Saturday, September 13, 2008

Church Satire

The following is from The Sacred Sandwich website. I had thought about using it as an illustration, but thought that some might misinterpret it. It's pretty hillarious.

Summer Blockbusters To Fuel Preachers' Sermon Illustrations

by Horace Pook, June 2005

With the record-breaking opening of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, the 2005 sermon illustration season has officially begun, according to Evangelical Entertainment Weekly. Pastors from all over the country are now anticipating one of the best summers ever for discovering new movie references to enhance their Sunday preaching. Edwin Schnurr, editor of EEW, reports, “Since Joan of Arcadia was canceled by CBS last month, many pastors have been very worried about how they might explain God to their congregations this summer. Thankfully, Hollywood has come through for us once again.”
Besides Revenge of the Sith, the other films that are expected to provide sermon illustrations later this summer include Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, Bewitched, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Fantastic Four.

The initial concern from evangelicals was that the 2005 summer movie season could never match last year’s success, which was buoyed by the huge hit, The Passion of the Christ. “Obviously The Passion was the perfect sermon illustration, considering how it was the best portrayal of Christ since E.T.,” explained Schnurr. “But when we heard that Mel Gibson wasn’t planning to make The Passion of the Christ 2, we were fearful it might be a lean couple of years for movie-related preaching.”

Not so, says Gregory Redenbacher, pastor of Pathway Community Church, who attended the first showing of Revenge of the Sith. “Standing in line for three days was well worth it for me and Josh, our youth pastor. Not only did I get some great sermon material from the movie, but apparently Josh got some tips from all the tech support guys in line on how to clear the Internet cache on our church computers… whatever that is. All I know is, Josh is alone at church on many nights making sure those computers run more smoothly, bless his heart.”

After seeing the film three times, Pastor Redenbacher has already developed a four-part sermon series called “Soul Wars: Choose Your Destiny” which he plans to start in July. “This may well be the most powerful sermon I will ever give,” he conceded with Hanegraaff-like humility. Redenbacher described how he plans to get the congregation’s attention by dimming the lights, filling the pulpit with dry-ice fog, and coming out wearing a Darth Vader costume his wife made for him. “Christians need to see that messing around with the Dark side is no joke. Sure, the Darth Vader outfit is awesome to wear on the outside, but we all need to be a lot nicer on the inside… just like Jesus. I think this message will be very convicting to most people, especially when I get the AV Team to modify my voice to sound like James Earl Jones.”

Later this summer, Redenbacher hopes to bring a more positive, upbeat message to his church after Batman Begins is released. “Batman has a cool costume like Darth Vader, too, but he’s a good guy. Thank goodness Tinsel Town is giving preachers the opportunity to say, let’s be a Caped Crusader for Christ and not a Sith-head like Vader.”

According to Evangelical Entertainment Weekly, many pastors like Redenbacher will be using at least one of the summer blockbusters to help point people to Christ this year. Says Schnurr, “We’ve already heard from one pastor who is so pumped up about the upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ movie that he’s already planned a sermon called ‘The Fantastic Four: Father, Son, Holy Spirit… and You!’” Added Schnurr with a happy shrug, “Who knew Hollywood was becoming so biblical?”


Grammy said...

Just too funny! Some Tongue-in- Cheek at its best!
Love you,

Em said...

We once watched snippets of Finding Nemo on the "big screen" at our former church. I can't recall the Scripture reference. Nor can I recall the topic. But I do remember Dori. Surprisingly, the pastor was not wearing Hawaiian paraphernalia and there was no coffee bar. This same pastor recently claimed on my blog that repentance is not necessary for salvation, only belief. Alarming!

All this to say, I thought the article was hilarious!