Turning Worship into a Clown Show

Turning Worship into a Clown Show

Written by Carl R. Trueman |
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Our God, our New Testament God, is a consuming fire and to be approached with awe and reverence, as the book of Hebrews teaches. And those incapable of acting in accordance with that have no place in the pastoral ministry. And the SBC is certainly not poorer for their departure.

The recent parting of ways between the Southern Baptist Convention and Saddleback Church focused on the status of women with regard to pastoral leadership and ministry, but a recent video clip of the Southern California church’s senior pastors, Andy and Stacie Wood, suggests that the problem is much deeper than the presenting issue. Leading worship while dressed as characters from the Toy Story franchise suggests theological problems that go way beyond debates about the nature of Paul’s teaching on eldership.

At the heart of the Saddleback project is the idea of seeker sensitivity, of making the church a relaxed and comfortable place for outsiders. The underlying motivation is no doubt a good one. We do not want churches to be unfriendly and unpleasant places. If God is a hospitable God, one who loves the widow, the orphan, and the sojourner, then the people who bear His name today, as in the days of the desert wanderings, should be so too. And yet there are a number of very real dangers here, of which the short video clip is emblematic.

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