Ohio church apologizes after pastor encourages students to spit on him, cut him with knife
— Read on www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna995606
I’m down for innovating to better transmit the message of the death and resurrection of Christ, but not like this.
Reading the fullness of the story, what is seen is the desire to make more real the gruesomeness of the affliction that Christ went through. It was well intentioned but it was wrong. I would say it is wrong on many levels.
1. The actually beating Christ received did not save us. Contrary to popular belief, the actually physical affliction did not redeem anyone. Isaiah says that it please the Lord to strike this servant… and later it establishes that by his wounds we are healed. It is not physical wounds, it was the striking of the Father for the sins of the bride of a Christ.
2. It was ordained that the preaching of Gods word would be the means of bringing the reality of the afflictions of the Lamb of God into reality. To dramatize and try to contextualize the suffering of Jesus by the act of having others do much less than was done to Jesus, does not raise up the significance of the suffering of Christ… it actually demeans it.
3. This dramatization of the reality of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ shows something even more at its core… the irreverence towards the preaching of the word. Many churches, not just this one, have with this innovating spirit pushed out the holiness of preaching. Preaching for many churches is a formality and not the center. Rituales are the purpose of church meeting and not the preaching of the word. Social gatherings (called fellowship) have replaced the vitality of congregational listening of the word.
My prayers go out for this church and others like it, those who have a burned out torch behind the pulpit. May the day come when the only thing the church desires is the steady preaching of the word of God, and not gimmicks or plays or dramatizations, but truth.