My good friend Harry Mahood (a.k.a. Hoody) is the head coach of the Phoenix Polar Bears Jr. A Hockey Team in Phoenix Arizona. After the Polar Bears lost a close game last Friday night Hoody "tweeted" the following message:
"Losing in regulation is embarrassing. Losing in OT is humiliating. Losing in a shootout has nothing to do with hockey."
Talk to most hockey purists and they will tell you that they despise the shootout; hockey is a team sport but the shootout is all about the individual. The obvious question then is, "If the majority of the people who hold the power don't like it - why does the shootout remain?"
Answer: The fans LOVE the shootout!
I guess it's only good business sense to give the paying customer what he wants, but is it possible to concede too much?
More knowledgeable men than I will decide the fate of hockey but what about church direction by popular demand? "Give the people what they want" works wonders in the business arena - but is it right to adopt these practises for building the Kingdom of God?
Why in the church is it now so rare to hear any mention of sin or its consequences?
Why has the cross become so conspicuous by its absence?
Why are so many worship songs so light and fluffy and lacking any doctrinal meat?
Why are the sermons (When they aren't replaced by video clips) so trendy and vacuous and completely gospel free?
Is there any danger in treating Christians like consumers of a religious product?
Should faith be marketed as "new and improved"?
Is it wrong to sell Jesus as a ticket to a better life?
What happens when life doesn't get better?
What happens when faith in Christ equals rejection, abandonment, persecution, or suffering? What happens if tragedy strikes?
Is it possible that by viewing the world through our North American cultural glasses we have completely misunderstood the meaning of the "abundant life" Jesus mentioned in John 10:10? The popular definition just doesn't seem to fit with Luke 9:23.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
For now it seems the customer remains king, "felt needs" rule over mankind's actual need and the congregants are free to vote with their feet heading to wherever itching ears are being scratched.
Shame about the shootouts though.