Thursday, February 25, 2010

Irrelevant Homilies 101

If you subscribe to my  tweets or are a friend of mine on facebook, then you probably saw a church sign featuring the pictured horribly irrelevant upcoming Sunday message. I love church signs. Sort of like I love stupid criminals. Really, society would be better off without them but they do make me laugh, and cringe, at the same time. Southern Hills Methodist Church, down the street from us, puts their upcoming message up as well. Jeff Jaynes, the pastor, usually makes a play of pop culture, some kind of pun, or other catchy phrase to draw in his parishioners and others who may just be curious. Never have I seen him drop such a blatant eschatological reference as a title. In fact his last sermon title was "God is not Your Sugar Daddy." See, I would go hear that. And probably go eat pie afterward. I also enjoyed an earlier title "I Resolve to Take More Baths." We could all use that one! Perhaps he could lend our friends at GCofC some of his creativity. He would probably just tell them to title it: "Stay Home and Read Left Behind." It's sure to be more entertaining.

I certainly hope their upcoming series on Calvinism is more appealing. But, hey, what better way to kick off the lenten season than some good ole eschatology...

But I guess I should not spend my entire blog criticizing others, even though it is tons of fun. It is difficult enough to stay relevant. I get my students for 3 hours per week, if they choose to even come. Moreover, I only get them for 6 years. Do the math and that is roughly 3.5% of their wakiing hours from ages 13-18--again, only if they come every time our doors are open, not including camps. So, it's probably more like 1 or 2%. I compete with school, friends, and family. If any of those are working against what we teach, I fight a losing campaign.

What does that imply? It means that I can't waste precious time teaching on eschatology that NOBODY knows anything about. Okay, we know about it, but no one has cornered the Truth. Basically, we all have no idea. (Hence the idea of Panmillennialism). Nor do I teach on debating Calvinism, Demons, Guardian Angels, or other sensationalist teachings. Not that there isn't a place for some of the aforementioned, but is this what I really want them to walk away with? I'd much rather them have a foundation upon which they can build a theology that will carry them through life.

How will they handle tragedy, a divorce, a rebellious child, an aging parent, disappointment, job loss, etc? That 12 week series on Creationism sure isn't going to get them through it. Our next Sunday morning series will be called "Faith that Lasts." How to build your house on the rock. How to survive real storms. How to know how to live life with God as your Lord and to have a faith in Him that isn't determined by circumstances or tertiary beliefs.

Well, I've ranted enough. But I guess that's what blogs are for. I certainly don't claim to have it all figured out. But I do love my students. And I hate to ever see them turn their backs on a faith that once meant so much to them. So, as for me and my team, we will do what we can along with their parents to help them build a theology that will ride out the storms and the frenetic pace of life. Most of all, we will teach and relate as God leads.