Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Fellowship in the Woodlands
Townhall.com ^ | January 2, 2013 | Mike Adams

Posted on 01/02/2013 4:44:40 AM PST by Kaslin

Most of America's problems are cultural. Even our economic problems stem from the cultural rejection of personal responsibility and the acceptance of collective responsibility. And none of our problems would be as bad if the church was still shaping the culture instead of merely responding to it. I was reminded of this during my annual holiday trip home to The Woodlands, Texas.

I've attended Christmas Eve services four out of the last six years at the Woodlands Church (formerly Fellowship of the Woodlands), which is a Southern Baptist mega church that keeps its Baptist affiliation well hidden from the general public. That is symptomatic of what ails the church in 21st Century America. Production and marketing take center stage. Core beliefs are lost somewhere in the process.

Make no mistake about it; the production is good at The Woodlands Church. The set is grand and the music is wonderful. Pastor Kerry Shook and his wife Chris are largely responsible for that. Their son, a musician living in Nashville, comes home to perform in the Christmas services every year. I've seldom heard a more talented young singer and guitarist.

Couched in the musical productions of these mega churches, one sees an overwhelming desire to deliver a product that demonstrates the cultural relevance of the church. This is especially true on holidays when the church has more visitors than usual. This Christmas Eve, one of the singers was dressed like Michael Jackson and was moon walking around the stage as others sang. I didn't see a likeness of baby Jesus in a manger. But I saw a likeness of Michael Jackson in a sequin outfit.

Many people dispute whether Jackson was a pedophile. No one disputes that he is still culturally relevant. Nonetheless, it was strange seeing Michael Jackson's likeness on stage just minutes after the church staff assured parents that the church nursery provided a safe environment for their young children. Mega churches are seldom short on cash or irony.

After the music, an enormous train engine (actually, it was a life size model) appeared in the middle of the stage. It was slowly moved in on a set of make shift tracks in the midst of smoke and accompanied by the sound of a real train whistle. The pastor boasted that the whistle could be heard all the way over on highway 242. I agreed that the set was impressive. It probably took the church staff as much time to build it as would have been required to build a medium sized home for an impoverished Houston family.

The crowd at Woodlands Church also got to see a YouTube video of a man watching an old train pull into a station. I still don't understand the point of showing the video, which featured a man so excited to see an old train that he took the Lord's name in vain three times. Let that sink in for a minute: The Woodlands Church played (in church, mind you) a video in which a man was taking the Lord's name in vain three times. And they did it as part of a Christmas Eve service celebrating the birth of our Lord.

It reminded me of the time I took the Lord's name in vain in a lecture at Summit Ministries in 2010. I didn't mean to do it. But it didn't matter. The kids at the ministry let me have it - and rightfully so. I was absolutely in the wrong.

My question for the mega church is simple: how did the commandment-violating video get past the entire staff at the Woodlands Church without someone catching it and correcting it? It's pretty easy to do an overdub on "oh my God" to turn it into "oh my." But the entire staff missed it. Or perhaps they didn't care.

Unlike my teenaged Summit students, senior pastor Kerry Shook couldn't see anything wrong with playing that video in church on Christmas Eve - even though its narrator took the Lord's name in vain three times. He just laughed at it. And that was all that mattered. The service wasn't meant to honor God. It was meant to entertain.

Kerry and Chris delivered a joint sermon, which had a broad general theme connected to the giant locomotive that stood behind them. The thesis was that we need to relinquish our need to control people and circumstances and instead let God direct our lives. But during the short sermon, Kerry's wife said something rather unusual. It had to do with holy moments in our lives. It was as morally confused a statement as I have ever heard inside a place calling itself a church.

Without batting an eye, Chris Shook stated that all of the moments in our lives are equally holy no matter what we are doing because they were all created by God. So she insisted that we must learn to live in the moment, rather than seek a holy moment - because, once again, all moments are holy, and equally so.

To illustrate the error of Chris Shook's statement, consider these "equally holy" moments, which were "all created by God":

-A man sees a woman being raped and intervenes to stop the attack.

-A man sees a woman being raped and decides to join in.

-A man gives his wife a dozen roses.

-A man gives his wife herpes.

-A man tells his grandmother she is a saint.

-A man tells his grandmother she is a whore.

Obviously, not every moment in our lives is equally holy or God honoring "no matter what we are doing." It matters very much what we are doing. Everyone knows that, including Chris' husband Kerry who contradicted his wife about five minutes later. Near the end of their joint sermon, Kerry thanked people for coming to The Woodlands Church on "Christmas Eve, one of the holiest nights of the year."

Put simply, there can be no holier or holiest night if every moment in our lives is equally holy. Either Kerry was right or his wife Chris was right. A cannot be not-A. The law of non-contradiction matters.

Every right thinking person knows that Kerry was right. His wife needed to sit down and let her husband the senior pastor deliver the correct message unencumbered by contradictions steeped in moral relativism. The culture teaches moral relativism. The church needs to correct it.

Of course, having Chris up there was the most important thing because it shows that The Woodlands Church really isn't a Baptist Church after all. They let women preach and that shows they are culturally relevant. A little bad theology never hurt anyone.

In our holiest moments, we recognize that sound theology must defer to the secular doctrine of feminism. Some doctrines are holier than others. And relativism is culturally relevant even when it isn't logically consistent.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: christmas; faithandfamily; god; jesus; relativism

1 posted on 01/02/2013 4:44:51 AM PST by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: alarm rider; Apple Pan Dowdy; BatGuano; Battle Axe; bayouranger; bboop; BenKenobi; Biggirl; ...

Mike Adams Column


Please Freepmail me if you want to be added, or removed from the ping list

2 posted on 01/02/2013 4:46:35 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Good post. Satan is an expert at using people.


3 posted on 01/02/2013 4:48:48 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Oh, another passage came to mind:

Proverrbs 18:17 The first to plead his case seems just, Until another comes and examines (cross-examines) him.

4 posted on 01/02/2013 4:51:22 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

So why in the world does he keep going back to that “church?”


5 posted on 01/02/2013 5:08:52 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Thanks for posting these thoughtful Mike Adams columns every week.


6 posted on 01/02/2013 5:33:44 AM PST by maica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: demshateGod

Maybe it’s the church his parents attend, and so he goes to services with them when he is visiting.

The teaching value of the train engine escapes me, especially in the context of Christmas. Do the pastors think their congregation couldn’t understand a simple sermon - just in words! - about the birth of Jesus? (Hint: There are some relevant words about this event in the Bible!)


7 posted on 01/02/2013 5:41:47 AM PST by Tax-chick (I'm not crazy ... I'm just not you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

He sure is


8 posted on 01/02/2013 5:43:03 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: maica

You’re welcome


9 posted on 01/02/2013 5:48:11 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Thanks Kaslin. being from Wilmington NC and have many alleged friends at UNCW Mike is a jewel in the rough.


10 posted on 01/02/2013 6:05:01 AM PST by boomop1 (term limits will only save this country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Megachurches. Where going to church is like going to a sporting event or music concert. Too much of a supposedly good thing.

I’ll take a small church with less than 200 members any day.


11 posted on 01/02/2013 6:49:36 AM PST by upchuck (America's at an awkward stage. Too late to work within the system, too early to shoot the bastards.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: demshateGod
So why in the world does he keep going back to that “church?”

So he'll have something to write about.

12 posted on 01/02/2013 6:51:48 AM PST by AppyPappy (You never see a masscre at a gun show.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: upchuck

I agree, unless being a Roman Catholic, the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome if I were there


13 posted on 01/02/2013 7:12:30 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy

Ha, ha, good point! His first mistake was in going to a church that has a woman pastor.


14 posted on 01/02/2013 7:24:16 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

My wife and kids attend this church.


15 posted on 01/02/2013 7:35:40 AM PST by Antoninus II
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Does he really expect anything different from industrial religion?

A facility like that needs one heck of a cash flow to keep running.

16 posted on 01/02/2013 7:52:15 AM PST by Carry_Okie (GunWalker: Arming "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well funded")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Antoninus II
If you didn't attend Christmas Eve services this year, what is your wife's perspective on the services?

What is her perspective on Mike's column?

17 posted on 01/02/2013 9:25:24 AM PST by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
Two Sundays before Christmas, a group of kids in our church did their annual Christmas Play. It was neither high-tech, nor particularly well-rehearsed, but everyone had a good time.

The next Sunday, our church choir (15-ish members) did a lovely Christmas Cantata. This was not high-tech either, but brought the congregation to its feet, anyway.

Mr Adams column is well-put. Sometimes, well-meaning people truly forget what's important.

18 posted on 01/02/2013 11:07:53 AM PST by wbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: wbill

I bet your church doesn’t have 20,000 members.


19 posted on 01/02/2013 11:15:38 AM PST by upchuck (America's at an awkward stage. Too late to work within the system, too early to shoot the bastards.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: upchuck
Nope, it doesn't. But the meaning of Christmas doesn't get lost, either.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around what a Michael Jackson Impersonator has to do with the meaning of Christmas... :-)

20 posted on 01/02/2013 11:54:07 AM PST by wbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Most of America's problems are cultural.

Nope; they're SPIRITUAL!

21 posted on 01/02/2013 12:36:20 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Antoninus II

and YOU???


22 posted on 01/02/2013 12:40:36 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Elsie

I’m not welcome in my wife’s world.


23 posted on 01/02/2013 3:08:32 PM PST by Antoninus II
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Antoninus II

Why not???


24 posted on 01/02/2013 8:24:57 PM PST by Buddygirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I lived near this church for over 30 yrs. It was very popular and we visited once. I think I remember feeling like I was walking in to a movie theater as I saw a popcorn area and a cold drink dispensing area although I could be mistaken as it was many years ago. We just didn’t feel that was where we were to be. It almost seemed like we were going to a place to be entertained and for me it wasn’t a good fit. I want to point out that it is a very popular church in a very affluent area and must work great for thousand’s of their members.


25 posted on 01/02/2013 9:38:59 PM PST by Reb Raider
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Antoninus II

That’s strange!

Do you attend church somewhere else?

We had a case or two like that at our church.


26 posted on 01/03/2013 4:02:48 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson