Wednesday, July 10

John the Baptist in Today's Church

I was asked how the church would view John the Baptist today. Here is what I wrote:

John would probably have been be a youth pastor with an "unsuccessful" ministry. Unsuccessful despite his knowledge of scripture, his love for God's Word and Jesus Christ. Unsuccessful despite the great volunteers he has recruited and surrounded himself with.

He would have a ministry based on personal interaction. He would take an interest in his students. He would not have been swayed to name his weekly Bible lesson something like "Explosion" or "Passion". I am not sure John would promote a skiing trip or the annual excursion to the beach as a spiritual retreat. He probably wouldn't adhere to the format of live bands, 60 inch LED screens displaying videos and images, fun games, karaoke, and whatnot and so-forth as the weekly youth Bible study.

John would preach the true Gospel of humility, sacrifice, devotion, hope, love, etc. He would base his ministry on studying and meditating on God's Word, prayer, fasting, being servants of Christ, and the like. He would tell his students they need to confess their sins and repent.

Girls would be accountable for their clicks and passive aggressive behavior. Guys would be accountable for the time spent with a game controller in their hand. He would tell both to shut off the porn, and yes, sex outside of marriage, including premarital sex, is a sin. Homosexuality would be defined as sinful and abortion as murder.

He would explain being a Christian isn't easy and Jesus did not promise His followers a life filled with fun and games and pleasure. He might say things like... 
"If you love the things in this world, then the love of the Father is not in you."
"Pick up your cross and follow Jesus. And this specific cross does not promise the good and easy life filled with fun and pleasure."
"It's not what Jesus can do for you, but what you can do for Jesus."
"Remember when you are hated and persecuted and attacked, it was Jesus they hated and persecuted first. They killed Jesus for the words you will speak."
"Why do you call Jesus Lord and not obey Him?" 
I suspect John would be told, "Leadership wants to talk." At that meeting he would be informed, "John, we say this in love, but we are going in a different direction."

I'm sure his exit from the church would be filled with tears from students. He would receive plenty of "atta-boys" and pats-on-the-back from the congregation. He would be comforted with tales of how he will be missed. As he is ushered out the door, the new guy enters who, most importantly, buys into the theory that God's Word is no longer enough to reach the younger generation.

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