A Norman-area blogger named “Sarah” has taken to doing a little “church hopping” with a friend who is currently looking for a church in which to worship.
Sarah, though a professed atheist, volunteered to accompany her “religious” friend`s search for a “Church Home” – more out of a sense of intellectual/cultural curiosity than any personal feelings of spirituality.
I have followed her postings off and on (when opportunity has permitted) and I have, admittedly, found her overt secular perspective to be quite telling. Especially insofar as she has investigated some of the more “mega-esque” churches in our fair town. She writes of Journey Church (out on I-35 and Tecumseh Road):
“…after visiting a couple of these megachurches, I, surprisingly, find myself more at the conservative, traditional end of the spectrum. I would actually prefer a church in which I may be offended and disgusted by the sermon, to a church with bland, watered-down pop spirituality. I want some substance, even if I violently disagree with the nature of the substance…”
Well… that is quite interesting indeed. She would rather be offended with “substance” than patronized with the “watered down pop spirituality” of what passes for preaching in far too many of our local assemblies.
Now this is not altogether surprising to me – in fact, it was something that I also believed during the hazy gray days of my Agnosticism and the darker days of my professed Atheism. I despised the mealy-mouthed and limp-wristed espousers of a faith they hardly understood… yet, even as a wanton unregenerate youth, I respected such religious minds as Aquinas, Augustine, and Bach – even if I vehemently disagreed with their beliefs.
I believe that young people such as “Sarah” are indicative of something in our culture that has shifted over recent decades of “seeker sensitive” churches and supposedly “relevant” preaching… that we ought, as Paul commanded, to “preach Christ crucified” not contingent upon the times nor the seasons, but the plain Gospel of our LORD as revealed in the Scriptures.
May it never be that we are “appreciated” for a staid and vague spirituality, but are ever seeking to confront each arising generation with the words and deeds of the risen Christ.