It’s Easter – I’m Offended!

 

mg_tesco_paper_raggy01I am offended.  In fact I am more than offended. I feel angry, upset and quite nauseated. And it’s all to do with Easter. No I am not offended at Cadbury’s leaving the word Easter out of some of its headings. Nor at I offended at Tesco’s Good Friday beer advert. I expect crass commercialism from Tesco and they never fail to deliver. I am offended at what I’ve just heard from the religious person  on the radio.

Imagine this. You are a minister of the Christian church. You are invited on to a national radio station to explain the meaning and message of Easter in a call in program. What a great opportunity! And then this is what you say…

 “I think its ok (that religion is being phased out of Easter) because faith has always been part of real life stuff…”

The presenter asks: In 2017 what does Easter celebration mean to you…

 “I think when you look at the whole Easter story, the same sort of stuff was going on then as is going on today. People were making decisions. Making choices about what they were going to do for them. There was lots of stuff about self-interest about what you were going to do. Whether you were going to stand up for what you believe in, whether you were going to betray somebody, whether you were going to let your own self interest be above what was going to happen to somebody else…there were so many things, if you actually look at the story, you see this is real…and its real life for us…the sort of decisions that we make today to. How are we gonna live our lives?”

 “one of the real strength s of Christianity is that it has always assimilated stuff…there are loads of things that Christianity has taken from other religions, faith, concepts, symbolism…that’s about evolving faith…its saying we’re not stuck in a particular place but we can be where people are at and we can make it real and make it relevant.   That for me is where faith is…not being stuck in the past…its about something that’s relevant today”.

 “Whatever people believe you can take something from their beliefs, their ideas that will actually make a difference in your life…”

 “Festivals can be important to think about who you are, where you’re at, how you behave with regard to other people…there are so many things about the Easter story that bring that in…how our reactions are influenced by other people and what are the implications of our reactions to things”

“I don’t have any issues for somebody who wants to come once a year, whatever…if it means something to them then that’s absolutely great.”

After giving a list of services and religious rituals that he was going to be involved in and after hearing a wonderful female caller explain how Easter was about Christ dying for our sins, the minister was given one more chance. The presenter asked:

“In terms of the message what should it be?”

What an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ!   This was the reply….

 “I think Easter is about hope and about perspective. I think its saying about how things work for you because if faith is not relevant for where you’re at now then basically its just not relevant, it’s about something that’s real for today, not a past celebration. I think its about hope”

(please note that the above is verbatim most of what was said – apart from the bits about the various services…I have not cut and pasted leaving out all the bits where he spoke about Jesus…he didn’t)

This is not a parody. This is for real. This is for what passes as ‘relevant’ Christianity today?!   Whats wrong with it? Its meaningless barely coherent psychobabble waffle. It makes Easter all about me, me and me. Easter is about my life, my decisions, my feelings. Whatever it means to me, that’s what it means. Never mind what Easter actually is.  Little wonder that the church is dying if this is what passes for relevance!  Of course it won’t offend the world because all it does is reflect the world.  But then it won’t save the world.

Today is the day that the Son of God died the most horrific death – beyond anything we can begin to imagine.  The message of the cross is foolish to the world – after all a world in which using the death of Christ to see cheap beer, is hardly going to take sin seriously never mind its remedy! But it is also exactly what our needy world needs.

I don’t care two hoots about Cadbury’s and Tescos.   I do care about someone who professes to be a Christian minister, reducing the Gospel message to such meaningless psychobabble.   You will note that in all his answers to the questions about Easter there was not one mention of Jesus Christ.  Can anyone explain how it is possible to speak about the message of Easter without mentioning the cross, the resurrection or Jesus!?   This man is sending people to hell with this moralistic therapeutic deism.  Lord save us from such religion.

A minister who does not take the opportunity to proclaim that Cross on Good Friday, when asked to on national media, is facing the most severe judgement of God.  He sent his son to save us, and you mock that sacrifice with your self-obsessed waffle!  May God have mercy on your soul and waken you to your own need for him. If only your church would discipline you, for the good of your own soul, and those who listen to you.  But I somehow suspect that is not going to happen!

Enough!   I need some Bach Biblical therapy….on Good Friday listen to and think about this:

 

Erbarme dich, mein Gott,
um meiner Zähren willen!
Schaue hier, Herz und Auge
weint vor dir bitterlich.
Erbarme dich, mein Gott
Have mercy, my God,
for the sake of my tears!
See here, before you
heart and eyes weep bitterly.
Have mercy, my God.

 

And if you are in or near Dundee this evening please feel free to join us as we meditate on what this day really means.

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20 thoughts on “It’s Easter – I’m Offended!

  1. Your not alone David, I have just written a letter to the editor in response to a re defined and heretical explanation of what Easter is all about by an apostate minister in my town in Margaret River in Western Australia.

    Here is only part of the false Easter message she promotes:

    Unfortunately, the Easter story has been retold in this same way over many decades.
    The world was in a mess.
    God decided to send Jesus amongst the people to show them how to live.
    He was not accepted and many despised him.
    God sent Jesus to the cross to take upon himself the sins of the world so that we might be saved.
    The one is sacrificed for the benefit of the community.
    This story has been part of my life for a long time, and I can see how it is used to justify labelling and victimising of “the other”.
    The Muslim, the gay, the addicted, or anyone who thinks a little differently to us are subjected to the convert or be convicted rhetoric.

    Then after telling us that the above is what Easter is not, she then shares her distorted gospel:

    This Easter, I am trying to recall the real essence of the story, which began with a man named Jesus.
    His story is one of non-violence.
    He ate with people who were on the fringes and challenged the social norms by associating with “the other”.
    When confronted with violence he found a third way of being, even to the point of death.
    Jesus believed so firmly in God’s love for all people, that even when faced with his own crucifixion he did not back down.
    This is a different story. It is one of transformation, love, courage and compassion.

    Every time I see someone following this story of non-violence rather than the myth of redemptive violence that we all know so well, I celebrate the life, love and hope of Easter.

    I see Jesus alive in that situation; be it the Neve Shalom school where Palestinian and Israeli children share desks together; or the Kenyan woman who creates soccer tournaments between warring tribes; or the average Aussie who befriends a Muslim person to learn about their life.

    So David, I hope you can see your not alone, Just like Marcion of 140 A.D, heretics are every where to be found.

  2. Well said. My husband and I listened to this Radio Scotland programme. My hubby is agnostic but he commented that the minister, ‘didn’t stand his corner’. It was a singularly unimpressive performance; in fact it is shocking that a Man of the Cloth – on Good Friday – with a national audience listening, had nothing to say about the true and profound meaning of Easter for a believing, practising Christian.

  3. Good post that accurately describes what is going on with many churches today. Too many people going into ministry who see it as a career but nothing else. Thanks be to God that doesn’t happen in our church. Our senior minister preaches Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins faithfully week in week out. We put on a production of Colin Smiths “Heaven how I got here” last week. Unfortunately I was away at the time but I have heard it here

    http://unlockingthebible.org/heavenbook/

    If you are ever in Bangor Northern Ireland feel free to join us any Sunday morning 11am at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church.

      1. Must have been before my time. I think we’ve been attending there around four years now. If it was within that time we must have been on holiday. Sorry I missed you. Hope you return.

  4. My song is love unknown,
    my Savior’s love to me,
    love to the loveless shown
    that they might lovely be.
    O who am I
    that for my sake
    my Lord should take
    frail flesh and die?

    He came from his blest throne
    salvation to bestow,
    but men made strange, and none
    the longed-for Christ would know.
    But O my friend,
    my friend indeed,
    who at my need,
    his life did spend.

    Sometimes they strew his way,
    and his strong praises sing,
    resounding all the day
    hosannas to their King.
    Then “Crucify!”
    is all their breath,
    and for his death
    they thirst and cry.

    Why, what hath my Lord done?
    What makes this rage and spite?
    He made the lame to run,
    he gave the blind their sight.
    Sweet injuries!
    Yet they at these
    themselves displease,
    and ‘gainst him rise.

    They rise, and needs will have
    my dear Lord made away;
    a murderer they save,
    the Prince of Life they slay.
    Yet steadfast he
    to suffering goes,
    that he his foes
    from thence might free.

    Here might I stay and sing,
    no story so divine:
    never was love, dear King,
    never was grief like thine.
    This is my friend,
    in whose sweet praise
    I all my days
    could gladly spend.
    Words: Samuel Crossman (1624-1683), 1664

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  6. I agree wholeheartedly David. As I listened this morning, I felt so many different
    Emotions…it’s so very sad…Christ still reigns…

  7. Heard this discussion this morning and just felt the pain of Christ crucified yet again. Our God reigns in spite of what ‘religious folk’ have to offer. Doubly sad because I am a ‘member’ of the spokesperson’s denomination.

  8. You hung there on that cross
    Bruised and battered and torn
    You hung there for the Father’s glory
    Yet it was not for that alone

    You hung there on that cross
    Naked, for all the world to see
    For the joy that was set before you
    You died there just for me

    I’d often have my trials cut short
    And wish the pain would go away
    Thank you Lord in heaven above
    You hung there till the end, that day

    You hung there on that cross
    On Calvary’s bloody hill
    Twas there you suffered loss
    Just to do your Father’s will

    Oh Lord in the depths of my trial
    Give me eyes that I might see
    That you stayed there in the fires of hell
    Right to the end at Calvary

    Oh Lord give me strength for the battle
    That I would not fall but continue to stand
    To the end, to the end to the end of the road
    On the Rock that is Christ not today’s shifting sand

  9. There is an interesting article in The Daily Telegraph today by Charles Moore who, I think, invariably writes well, entitled “It’s time to celebrate the Reformation, but does it mean anything to us now?”

    “The longer Christianity exists and the wider it spreads, the more it proves that it does indeed “extend throughout the world and is not limited by time”. (Following Dr S Johnson’s definition of the Catholic, church).

    He concludes, ” … modern Christians divide – no longer between Catholic and Protestant, but between liberal relativists and believers in revealed religion. The first tend to think that the beneficial role of religion is secured by the the secular values of the modern West. The second take the view which is both gloomier about the human tendency to revert to barbarism and more hopeful about the the ultimate destiny of mankind. In the coming Reformation the second is likely to prevail.”

    His is a perspicacious view of liberal relativists. It is the opposite of revelation of objective truth which, in salvation by, in and through Jesus Christ, in union with him, merges with the human subject. Herein, objective reality becomes real subjectively.

  10. You might be interested in this.

    On 14 Apr 2017 11:16, “THE BLOG OF DAVID ROBERTSON” wrote:

    > theweeflea posted: ” I am offended. In fact I am more than offended. I > feel angry, upset and quite nauseated. And it’s all to do with Easter. No I > am not offended at Cadbury’s leaving the word Easter out of some of its > headings. Nor at I offended at Tesco’s Good Frid” >

  11. The minister said, “I think Easter is about hope…”
    Another minister (Church of Scotland) thought Advent was about hope. He gave out this message:
    It is easy to get despondent in today’s world. It is easy to think there is nothing we can do, one person amid so much sorrow and despair. But we can do something. We can be counted as people who hope, hope for a better future for the world, hope for peace, hope for tolerance and understanding between people, communities and nations. We can do small things that together working as a community can become big things.
    This Advent we want to spread that hope by lighting and sharing a candle of hope. Not hidden away but visible in windows. We want to spread the message that we can change the world if we work together. You are invited to light a candle, a Light of Hope, as the first step. Then to tell others about ‘Light of Hope’ and pass a candle onto them. Are you willing to take a small step to quell the darkness and shine a Light of Hope in the world?
    No mention of where this ‘hope’ was supposed to come from.

  12. To use Francis Schaeffer’s words – “Semantic mysticism”, i.e. vague spiritual words which are cut off from their original origin. So they retain an aura of meaning, while being completely meaningless. The “post truth” generation to a tee! How sad it is that so called “church ministers” who are spouting this meaningless drivel.

  13. Following on from Goodfeltg, I came across this today from the “Institutes.” “If rulers command anything against the King of Kings, ‘let it go unesteemed’. Let the ordinary folk beware of false modesty. Their courage must not grow faint.^

    While it did not refer to the church, it seems apposite. Church members should beware of “false modesty” in the face of heresy in the church hierarchy. The heresy may not be “commanded” but it is deadly viral. But what to do, where to go? It matters. It is of eternal significance.

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