Thursday, June 5, 2008

Juxtaposition--Superman

I ran across this quote two nights ago:

It is Easter morning 2006. And there, lurking in the shadows, is a figure rarely seen in church. It's Superman. Yes, Superman! He who leaps tall buildings in a single bound as he pursues evildoers.

No, wait a minute. It's not him. Actually, it's only the senior pastor. The senior pastor all decked out as Superman, ready to communicate the gospel to a new generation...

...Is this an anecdote plucked from an obscure part of the evangelical vineyard in America? Did it really happen? Is it so bizarre as to be unrepresentative? This incident actually happened in a church that received the Rick Warren award for church of the year. Besides, this co-opting of showbiz, this transformation of Christianity into entertainment, is rapidly becoming the norm today, not the exception. Pastors are straining to outdo each other in becoming as chic and slick as any show in Las Vegas.--David Wells, The Courage to be Protestant, p23-24
Wells' book is incredible. But when I read this section, though he quotes this incident is from 2006, I assumed it had truly become obscure by now. Surely, those days of silliness were shortlived and over, right?

Then I ran across this quote in a blog this morning:
...perhaps the greatest fictional Super Hero of all time. I’m speaking of course of Super Man! Super Man was created by Jerry Siegel and Canadian born artist, Joe Shuster in 1932 while they were both living in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1938, the character first appeared in Action Comics.

This Sunday we will launch into the second half of our Super Heroes series as we study a significant characteristic of what it means to be a Biblical Super Man. These 4 weeks will take us verse by verse through the one chapter New Testament book of Philemon as we discover that real Biblical Supermen know how to forgive. In order to set the mood, everyone on stage will be wearing our Super Man T-Shirts. Word has it that Super Man may make an appearance. It all depends on if we can find a phone booth and if the outfit really fits me (ur...I mean him)!
I'm all for preaching through Philemon (though it is a book about how freedom from sin found in Christ radically transforms all relationships, including slave and master--not a how to guide on being a better man.), but here's hoping that before the pastor dons his cape, he exercises some super discernment.

4 comments:

Darby Livingston said...

I'm afraid to wonder how he might preach Song of Solomon.

kati said...

We visited a church once where the pastor made his entrance to the platform to a recording of "I'm too sexy". I think there was a "point" to it somewhere, but I don't remember it.

Keith said...

One word - kryptonyte.

~~anna~~ said...

sad...so, sad! Thousands are dieing without Christ and the *best* these men can offer is Superman?
Don't they know that true preaching of The Word will capture peoples' hearts for eternity...theatrics will only capture their eyes for a few minutes.
....oh, so-o-o-o-o sad....