Monday, December 28, 2009

Dentists and Pastors

I heard a commercial for the umptheenth time this morning on the radio. It was a testimonial for a local dentist. The patient was saying, “What I want in a dentist is someone who can relate to me…make a personal connection…make me feel better.” Now, I can appreciate the need to not be intimidated by the dentist, but…seriously? Don’t you want certification? Licensure? A degree from a non-Caribbean university? Experience and insight?

And then I wondered if this is part of what is wrong with evangelicalism today. I could easily imagine that commercial changing ever so slightly and becoming a testimonial for a church. “What I want from a pastor is someone who can relate to me…make a personal connection with me…make me feel better.” Why not biblical wisdom and expertise? Why not experience with the presence of God in this broken world? Why not a proclaimed of truth in a world of error?

Maybe I just had too much of a headache on the way to the office this morning.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

I heard Jim Bradford, while he was pastoring Central AG in Springfield, tell a story of someone who told him, in a one-on-one meeting, that unless he could show him how Jesus could make his life better, then it wasn't worth it for him to attend church. (I'm not getting the details exactly right, here, but the gist is there) That's where our culture is... and it's also evidenced in the book Soul Searching, where the authors coin the term "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism" as the belief system infiltrating the evangelical church. My own opinion is that this state of affairs is the result of attaching capitalism to Christianity - a sort of Evangelical Capitalism. We mirror our culture by ranking our methodologies by how well they pencil-out on the bottom-line.