You Never Get The Best, without The Test

I was doing my morning reading of various blogs and was pointed to a church in Frisco, TX named Elevate Life Church.  They are doing a series on Life’s Obstacles and want you and I to elevate our lives upward to enjoy the best.  The title of my post is one of their “big thoughts” that I found to be rather little, so I ran with it.

They took a poll at the church about what are the great obstacles that the people attending face.  Then the top four obstacles became the basis of the “sermon” series.  Here is the breakdown, though the staff cleverly worked them into the Four F’s:

  1. Finances (84%)
  2. Family
  3. Future (Career)
  4. Fitness (Physical Health)

If you have the desire to hear the message you can go here and find the message entitled “Obstacles Series – Passing The Test of Obstacles”  It is over an hour and thirty minutes long but you can fast forward to the message but I would forward to the muscle guy who introduces the series and then the testimonies of two men who overcame their obstacles–sort of.

Below are my notes on what I heard.  Understand They are unedited and raw, but then that is what my soul was at the end.

The two testimonies do not display a spiritual issue, biblically defined; rather, we hear two American success stories that are about them, not Christ.

In the sermon about Isaac and Ishamel.  The meaning is that we got to put God first and believe his promises.  Then when Abraham built the altar he goes off on how Abraham ordered the part to build the altar.  Somehow this gets to mean that if we go to church we order our lives around God.  Somehow, because you show up to Church you are the real Christians.  When the climbed Mt. Moriah it means that when we climb the mountains of our life we have to believe God.  Pushes tithing is various ways and all I could think was how much money goes to keeping the fancy lights and sound system blasting.  Serious money to just do a service.  Wanders into the meaning 9 in the bible as being finality and therefore their fulness of time has come and God is going to bless them.  All of this because it happens to be September.

The whole description of the sacrifice of Isaac misses the point.  It is all about Abraham getting his life in order and Isaac willing to lay down his life to show God is more important than his own life.
An essentially Christless message of self-empowerment and self-enrichment.  It was moralism American-style.  Classic line at about the 1:30 mark that defines it all: “I did my part, and God did His.”  There you go, God is just hoping you do the right thing so He can.  The power of man and the weakness of God on display.

Near the end he moves back into tithing and uses himself as an example.  This then goes out in a pseudo-powerful way to “mark this down” that though the church owes a lot of money on their building that he knows it will all be paid off because he knows that he has put God first.  Wow!

I thought it was a 30 minute sermon, but only 20 minutes.  Then more singing.  I am grateful for that and grieve over the thousands who heard the American Dream and nothing of Jesus and His Kingdom.

About Matt Henry

Middle-aged pastor trying to figure out how to be missional in his world. Loves his wife, his children, and his dog Bear. I have a love of woodworking even though woodworking doesn't always love me. The name is xagete but is pronounced exegete.

Posted on December 12, 2012, in Church, gospel, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
    in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”Matt. 15:8-9

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