By Paul Proctor
November 21, 2007
I pose the above
question because there continues to be confusion among professing
Christians today regarding the Bible's call to repentance and faith,
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of Almighty God.
In a recent article
titled, Pastor To Church: Send Love Letters To Britney Spears,
I commented on the misguided adventures of Southland Christian Church
and their plan to send love notes to Britney Spears as an evangelical
response to her many infamous problems. This writer, along with
others, recognized it for the shameless publicity stunt that it was.
The lust for cultural
relevance, recognition and reciprocation have lured many churches into
compromise - particularly those of the seeker sensitive and Purpose
Driven sort - with a drunken infatuation for the wealthy, famous and
influential as if they were the key to connecting a fallen world to
Christ, when in fact, such pursuits are largely vain efforts designed
to draw crowds and get attention - which seems to be today's first
order of business around the old church house.
The bright lights are
obviously blinding the brethren these days. And what really disturbs
me is this perverse and underlying assumption that God somehow needs
celebrities to get His Gospel message out to all the little people, in
spite of what His Word says to the contrary:
foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is
stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are
called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to
confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world,
and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which
are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should
glory in his presence." - 1st Corinthians 1:25-29
But unfortunately men
do want to glory in God's presence; and so they resort to
gimmickry to try and conjure up what God will not give them in order
to make themselves appear legitimate.
So, on the heels of
Southland Christian Church's love-letter mission to Britney Spears
comes a story from the Christian Post titled,
Hundreds Pray to Transform Hollywood, that reports on a "crowd
of over 700 Christians and media professionals" gathering in
California to try and redeem Hollywood. The article begins this
Hundreds hoping to redeem
Hollywood asked God to change the hearts of entertainment leaders
and celebrities like Britney Spears during a media prayer
breakfast Friday morning.
Now, keep in mind, there
is nothing here about anyone asking God to save the lost, poor and
forgotten in and around Hollywood - the world's castaways, confused,
homeless, drunk and drug addicted nobodies. No, according to this
article, they want God to bless the big shots - so the big shots can
in turn, use their big shot power and influence to reach the
little shots that worship and serve them.
Is that what Jesus did?
Do you see how sick and
twisted this is - how this actually distorts, perverts and undermines
the Gospel of Jesus Christ by attempting to capture and co-opt the
worldly power and influence of Hollywood to save Hollywood?
Did Jesus tell the woman
caught in adultery to go forth and use her erotic and seductive powers
to make disciples for Him? No, He told her to "go, and sin no
more," meaning, leave your loathsome lifestyle.
The crowd of over 700 Christians
and media professionals convened starting at 8:30 a.m. at the
Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills for the fourth annual National Media
Prayer Breakfast. The event was founded Larry Poland, CEO of
Mastermedia International, a ministry focused on leaders in the
entertainment and media industries.
inspirational music and messages by leading performers and prominent
guests in the media, and dedicated 40 minutes of the event praying
for those who have the power to influence many from the
entertainment capitol of the nation.
You see, they didn't
dedicate those 40 minutes to pray for those who needed the
power of God, but instead dedicated 40 minutes praying for those who
have another power already - with hopes of exploiting it to their
advantage and agenda - a power that is incapable of transforming
anyone from death unto life.
If it hasn't registered
yet, they're asking God to bless the idols of Hollywood.
And here I thought the
power of God was found in the foolishness of preaching.
"For the preaching of
the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are
saved it is the power of God." - 1st Corinthians 1:18
Even so, the article
goes on to say:
"Nothing will change Hollywood
except prayer," said Karen Covell, founder and director of
Hollywood Prayer Network, in a recent interview on the "Out of the
Boat" radio show of Christian Life Broadcasting. "We pray for God
to come into their hearts and show who He is to them."
"Ye ask, and receive
not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
- James 4:3
"The non-believers in the
industry who come always leave just amazed that we're not hating
them, we're not judging them," said Covell. "We're loving them and
blessing them and lifting them up and that's a powerful example."
A powerful example of
what, disobedience to God's Word and a failure to carry out the Great
Commission? I suspect, what amazes them is the overall tolerance, if
not outright acceptance of sin.
"We need to be culturally
relevant as Christians," she said.
But, Jesus never once
commanded us to be culturally relevant - only obedient and
faithful to His Word. Cultural relevance is the rotten fruit of
compromise, not the fruit of the Spirit or the work of an evangelist.
The prayer advocate said that she
hopes Christians can support the work in Hollywood through prayer
instead of giving up on it by switching the channel or boycotting
So, in the interest of
transforming Hollywood, Christians need to watch and support
their filth on TV with our prayers and our patronage?
Who's transforming whom
"Hollywood is not Sodom and
Gomorrah. It's Niniveh. It can be redeemed," she said.
But did Jonah go to
Nineveh to be relevant and support the culture and commerce
there with his prayers and patronage?
No, the Lord sent him
there to preach.
"And the word of the
LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh,
that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee."
- Jonah 3:1-2
And what was the message
Jonah preached that caused them to fast and repent in sackcloth and
"Yet forty days, and
Nineveh shall be overthrown." - Jonah 3:4b
If Hollywood is Nineveh,
why then are Christians not delivering the same message as Jonah?
It is because today's
"Christian" is, by and large, not a proclaimer or an obeyer of God's
Word - but only an enabler who seeks relevancy with a corrupt culture
and his or her own glory in God's presence.
"These things hast
thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether
such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order
before thine eyes." - Psalm 50:21