The crowd at Woodlands Church also got to see a YouTube video of a man watching an old train pull into a station. I still don't understand the point of showing the video, which featured a man so excited to see an old train that he took the Lord's name in vain three times. Let that sink in for a minute: The Woodlands Church played (in church, mind you) a video in which a man was taking the Lord's name in vain three times. And they did it as part of a Christmas Eve service celebrating the birth of our Lord.
It reminded me of the time I took the Lord's name in vain in a lecture at Summit Ministries in 2010. I didn't mean to do it. But it didn't matter. The kids at the ministry let me have it - and rightfully so. I was absolutely in the wrong.
My question for the mega church is simple: how did the commandment-violating video get past the entire staff at the Woodlands Church without someone catching it and correcting it? It's pretty easy to do an overdub on "oh my God" to turn it into "oh my." But the entire staff missed it. Or perhaps they didn't care.
Unlike my teenaged Summit students, senior pastor Kerry Shook couldn't see anything wrong with playing that video in church on Christmas Eve - even though its narrator took the Lord's name in vain three times. He just laughed at it. And that was all that mattered. The service wasn't meant to honor God. It was meant to entertain.
Kerry and Chris delivered a joint sermon, which had a broad general theme connected to the giant locomotive that stood behind them. The thesis was that we need to relinquish our need to control people and circumstances and instead let God direct our lives. But during the short sermon, Kerry's wife said something rather unusual. It had to do with holy moments in our lives. It was as morally confused a statement as I have ever heard inside a place calling itself a church.
Without batting an eye, Chris Shook stated that all of the moments in our lives are equally holy no matter what we are doing because they were all created by God. So she insisted that we must learn to live in the moment, rather than seek a holy moment - because, once again, all moments are holy, and equally so.
To illustrate the error of Chris Shook's statement, consider these "equally holy" moments, which were "all created by God":
-A man sees a woman being raped and intervenes to stop the attack.
-A man sees a woman being raped and decides to join in.
-A man gives his wife a dozen roses.
-A man gives his wife herpes.
-A man tells his grandmother she is a saint.
-A man tells his grandmother she is a whore.
Obviously, not every moment in our lives is equally holy or God honoring "no matter what we are doing." It matters very much what we are doing. Everyone knows that, including Chris' husband Kerry who contradicted his wife about five minutes later. Near the end of their joint sermon, Kerry thanked people for coming to The Woodlands Church on "Christmas Eve, one of the holiest nights of the year."
Put simply, there can be no holier or holiest night if every moment in our lives is equally holy. Either Kerry was right or his wife Chris was right. A cannot be not-A. The law of non-contradiction matters.
Every right thinking person knows that Kerry was right. His wife needed to sit down and let her husband the senior pastor deliver the correct message unencumbered by contradictions steeped in moral relativism. The culture teaches moral relativism. The church needs to correct it.
Of course, having Chris up there was the most important thing because it shows that The Woodlands Church really isn't a Baptist Church after all. They let women preach and that shows they are culturally relevant. A little bad theology never hurt anyone.
In our holiest moments, we recognize that sound theology must defer to the secular doctrine of feminism. Some doctrines are holier than others. And relativism is culturally relevant even when it isn't logically consistent.
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