the sleep of the slumbering saint! 
Like little children, we must be entertained; like toddlers, we must be amused. But this is not how you train an army. This is not how you make disciples. This is not how you raise up world changers." (pp. 133-134)

Actually, this is not how you train anyone to do anything of excellence. (Read University of Virginia professor Jonathon Haidt's The Coddling of the American Mind to see how this is not working in American universities.)