Check out his site here.
I want to say that this picture was contrived. I really do. But even it is, is it that far from the truth?
I also want to believe that the various meetings advertised here are outreach events the church itself is presenting, but in all likelihood they are simply room rentals. Does it matter, if the need is real?
I want to believe that the sermon advertised for Sunday morning will address this dichotomy, but in all likelihood, it will consist of “heads in the clouds” platitudes. Did anyone at the church see the contrast?
I want to wish for things to be different, but deep down, I know that the people who attend Monday to Saturday are often the same people who are seated in the pews on Sunday morning. Or their proxies. These are the people for whom Christ died.
Jesus can do more with broken people than he can with people who have it all together. The addicted, the abused, the abusers, the impoverished, the homeless, the users, the people with no self image, the people dealing with temptation, the people on the brink of despair; these are all the people who can be America’s hope for the future.
The future never looked as bright as when you know you’ve reached bottom and there’s nowhere lower down you can go.
I hope it was a great sermon!
Picture is from Friends of Irony, a Cheezburger Network website.
Another good friend sent along the following comment in response to this post. She is a solid Christian whose opinions I respect so I add her perspective for your consideration. Let me also add that I posted the above article with my "tongue partially in cheek" because of the subtle humour that was present.
Here's my friend's perspective:
"...but in all likelihood, it will consist of “heads in the clouds” platitudes."
I find that sad, David, that you would assume such a thing about a church you do not attend and a pastor you do not know. Frankly, it breaks my heart into pieces.
God uses different means to help different people. Those groups on the sign are helping people who, at this time, would rather die than attend a regular church service. These groups often have to pull up people from their despair, their death wishes, before they can even find the strength to seek to live and desire God.
God is huge. He thinks outside the box. He uses all sorts of people, all sorts of ways, to help all sorts of people. What works for one will not work for absolutely everyone.
Yes, ultimately Jesus is the answer for us all. Yes! But the ways He brings us to Himself are many and varied. And the ways He keeps us whole and joyful and healed *after* we know Him are many and varied, too, and He has pastors out there showing us how to stay healthy in spirit, soul and body so that others will want what we have.
And it behooves us to respect the people He creatively uses to pull people upward from their despairing aloneness so they can glimpse--and desire-- His light which will ultimately expose their darkness and bring them to Himself and a joy in living.
Just to add further perspective to Paul Wilkinson's post, here is the comment he wrote to "my good friend":
To David's good friend;
As the author of the piece that David used, I want to say that there was no intent to be judgmental toward a particular pastor. As I stated in the first paragraph, I have no idea if the photo is real or somewhat staged.
All I wanted to say was that sometimes, in the face of need all around us, as the Monday thru Saturday schedule at that church demonstrates, it's easy for there to be a disconnect on Sunday morning. The weekly sermon often misses the hurt of the community. We all share in that.
If you'll look carefully, you'll see that I ended with, "I hope it was a great sermon!"