Things have changed a lot for the church.
The American Church seems to have lost our savvy with regards to what we have to offer. Many leading strategists are stepping up to provide directives for renewal and reform. But, if the sociologists are right, more and more people are becoming more and more disappointed and disaffected with the church. Some might say, “we’ve lost our market share.”
Serious attempts have been taken to rebrand or repackage church. Since Americans are world class champion consumers, the gospel has to be repackaged and reinterpreted for each generation in order to satisfy their addiction for the new and improved—the bigger and better.
There is a great irony at work which I believe is God’s handiwork. I mean his finger prints are all over this! The more we try to offer the gospel in slick new consumeristic terminology the more disappointed consumers become. The gospel is not a product designed to be consumed. I can’t hold onto it. The gospel doesn’t satisfy what we determine as our need. It is something completely other. It is holy. It is life altering. It belongs to God.
We’re all starved for authenticity.
There is a reason we scrunch our noses when we sense someone is being inauthentic. We are designed with an internal authenticity meter of sorts. It’s an unquenchable desire for wholeness and for righteousness. It’s like we’ve always known what is good and right and authentic but we’ve lost our way when we wandered out of the Garden. So we search for something—anything—to satisfy our deep need. It’s like we all suffer from an addiction but we don’t quite know what we’re addicted to.
The anti-hero has emerged as someone we look up to. Maybe he knows the way. It’s way easier to identify with him. The film industry has certainly capitalized on him and introduced us to Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne or the weird character Deadpool who all inspire the sarcastically inclined. So, for the next series we will explore this anti-hero phenomenon. We will meet and get to know an authentic anti-hero: Jeremiah.
Dr. Baruch Korman is a biblical scholar par excellence. He’s kind of a big deal and he’s a new Wheatland partner in ministry. He will introduce those of us who worship at the Naperville campus to Jeremiah Sunday. Pastor Roger Jenks will deliver the Fit finale at our Oswego Campus. Either place will offer you an amazing experience. I’d like for you to consider what you truly believe about the gospel, about authenticity and what you require for becoming a fully connected, devoted and generous follower of Jesus. Maybe you’re a lot like Jeremiah. Let’s find out together.
“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this foot race with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when trouble breaks loose like the Jordan in flood?” Jeremiah 12:5