Don’t drink the ‘cool’ aid
I don’t have a particular person in mind as I write this. Recently I have been studying famous and historically significant preachers, pastors, and musicians. There is a great group of people through history who preached, taught, wrote, did, and sang in the name of Jesus. When I was younger I accepted everything some of these people said as truth. I didn’t challenge or even investigate whether they were being responsible with the Gospel or not.
I have recently been studying materials by and about people like:
Michael W. Smith
Steven Curtis Chapman
You get the idea.
This is where a lot of people get their theology. They sometimes put the people on this list above God. There are, no doubt, some of the super star preachers, pastors, authors, and artists that are more into the fame than the Founder, and a few are more interested in the cause than the Christ. I am not implying that of anyone on this list specifically. I know there is a large group of them that are daily having their hearts broken by the gospel, and their lives changed by an ever saving, ever loving lord. Their only desire is to bring Him glory. Some people read the books, watch the videos, and buy the music more to hear what the person has to say, than who they are really talking about. Its like the Apple Computer disciples who hang on every word of Mr. Steve Jobs. Many are less concerned about the technology, and whether or not they need it, and more on the fact that Steve says its cool – so they need to have it. (I say as I type this on my iPad.) I’m not trying to say that there is something wrong with the amazing ministers of our time and throughout history. I enjoy reading stuff by John Piper, D.A. Carson, and Francis Chan. I enjoy watching Mark Driscoll. My mp3 player is loaded with songs by major Christian artists.
We have to make sure that we’re being fed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and not just absorbing and regurgitating what others are offering. The same could be said for what your local pastor is saying, what you read in blogs, and what the television preacher is saying. Don’t base your theology on the theology of someone else. Base your theology on Jesus theology. Yes, these other sources are entertaining and informative, uplifting and encouraging, but they should be measured against the one true authority. When the Bible says that you are to have no other gods before the one true God, it’s not just talking about false deities but anything or anyone that takes the place of God in any part of your life. I don’t know if you’ve heard the term ‘functional savior,’ but that is where these people are placed is the lives of some.
The folks I mention above, and others I didn’t, have lots of things to say. Some of the things are great, and some aren’t so much. It’s good to listen to what they have to say. It’s also crucial to know if what they are saying is in line with the word of God. Don’t drink the ‘cool’ aid.