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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Watching a preaching program this morning

Its 7am on Saturday, and I've just awakened. I turn on the tv, and, for whatever reason, stop at a preaching program by a “church” in the area. The person speaking indicates that this is a Bible study, which I must assume means that he is speaking at a midweek meeting. I'm not going to mention who is speaking, as there's many others who it could be. He says that they are about to “dialogue”, which I thought sounded curious, so I watched a little longer. His subject was knowing God's will, which has attracted me for years, as I have heard so much irrelevant information communicated in speeches on that subject. He jumps off my quoting Matthew 6:10, which is part of the Lord's Prayer which says, “Your will be done.” Of course, Jesus was teaching His disciples on prayer. The speaker, through halfway through his presentation (maybe more—on the tv program, at the halfway point of the half hour, it cuts off for him to speak about other things), didn't mention that the main subject of the passage, when looked at in context, is prayer. He jumps off by saying that some things are in the Bible, and we don't need to pray about them. He goes into a story about he and the elders of the church seeking God's will about opening another branch church in a city hours away. He goes into some of the odd stuff people have told him from their seeking God's will which clearly clashes with basic teaching of the Bible. He mentions in a cutesy way that there are times that the Holy Spirit and denomic forces can be speaking to us, and that the Spirit's at times is less logical. At this point, the cutoff in the program happens. Other than some people in the crowd yelling, “Amen”, I heard no dialogue. Other than the one scripture, and passing reference to a scripture that, from the context of his sentence, he spoke about a week ago, that was the only scripture mentioned, with no indication that anyone had studied anything in the Bible, other than the speaker preparing his speech.
What actual teaching content did I hear? The speaker said there are some directives in the Bible that are so basic and clear that we do not need to pray about them. He used being married to one person and staying faithful to that person as an example. Although that is obvious, it is a concept that spans many non-Christian societies. He said some things the believer needs to seek God's direction on, such as accepting a new job. He said that sometimes deception is more logical than the Spirit's guidance. He gave no specifics on how to clarify this situation. This isn't Bible study, this isn't dialogue, and it isn't much teaching. I will guess that quite possibly, even probably, if I knew this man he would be nice, and I don't question his faith. He is fitting into the the institutional status quo of what he is supposed to be doing, and as the broadcast mentions, he has three church building locations in cities probably 2 hour driving time from furthest to furthest, he is what would be considered “successful.” If I was there, there would be no appropriate forum for pointing out these inconsistencies, and recognize that that would come across, at least subliminally, as an attack upon his position, i.e. salary.
This is one more example of why I prefer a non-institutional setting, where one may actually study the Bible, and one may even open one's mouth and say the wrong thing, so that other believer's may lovingly correct one.

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