Today we had a salad sermon. Take some chopped up business principles. Add some pop psychology. Throw in a handful of Bible verses. Sprinkle liberally with pithy sayings. Voila! A salad sermon.
The title was Artificial vs Authentic Leadership and was supposed to be based on John 13:1-17 where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. First he showed pictures of several famous or infamous people and asked what they had in common. He had to tell us the answer – influence. Then he had to define leadership as having influence on others. Rambled on a bit about many people don’t have position and title so they don’t develop their leadership skills. Then he defined artificial leadership as hiding behind fear, timidity, and wanting to be served. (Huh?) The artificial leader draws people’s attention to himself. But a Christian should draw people’s attention to Christ and should be a 1) mirror of leadership (mirroring Christ presumably?) and a 2) model of leadership. Then a longish discussion of models and some verses about not conforming to the world, being renewed in image of creator, being conformed to image of Christ. [I think cognitive dissonace hit me here and I started feeling like, what? what!!?] Then he started listing 7 principles. It was discombobulating as some of them seemed to be the same.
1.Submits to God’s timing.
2. demonstrates whole hearted love (followed by an almost incomprehensible discussion of partial love and that in verse 1 Jesus showed the full extent of His love as if somehow it really was connected.)
3. secure in God’s authority and not his own. (Huh?)
4. God centered and not man centered. Corollary – so we should value relationships above all else. (Say what??????!)
5. practices what he preaches
6. walks in holiness before God (and that doesn’t apply to ALL believers?)
7. models the Master
Interspersed were various pithy sayings such as “What we worship is what we are becoming” “Don’t give up, give in to God” “God’s not calling us to make butt prints, but foot prints” etc, etc. (He really liked that last one as he must have repeated it about 5 times.)
I quit taking notes at this point because I was ready to cry or scream or something. And he kept repeating the butt prints – and had to explain what it meant.
It use to be that people went to church to learn about the Bible and how God views things. Then we were supposed to go out and try to apply that to our lives in the world. But now it seems we bring the world’s view of things into the church and try to fit it into the Bible.
And I come out feeling confused and, well, cheated – cuz I wasn’t challenged to think of God or His glory, nor His amazing grace, love, or power. At all.