The Detergent Church: Salt and Light or Slop and Tripe? ---By Doug Giles
Detergent Church (di-tur-juhnt church) - noun: A church whose sole purpose is to purge the skid marks sin has left on man's soul and our society.
Biblical Christianity (operative word: biblical), lived and worked out in real time, has always been a life-stoking blessing in whatever land it took root (no matter what your long tooth lesbian Marxist professor says).
Historically speaking, when the church was healthy and righteous the nation it was in eventually prospered in muchos ways. However, when the "saints" started getting scripturally cross eyed, converted to the whims of culture and became lax in regard to God's moral maxims, then what used to be a source of salt and light morphed into a font of slop and tripe and officially became a part of God's-and that nation's-problem. In my quasi-humble opinion that's where I think a massive slice of the American church stands (or sits), namely in the way versus leading the way.
In last week's column I tossed out my demented two cents/10 points into the thought fray as to what I think would help the church cease to stink and thus cause our nation to maybe, just maybe, continue to be the great experiment it is. Here's a recap . . .
1. Get men who dig being rowdy back in the pulpit.
2. Could we have some sound doctrine, por favor?
3. Preach scary sermons (at least every fourth one).
4. Get rid of 99.9% of "Christian" TV.
5. Quit trying to be relevant and instead become prophetic contrarians, I'm talking contra mundus, mama!
6. Put a 10-year moratorium on "God wants you rich" sermons (yeah, that's what we need to hear nowadays, you morons, more sermons about money, money, money!).
7. Embrace apologetics and shun shallow faith.
8. Evangelize like it's 1999.
9. Push lazy Christians to get a life or join a Satanic Church.
10. Demand that if a Christian gets involved in the arts that their "craft" must scream excellence and not excrement.
Having covered point one in last week's column, here are three more shots across the shoddy bow of the crippled church:
2. Could we have some sound doctrine, por favor? You won't hear the book of Jude quoted by most postmodern pastors nowadays, but you will hear them discuss the song, "Hey, Jude." Why? Well, because it's cool, baby and the PoMo church is all about being cool! Oh, and of course, feelings. Nothing more than feelings.
So, why is sound doctrine being shunned in "churches" today like Jenna Jameson would be at a Jim Dobson BBQ? Well, it's simple folks: truth divides. Truth will cost a pastor people, possibly his Porsche and . . . and . . . it might leave him . . . (I'm gonna say it) . . . unpopular. Many ministers fear unpopularity more than God.
Yep, for the sake of praise, pacification, and cash a lot of pastors/churches will prostitute their calling and blow off declaring God's whole counsel because on the whole it's costly. Therefore, for the bootlick church, it's bye-bye to the real Christ and his hard sayings, adios muchachos to the acidic aspects of the apostles, and it's "don't let the door hit you in the butt" to the kill joy prophets.
The Detergent Church, however, will preach the truth, side with truth and defend the truth come hell or high water. They understand that their job is to herald what Christ, the apostles and prophets have declared and not take away from it or add to it. They do it with love and humility, when it is convenient and inconvenient, and they do it with unapologetic boldness and simply let the chips fall where they may. The Detergent Church is, in essence, God's UPS men: They just deliver the package.
3. Preach scary sermons (at least every fourth one): Today churches today won't touch any scrap of the Scripture that paints their congregants (clients) as possible recipients of God's wrath. Heck, to the hot tub church, God doesn't even get angry anymore according to these peddlers of pleasantries unless of course one doesn't recycle, or if you drive a SUV, or if you have a high view of Scripture, or if you hunt, or if you're white, or if you're proud to be an American and then, then, Yahweh goes Old Testament.
The biblical doctrines of man's innate depravity, the heinousness of sin in contrast to God's holiness, the commandment for all men everywhere to repent, the justifiable wrath of God upon the impenitent, and subsequent eternal damnation to those who have blown God off will not-I say, will not-get touched with a ten foot pew at Dr. Feelgood's House of Worship. But they will get their due at a Detergent Church.
Yes, a Detergent Church will volley on a regular basis both the kindness and the severity of God. They won't sidestep the fear of the Lord, the reality of hell, or the negative sanctions which come down on people and places because of disobedience. Sure, it's not pleasant to read or declare such things, but the minister who's worth his salt won't run from these truths just because they rub us all the wrong way. The Detergent Church knows that if it sidesteps the stuff that shakes the sinner in their innards they'll end up mothering people God hasn't fathered and spawn a pseudo-saint who thinks God isn't serious when he is.
4. Get rid of 99.9% of "Christian" TV: Very little of what passes for Christian television is either Christian or good TV. What does ecclesia electronica yield up to the general public when they fire up their Sony's? Here's what:
• Weeping pink-haired women with uber large lip implants
• Bizarre TV sets that look like Versace decorated them while tripping on a HGH/LSD combo
• Prophetesses with dragon nails screaming in tongues and prophesying pretty generic, failsafe stuff to poor dupes who just drove six hours to "get a word" from God.
• Rasputin-like healers in white Nehru suits with bad comb-overs and an entourage of yes men that makes Kimora green at the gills.
• Weepy metrosexual and heretical thirtysomething male preachers whose hair is so spikey the TSA won't let them board airplanes.
• 21st century Elmer Gantrys making outrageous claims that if you give them a $100 check (or $1,000, or what the heck $10,000) God will give you a yacht (or its equivalent).
And then . . . then . . . the Wizards of Odd wonder why the "world" rejects them. Are they being persecuted for righteousness' sake? No, Ezekiel, it's because of ridiculousness. It's not that the unwashed cattle aren't into God-they're just not buying most of this smack. Hey Religious Television Nutworks, there's a reason why Carrot Top and Gary Busey don't get much airtime any longer. Do the math and then do us all a favor, por favor, and follow suit.
I believe that the rogue gallery that's regularly propped up by evangelivision, y'know, the ones who make the characters in the Star Wars bar scene look like some of Trump's execs, are part of our cultural problem rather than the solution.
It's sad that the Christian leaders in the Detergent Church who actually have something to say don't get any airtime just because they won't dumb it down, or wear glitter in their hair, or a neckerchief or because they regularly think and blink.
The finale next week . . .