In a recent sermon Pastor Bartholomew Orr, Senior Pastor of Brown Baptist Church in Southaven MS used a zip line to dramatically illustrate the return of Jesus in the sky.
Immediately comes the rebuke and criticism (such as the comments in the video above).
“He’s being too dramatic!”
“It doesn’t take gimmicks to share the Gospel!”
“That’s what’s wrong with the church!”
It’s not my place nor anyone else’s to judge what God led this man to do, and when we do so we are dangerously close to judging what is in his heart.
Think about it…
God could have let Abram know where he was going.
God could have sent the ram from the bush before He almost let Abraham sacrifice his son.
God could have called Moses without a burning bush that wasn’t consumed.
God could have just forced Pharaoh to let His people go without sending 10 plagues.
Jesus could have healed a blind man without spitting on the ground, making a muddy clay and rubbing it on his eyes.
John 9:6 (NKJV)
6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
If that were today, people would have criticized Him for doing that. If we aren’t careful, we can be just like the Pharisees.
If Pastor Orr’s sermon was effective for the congregation in which he’s responsible, then it doesn’t matter what we think.
But, don’t forget this. If God’s Holy Spirit did lead Him to do this and we are critical of it just because it doesn’t make sense to us, (think about how much stuff God did didn’t make sense) then we are in danger of blaspheming His Holy Spirit.
Mark 3:28-29 (NKJV)
28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”—
Ask yourself this question. What scripture did he violate?