Why is it that Holy Week seems to bring out the worst in American church culture?
Ministries and church leaders that call anathemas down on venerable traditions that have stood the test of time and kept the faith alive throughout Church history have no problem adopting the cheesiest and most insubstantial gimmicks to get people through the door during Easter season. Tetzel had nothing on contemporary pastors, who have wealth, technology, and media at their disposal.
Here is Pastor Rod (I have a really deep voice so you’d better listen to me) Parsley in his solemn Lenten best promoting his “Mission Possible” seasonal series by flying to the stage on a zip line, while the “praise” band plays the Mission Impossible theme.
Church du soleil.
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If that were the worst of it, I’d just chalk it up to bad taste and shake my head. But what is worse, ministries like Parsley’s are actually promoting a dangerous, deficient message that has nothing to do with the season, the Cross, the Empty Tomb, or Jesus, and everything to do with money and power.
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I’m normally not given to anathemas, but I have to ask this question:
Is it time we start viewing these “ministries” as we do groups like the Mormons — good, conservative, moral people who conceive of a different God, acknowledge a different Jesus, proclaim a different Gospel, and practice a different faith than orthodox Christianity?