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Andy Stanley and Iron Man -- This Week in Irreverent Heresy

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You have got to be kidding me. I hope we all can see this clearly. The "stark reality" is referring to Tony Stark, who is Iron Man. In the movie, he realizes that because his weapons all bear his name, things that blow up in his life often have his name on it. The pastor then exposits this thought. Not the Bible, but the movie quote. He exposits it and tries to find a life application for it so it will seem relevant to the people listening to him. Then at the end of the process, after he has made the point he wanted to make, he scours the Bible to try and find any verse that might seem to support his pre-determined point. That is not how one is supposed to handle the Bible. We do not hear from God when we approach the Bible to confirm ourselves. God did not have King Solomon write this Proverb so that we can "own our own part" in the things that blow up in our lives. What utter garbage. So you hold what is supposed to be a church service. Sheep of the Lord who need to hear the Gospel so they can grow into the maturity in Christ will instead be wowed by the pyrotechnics and stagecraft. The goats who have come genuinely seeking God will not hear the Gospel, which is the only thing that can save them. Instead they will hear some humanistic, self-help drivel about owning their own stuff. Then it will be wrapped in a pious bow by abusing Proverbs 4:23. How utterly pathetic and sad. Think for a moment about the person who desperately needed God that week. God, not Iron Man. Their heart was ready to hear the Gospel and be drawn by the Holy Spirit only they were denied the Gospel. Then before they can come back the following week their life was required of them. They stand before Christ and He declares He never knew them. The responsibility we hold as pastors and preachers is profound and holds in the balance the eternal destination of the souls of man. Tomorrow is promised to no one beloved. Let us never be caught preaching about Iron Man when people are in need of salvation. It is like holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven but denying access to those genuinely seeking. It is deplorable.

The entire concept of "at the movies" is just as deplorable. I like movies as much as the next guy but they have their place in society and church has a different place. Or at least it ought to. Movies are meant for entertainment beloved and think about that for a minute. When you insist on replacing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Iron Man you are saying that church is meant to be entertainment. That is most certainly not supported in Scripture. We do not need smoke machines, club lighting, or pulsating rhythmic beats to distract us from God. We do not need couches, mini-fridges, and hot popcorn when we are desperately seeking the Lord. We do not need songs about sexual arousal during worship, messages about Star Wars or the exposition of the BFG. We need the Gospel and preachers who understand what their responsibility is and have enough fear of the Lord to never forget that He is a consuming fire.

By his own admission of wanting to rid the church of the term shepherd, Andy Stanley reveals he is nothing more than a hireling. He does not want to shepherd sheep. He wants to entertain goats and pretend he is doing something for the kingdom when he is not. Pastors across the Christian landscape in this country abandon the Gospel of Jesus Christ to teach life lessons and carnal talking points based upon popular secular movies. Then we wonder why so many are so easily deceived. We wonder why the Bible says that few are those who will find the narrow path to salvation. It is because people go to church on Sunday to be entertained instead of convicted. To listen to Star Wars instead of the Gospel. To offer their sacrifice of praise to being "turned on" instead of being turned over to a life found in Jesus Christ. God will not allow this forever beloved. Uzzah learned this the hard way. So did Ananias and Sapphira. Our God is a consuming fire.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- August 1, 2016

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