Spiritual Junk Food
To be fair, Spurlock did go to the extreme consuming as much as 5000 calories a day and not exercising which obviously skewed his findings. This approach also didn’t make the executives of McDonalds very happy, nor a great many customers. Most of us realize that too much junk food makes us fatter, lethargic, less productive, and over the long haul just plain unhealthy.
A few weeks ago as I was listening to a sermon on the internet I realized that a lot of the messages we get today seem to be filling but not very satisfying. Let me explain. There are thousands of messages recorded each week from pulpits across America which are available on the internet, cable and satellite tv. Each say they proclaim the Word of God but clearly there is less “Word” and more homespun stories, lots of applications but no exposition.
As I listened to one pastor recently, he read a portion of Scripture then never explained what the passage meant. He jumped from one story to the next like a gifted trapeze artist moving from one apparatus to another. This minister of the Gospel didn’t miss a beat as he tied one tale to another in his topical approach. I kept wondering, “When are you going to come back to the passage?” At the end of his sermon he made one reference to his original passage – the end. His stories were entertaining I suppose but left me thinking what was it I just heard? Have I grown in any way by listening to this message for the last thirty minutes? His entire topical message was even out context to what the author of the passage had written.
I believe the longer a church feeds on topical preaching the less healthy she will be. Congregations that are fed topically week to week become fatter, more lethargic, and less productive. Our people may have the appearance of being fully grown, but inwardly many are still babes in Christ because their growth is stunted through malnutrition.
Don’t get me wrong. I do believe one can take a topic and deliver it expositionally, but this doesn’t seem to be the norm. The healthiest churches feed their people book by book, line by line, and word by word. At least that’s what I believe!