Beliefs of the Heart: Reflections

Hunting Heroes

May 29, 2021 Sam Williamson Season 2021 Episode 2
Beliefs of the Heart: Reflections
Hunting Heroes
Show Notes Transcript

When Christian heroic counsel created villainy.  Adapted from this article: https://beliefsoftheheart.com/2021/05/26/hunting-heroes/ by Sam Williamson, and very special thanks to Keith Medley for his FANTASTIC 27 string guitar background song, Ancestors. You can find more of Keith's music at: http://www.keithmedleymusic.com/

Support the show (https://beliefsoftheheart.com/giving/)
Speaker 1:

Welcome to Beliefs of the Heart weekly reflection , I'm Sam Williamson. And today we're discussing Hunting Heroes.

:

A few years ago, I saw a video of a famous Christian writer who has morphed his verbal skills into marketing savvy. He teaches both the secular and spiritual world how to sell themselves. In the video, this famous Christian author shared how he had helped the pastor increase the weekly attendence of his church. This was the marketing savvy he gave the pastor: Quote. I realized that too many churches make the pastor the hero I decided to make the congregation the hero and the church's attendance exploded. End quote. It reminded me of a conversation early in the Last World. Movie. Repentant , Jurassic park creator, John Hammond cries. "Don't worry. I'm not making those old mistakes again." To which Ian Malcolm retorts, "no, you're making all new ones." It's all about the hero. The essential distinction between Christianity and every other religion in the world, including secularism can be boiled down to one question who is the hero of your story? The human race was cursed when Adam and Eve decided to be their own heroes and their story, they grabbed God's place in the garden and seized it for themselves. All subsequent human sins are variations on that single theme. We are usurping God's place. I agree that our primary here ought not to be the pastor priest or even famous Christian heroes. They are not celebrated because of their greatness. They're celebrated because God's greatness worked in them. When Jesus returns, we will find that the great Christian heroes, the greatest Christian heroes of all time will turn out to be thousands of men and women. We have never heard of, I applaud moving the hero spotlight from ordained leadership or political leadership, but I deplore moving it to the congregation. It's just a more insidious form of idolatry. Clergy worship is sick, but self worship is suicide. True fruit. The true hero in God's plan. This morning, I read "By this. My father is glorified that you bear much fruit. And so prove to be my disciples." In my subconscious mind, I paraphrase the verse to mean this. "If I'm successful in bear fruit, it proves my ideas and plans were right, possibly brilliant." In other words, I am the hero of my own story and God is simply affirming it. But scripture says there is a real fruit, a fruit that endures it is solely and uniquely a fruit that brings glory to the father that makes him the hero. God's power is shown through our weakness. And it's always been that way. God didn't give Isaac to Abraham and Sarah and tell it was impossible for them to have children. God didn't make Moses a leader until he was too old to lead. God picked cowardly Gideon, and then reduced his army from 32,000 to 300. And the reason God cut Gideon's army down so dramatically was because God knows the human heart, that quote Israel would become boastful saying my own power has delivered me. )Judges 7:2). the human heart always wants to be the famous hero. We never want to bow to another, which is just another way of saying I'm the hero of my own story. Worship me. It takes a great human heart to be a hero. It takes a greater human heart tempered with spiritual humble honesty to admit "I need somebody far greater than me." The backgrounds of this particular story, is long and sorted. I would say since I was a kid, I have just had a heightened awareness of Christian leadership and what God is doing with leaders. And more And more increasingly, I'm becoming more bothered by Christian leadership, you know, from the simplistic tips, tricks and tips, which are just shallow little things about marriage, three steps to a happier marriage. I 'm thinking there's something more going on inside that marriage than just being able to say, I love you three times a week. And then it goes on to celebrity pastors. Christian, Christian leadership has completely been co-opted by the world. I had a friend who went to a seminary. I'm not going to say what seminary it was because I hope that they've changed. But in the eighties my friend went to a seminary and he , he, after he'd been there for a few months, he said, you know, when Are you going to teach us more about prayer, about reading scripture, about hearing God. And a seminary professor said, we are here to make you professional pastors. Your spiritual life is your own business. And my friend was shocked

Speaker 3:

Because he grew up wanting to know God more to , to hear him to, to worship, to pray. Uh, but, but in the 20th century, seminary Training went from Ministry to business with a huge, to a huge emphasis on professionalism. Originally in the earliest 20th century, you basically were taught living spirituality, how to live a spiritual life. And then you were taught word gifts , (preaching, teaching, and counsel) some administration. Cause you know, you knew you had to make the bulletin and you were taught worship. And the worship was both how to lead , but also how to have a habit in your own life. But nowadays seminaries are teaching how to lead meetings, how to manage budgets, how to give job reviews, how to do vision casting. Um, church leadership has gone from ministry to a business.

Speaker 2:

And therefore for , I was just captured by this a Christian author who had sold millions of books. I've read one of them. It was okay, but he sold millions of copies. He turned himself into a marketing consultant And his advice of shifting praise from the pastor to applauding the audience was just, I don't know . It's just like , it's like, we don't even notice the narcissism in our inner society anymore that the celebrity pastors, you know, it, this Christian author who became a business consultant, didn't say making the Christian pastor a hero was narcissism. Although it was he so, so therefore he said, it's okay to make the audience, the object of our praise. And, and, and you know, of course the insidious Issue here is that if the audience grows, who's going to get the praise. It's the pastor. Anyway, it's just, it's a , it's another way of feeding that longing inside the pastor to have this worldly success where doctors and lawyers will also say, oh, look at that. Your business is growing. Whereas historically, the church has growth, never had that kind of number approach in it. It was a depth of heart. If someone was growing in the Lord, it was cause they were praying more. They were hearing God more. They were loving their spouse more. They were more peaceful. They were more patient. It , it never had to do with exploding numbers in your congregation. It's , it's a modern fallacy of the professional life of a pastor, as opposed to the spiritual life of a pastor.

:

Do I sound like a ranting? I'm holding back. I got, as I am muzzling myself, But at the same time, there's tons Of people who are recognizing this. And I'm excited by that. My comment of the week goes to Ann O'Malley. Ann is a long-term reader. And she describes in her comments, some suffering, she had gone through a friend of hers had gone through. So she suffered with a friend and things were getting better. Her, her own life was getting better when her friend's life was getting better. And then she wrote the words, entered my mind, uninvited and unintended "help me God to forgive you." And she stops herself and says, oh my gosh, how could I ever imagine a thing? But she says, that's how she felt like the pain had run so deep. That of course he must've done something terrible to me, something wrong, something evil, something. I had a right to either forgive or continue to hold against him. She says, the God I wanted to worship. Wouldn't do this to me. She goes on and says, I bill , I suspect that many in our culture hold his belief about God. If he didn't do what I expect him to do, he must be wrong. Not me. As CS Lewis describes in the God in the doc , we put God on trial And make ourselves the judges. Now, what I like about

Speaker 3:

Anne's comment is number one, it's a terrific, self-reflection where she's thinking. She needs to forgive God. And you know, in a certain sense, she does need to let it go. But she recognizes in this self-reflection that she is trying to create the God that she wants instead of trying to connect with the God that is there. She's trying to tell God how to do things. Instead of saying, God, I need your help. I need you to be the hero. So I really love her comment. I really love it. And I love the fact. She describes this. I'm judging God, even though God is the one that taught me, what love i s, God is the one that t aught me w ith patient says, God is the one that taught me true justice and saying, we're all judging God, in some ways, We're trying to make him better. So A nne, thank you very much. And everybody else, I look forward to seeing you next t ime And y ou too Ann.

:

Thanks for listening. Please join us by following this podcast or liking it and visit our website, beliefs of the heart.com for more articles, books, videos, podcasts, and courses, all designed to foster intimate theology, deepening a real relationship with the real God who is there. See you next week.