Monday, June 25, 2007

Parsley's Saber-rattling

Via OneNewsNow, Pastor Rod Parsley is rattling his saber over Christians becoming "culture warriors."

"When you speak of the church, most of the church's present impotence, its compromise -- its failure, if you will -- I believe stems from a fundamental misunderstanding about what it really means to be a Christian after all," Parsley says.

"The message much of the church preaches today is but a mere shadow of the real thing," he continues. "And as a result, we've become a midwife to births of entire generations who are ill-equipped to engage the culture, unprepared for the rigors of the call of Christ, and unwilling to fight for their King."

It seems Pastor Rod is conflating Christianity of the Bible with this American religious mix of warring in the name of Jesus and patriot pastor talk about the army of the Lord. Where in the Bible are we to take up such arms? Forgive me if I have a slight problem with the culture warrior motif to spread Christian values and ideals. The Bible I read seems more attuned to turning the other cheek, going the second mile, and loving one's enemies into the Kingdom, not converting them at saber-point.
Before the church can be victorious in the culture war, says Parsley, its members must deal with their own sins. "We need repentance," he says. "[We need] individual, moral reform. It was John the Baptist's first message. It was Jesus' first message. Unfortunately, it's our last message."
So the mission of God's church is not missions and evangelism, caring for the poor and downtrodden, ministering to the least of these, but to enact moral reform? Yes, Rod, wear that "moral police" badge with pride.

7 comments:

Streak said...

Yeah, I flipped past his "sermon" the other day. Prominently featured in the corner of the screen was his Book cover. Parsley reminds me of the second Fletch movie where the televangelist asks Fletch if there are too many pictures of himself. Fletch responds--"no, it worked for the Ayatolla."

elder's wife said...

Hi Tony-
I must confess I'm not into Parsley any more than I was into Falwell, but in the middle of all his militaristic rhetoric, he does say something that I think needs to be said:
"Before the church can be victorious in the culture war,he said, its members must deal with their own sins. "We need repentance," he says. "[We need] individual, moral reform. It was John the Baptist's first message. It was Jesus' first message."
He's right about that...
If we are to be Christ's representatives to the world around us, they'd better see Him in us. Answering the call to the Kingdom has to begin with repentant hearts, doesn't it? A heart filled with me has no room for Him...or for my enemies.
Kat

Tony said...

Streak,

When I saw that pic I thought of Billo's book and the American flag in the background just over his shoulder. S-i--g---h.

Kat,

I am not into Parsley. He irritates me as no other preacher has. I do not disagree with your comment at all, but I do disagree with applying it to Parsley. He purposefully states that he is a "moral watchman."

About eight months or so ago, in a "sermon" he called for the imprisonment of adulterers. Sticking our fingers in the faces of sinners just like us telling them they need to repent doesn't soften a heart to receive Him, in my opinion.

Plus his prosperity/charismatic theology leaves much to be desired, touting the Holy Spirit as a well-off do-gooder ready to answer your prayers rather than a comforter, teacher, guide, and enabler. But, please do not misunderstand, I don't disagree with your comment, just Rod.

His moral reform does not come at the extend of furthering the Gospel but rather lining his pockets.

elder's wife said...

Tony-
I know very little about Rod Parsley and don't believe that any of us has the ability to reform ourselves, much less other people. What I did was yank some words out of his mouth when they seemed to apply to me. Individual repentance (his words) is my cooperating with the Holy Spirit so that He can conform (re-form) me to the image of Christ.
Sorry if I gave Mr. Parsley credit for more understanding than he seems to exhibit in his sermon :)
Thanks for showing more grace to me than he seems to show others.
Kat

elder's wife said...

BTW Tony--
Does Parsley really irritate you more than Joel Osteen?
Kat

Tony said...

Kat,

No worries. I agree with your understanding of individual repentance but Parsley uses it as a cudgel against anyone whose lines of thought do not agree with his. He uses this "if you don't agree with me then you are disagreeing with God" rationale for his "culture warrior" persona.

And on Joel Osteen--you nailed me there. I'll have to say though, Joel and Rod are about the same on the irritation scale. If I had to rate either one of them on a scale of one to ten, they would both get elevens.

And I hope grace is something everyone who comes here finds.

Anonymous said...

Tony Said:

"And I hope grace is something everyone who comes here finds."

Sounds like "..everybody but Rod Parsley."