JESUS LIVED TO PARTY
By Akin Ojumu
On the Sunday preceding last year’s Saddleback Church Block Party, Andy Wood – the guy who succeeded Rick Warren as Senior Pastor – took to the pulpit to promote the event. Standing before the massive crowd, the following “you won’t believe he said that unless you heard it yourself” remarks gushed out of his mouth.
“From the beginning of time God has been working to throw one massive party for humanity to experience his heart. In fact, when Jesus was here – for 33 years, God in human flesh – so much of his life was spent partying.”
According to Senior Pastor Andy Wood, Jesus was a party animal who spent the 33 years of his life hopping from one party to another. For the brief time he was here on earth, the Son of Man never let a good time pass him by. The party-loving Messiah never turned down an opportunity to boogie down. He partied till He dropped.
The party time started at the wedding in Cana. There He turned water into booze so that the groove could go on till daybreak. When Levi held a great banquet at his house, and a large crowd of his fellow tax collectors gathered, Jesus was the first to show up.
Then there was that feast in the house of Simon the Pharisee, where Jesus was invited to come and wine and dine. Even His crusades were happy hours, where 4,000 men and then 5,000 men, including women and children were treated to baskets of loaves of bread and succulent fishes to their heart's content.
Now, if all that sounds ridiculous to you, welcome to the bizarro world of Andy Wood, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church. That this guy – who is the spiritual leader of a religious organization with a weekly attendance of as many as 25,000 people – actually believes that Jesus spent much of His life on earth frolicking, is so outrageous that it raises serious concern about the spiritual wellbeing of the people who attend Saddleback Church.
Sadly, many in positions of authority in the Church today fail to understand the eternal gravity of the roles they find themselves. Considering the recklessness of their utterances and how routine they’ve become, it’s obvious these people don’t realize the mortal danger their mishandling of the Word of Truth poses to the spiritual lives of their audience.
Incalculable harm is done whenever the Gospel is watered down to make it more palatable for sinners to accept. Massaging the message of the Cross to make it more relatable to unregenerate souls will ultimately produce congenitally deformed converts who are spiritually damaged goods. This corruption of the Gospel has brought to spiritual ruin too many souls to count.
Unsavory lifestyles are byproducts of erroneous teachings. Ungodly conduct is the fruit of ungodly doctrine. False teachings are incubators of unrighteousness. When unsound doctrine matures, it proliferates into ungodly living. Where there is error, ungodliness abounds. It’s just a matter of time, consumers of erroneous sermons will soon conceive unfruitful works of darkness. Prolonged exposure to error will eventually produce spiritual stillbirth instead of new birth.
False teachings are like rapidly spreading gangrene. They eat up neighboring tissues and rapidly spread their corrupting disease to infect other people. Just as metastasizing malignant cells destroy every tissue they seed, so do widespread erroneous doctrines. Such corrupted gospel is incapable of transforming sinful hearts and cannot restrain the flesh.
Peddlers of false teachings prey on ignorance. The reason charlatans succeed is because the church is uninformed about God and His Word. Rampart ignorance has turned the assembly of the believers into a fertile ground for error. The guardrail against error is an understanding of God’s truth. Savviness in the Word of God must be a priority in 2023.
At the end of the day, all these silly efforts at contemporizing Christianity to make it more appealing to lost souls will only result in filling the Church pews with impenitent deadwoods whose lives remain unchanged.