I’m reading a book by a popular pastor. He’s been on Oprah. He’s gotten in much trouble over the years from Evangelicals. I’ve read several of his books and totally get why he’s in trouble with Evangelicals.
His take on Christianity is typical in our day. He’d rather be cool and hip and smooth over the rough edges of Christianity rather than actually deal with the Bible. He has theories and finds a few phrases from verses as backup. He mocks all those serious Christians with their hardline Bible interpretations. “Everyone should be cool like me then everything would be cool, man.”
So yeah, I’m annoyed.
Here’s one annoyance:
He’s talking about the strong divide many make between the spiritual and secular world. Why are people called to ministry but not to making tacos? He actually used that example. Taco makers are lower than pastors in this take. I’d agree to an extent. I think the whole “call to ministry” thing is a crock, but alas, whatever.
Anyway, he doesn’t stop there, he goes on to state that everything is holy, spiritual, and of eternal value. Everything. He can’t just make the simple point, oh no! He has to go all the way. So, here’s a quote:
“Jesus comes among us as God in a body, the divine and the human existing in the same place, in his death bringing an end to the idea that God is confined to a temple because the whole world is a temple, the whole earth is holy, holy, holy as the prophet Isaiah said.”
I hope that paragraph troubled you. For several reasons. First of all, at no time does the Bible say the earth is a temple. Revelation 11:19 says God’s temple is in heaven. The earth is not God’s temple.
Secondly, did Isaiah say the whole earth is holy, holy, holy? Short answer: no. Long answer: absolutely not. Isaiah 6:3, which I assume is what he’s referring to, says, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.” In this passage, what is holy, holy, holy? Seems pretty clear that the Lord Almighty is. The glory of His holiness is seen throughout creation, but Isaiah does not say the earth is holy.
Pastors and taco makers are equal before God. Both jobs provide a service that people can value. I can go with that point. But to say that all the earth is God’s temple and is therefore all holy is just silly. In what sense are believers saints? To be a saint means to be holy, set apart. Come out from among them and be ye separate. How does that even make sense if everything in creation is holy? Why does creation need to be redeemed if it’s already holy? If everything is holy, then nothing is truly holy, since holy means set apart. If everything is equally set apart, then nothing is set apart.
In an effort to make a point in one area, he’s just completely undermined Scripture in all kinds of other points. All the guy had to do was properly quote Scripture, but he couldn’t, he had a cool point to make. He bent Scripture to fit his point and now Pandora’s Box (which isn’t holy) has been opened.
Be careful with Scripture and also with any pastor who has been on Oprah.