Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Open Source" Sermon perparation

Here is yet another head-scratcher from the blog of pastor Jeremy Jernigan of Central Christian Church of the east Valley here in the Phoenix area.

This time he is employing the gimmick of "open source" sermon preparation. I'm not sure if this is his idea or the latest fad in an increasingly world-driven church model. The idea is that he is inviting people to send in their ideas for sermon illustrations, whether that be movie clips, stories, quotes, illustrations or (hold on to your hats) scripture verses--so long as they pertain to the subject of loyalty.

Here's my idea pastor Jernigan: Why not simply do the heavy lifting of pouring over the scriptures for yourself and submit yourself to hearing from God through His Holy Word instead of soliciting ideas from folks some of which may not be Christians at all.

May I submit my idea? The Bible alone is our all sufficient guide, tool and source. Rely on it alone for your message and you'll do just fine.


Jennifer said...

How about that?? Go Rob!

Robert Tewart said...

Believe me Jennifer, it gives me no pleasure at all to call out a pastor like this. God alone knows his motives. However, I'm seeing more and more of this from the church my family attended for nine years. Heartbreaking.

Richard said...

Okay, first of all, you spelled Valley wrong. That bothers me.

Second of all, I can assure you, as someone who works within spitting distance of his office, that Jeremy does pour over scripture. He spends a lot of time in sermon preparation, but who is to say that the best approach for a preacher is to head to the mountaintop and come back with a word? Perhaps taking the early church as an example, and being of one accord, working with each other to convey a message, isn't some sort of heresy or an affront to the supremacy of Scripture?

Finally, you say that His Holy Word should be the only source we use... but you forget how many cultural references Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and the other writers of the bible used. Yes, all of it is God-breathed, but surely He didn't stop being culturally relevant in the first century. Using modern-day examples is something Paul (who quoted Greek poets and Pharisitical writings) would have applauded, and using every resource we have to level our water guns at hell's gates... I find that pretty honorable.

I understand your desire to stand for the inerrant and supreme nature of Scripture, but standing on this virtual pulpit and repeatedly bashing a young man who is doing his best to reach the unreachable... that is wrong. Do you realize he is just 26? Yet he is seen as an authoritative and inspirational voice to the group that I connected with when I got here, a group full of 20- and 30-somethings who have been through pain, regrettable actions, divorce, and other things that would have gotten them judged harshly in just about any other church I've been in. They are finding healing because Jeremy, and this church, is attempting to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to do as He would do in meeting them where they are. All the while, he is leading his young family, having never been divorced himself, and showing all of the makings of a great young father.

Rob, you are an intelligent guy. This blog is sometimes incredibly challenging and educational. It is things like this, hyper-critical bashings that make you seem like a holier-than-thou stereotypical bible-thumper (rather that someone who opens that Bible, reads it, and finds that Love and Grace are the answers to most questions regarding the treatment of others).

Don't be that guy. Don't taint your blog with the stench of bitter sectarianism. Love your brother.

Keith said...

"Rebuke with all authority" - Titus 2:15