Pastors: Entrepreneurs of Emotional Stimulation

Hillsong United

For those of you who are unaware, there has been no little controversy surrounding the divers practices of mega-church pastor/visioneer/[buzzword title] Steven Furtic. I read & posted an article last Friday that claimed Furtic’s practices as the logical end of Arminianism (of which I agree) & this generated no little debate over the whole issue. While I am content to leave the specifics of the whole Furtic debacle where they are, I thought I might take this opportunity to share a fine quote with y’all about what the modern office of “pastor” has become in America. I found the quote in Ken Myers’ book All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture Myers quotes Robert Pattison’s book The Triumph of Vulgarity. Here’s what they have to say:

 The twentieth century sees churches competing with popular culture on its own terms, “on the basis of their ability to titillate the instincts of their worshipers,” turning the shepherds of the sheep into “entrepreneurs of emotional stimulation.” [Emphasis mine] (Myers, pg. 182)

When I first read this passage in Myer’s work (which I unreservedly commend to you!) I was blown away. The job of the modern pastor is no longer to tend and feed the sheep of God (John 21: 15-19) but instead to study the latest Lady Gaga tactics and attempt to recreate the emotional stimulation using the veneer of Christian language.

I think I will leave things here for now, but I will most likely return to this subject in a fuller sense in a later post.

Food for thought!

Michael

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