In the vein of our recent discussion of men and women, gender and whatnot, I thought it fitting to point you to this excerpt from a message given by Phil Johnson, a pastor at Grace Church in California, whom I recently had the honor of interviewing. His comments on the modern church are entertaining, masterful, and perceptive, and I think worth sharing.
“I think it’s an incontrovertible fact that the typical evangelical church of this generation has become weak, and womanly. Churchgoers demand that preachers be soft and dainty—especially when they are dealing with hard-edged truths.
If you don’t sufficiently tone down every severe text or hard-to-receive doctrine in the Bible, the tone police will write you up for an infraction before you can get from the pulpit to the front door. All the rough edges of every truth must be carefully sanded smooth and painted in pastel tones. We’ve traded up to cushy seats instead of hard-bench pews and we expect our preachers to fashion their messages accordingly. None of this ‘sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God’ stuff.
Instead, today’s evangelicals favor feminine themes: ‘Let’s talk about our emotional hurts, our personal relationships, our felt needs… We’re hurting people!’
And the church has begun to look weak—effeminate—frightened—sissified; like a bunch of fops and milksops… when we’re supposed to be soldiers!
We’re told relentlessly that we have to be always agreeable no matter what — seeker-sensitive, gender-neutral, effervescent, transparent, sentimental, and delicate in everything we say and do. Those sound like rules for figure-skaters, not warriors in the army of Christ!”