Many people who come to Christ do so from a religious upbringing where they were made to fear God, that God was some sort of heavenly dictator who was interested in "zapping" them for their misdeeds. Some, even in Catholic upbringing, were taught that their sin as believers was storing up wrath that God some day would unleash on them. This is a perversion of the gospel, that Christians are storing wrath for themselves that God will unleash on them eventually for their misdeeds. Its such a dangerous perversion because it does set up a huge barrier to people who have been manipulated in this fashion from ever considering the true gospel.
Well, leave it to Mac Brunson to carelessly handle scripture to present this sort of perverted gospel to his congregation on Sunday morning while he attempted to preach out of Romans 2. I have noted in the past month several occasions where Mac has carelessly handled history and facts in his sermons and even spread a lie about a former church member - and my point was if he is so careless to handle history as a "historian", then its likely he will mishandle scripture as a "preacher". And Sunday this was on full display.
I recommend my readers listen to this excerpt from his sermon:
I will be accused of taking it out of context I'm sure, but I invite people to visit Mac's 501(c)3 website Inlight Ministries, Inc. where you can listen to the full sermon.
In this clip Mac starts off by talking about Christians:
"When you don't visit, and you don't tithe and you criticize, and you slander..."
Obviously talking to Christians...he mentions "tithe"...and of course the Watchdog who is a "criticizer" and "slanderer"...
"...and God doesn't pour wrath out on you, do you take lightly the forbearing of God?"
Then he describes how Israel had enjoyed the benefits of God, saw God move and pour out blessings....how God didn't pour out judgment in their disobedience...and then he says:
"..and this is what they thought: 'Because God has not judged us, God will not judge us'. That is a twisted, perverted theology of God's kindness, forbearance, and patience. And you sin in your sin and you never come to an altar, and you never go and say I have sinned, I want to make it right because God hasn't zapped you in the past and you think because God hasn't zapped you in the past God will not bring judgement on me in the future. That is perverted, perverted, perverted. He's talked about perversion in Chapter 1, he's now talking about a perversion of presumption upon the patience of God."
Interesting...so those of you who are not tithing, who are not visiting, who dare to criticize the pastor for his abuses of the church...you all, including me, are in danger of God's judgement. In fact its perversion, to not understand that God's wrath will not come.
Mac then goes on to quote his history professor from North Greenville College about the wisdom of "gods" and their "grinding mills":
"Because God has not judged you in the past does not mean the judgment of God won't fall tomorrow morning. The mills of the 'god's' grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine...in other words God may not have judged you yet, but when it catches up to you, only God can help you then."
Still think Mac is on par with Adrian Rogers, Bro. Whitmire? What wonderful theology from Mac the SWBTS graduate. The Catholic church used that scare tactic, that manipulation, for years...God's gonna get ya! You better tithe...or God's gonna get ya! You don't visit? God's gonna get ya eventually? Why not teach it from a biblical perspective of sowing and reaping? That if we sow seeds of sin or disobedience, then we will hurt ourselves and we invite God's discipline as His Children...is God really waiting to zap Christians? Isn't he a loving heavenly Father who chastises his disobedient children?
Let's see how this theology preaches to Mac: Hey Mac, do you think that just because things are going great for you now...nice home, big salary, family on staff, going on nationwide TV next Sunday...that God will not judge you for your abuses at our church? Mac do you think you can use the sacred desk of our pulpit to spread a lie about Sheri Klouda and never apologize to us and to her, and God won't judge you? Do you actually think you can use our church finances to put yourself on nationwide TV and God will just let it go, no big deal? Do you think you can slander our congregation to pastors in North Carolina and call us a "hotbed of legalism" and God will stay patient with you? Do you not fear God, Mac? Mac, whatever "gods" you were referring to that have a slow grinding mill...know that those same mills of the "gods" grind exceedingly fine.
Yes, slowly they grind. Ask Darrell Gilyard how slow they grind. He abused women at his churches for decades, while men in his church stood by and waited for "God to handle it". Ask Bob Gray how slow they exceedingly grind. He abused little boys and girls for years, and instead of men stepping in and putting a stop to it they shipped him off to Germany where he likely abused more boys and girls. The mills of these "gods" grinded so very slow for Bob Gray. And they're grinding quite slowly at our church right now.
I know the answer from some of Mac's defenders is that Mac wasn't talking about Christians here, but was talking about the lost. He didn't make it clear...his mentioning of tithes and visiting left his listeners with the idea that God is going to zap them unless they repent. Not a loving God wanting to discipline them - no, "zapping" by God.
We've gone from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to "Non-Tithing Christians in the Hands of a Zapping God and Angry Preacher." God help us.
On a lighter note: I'll close with a clip that fits the category of "much truth is spoken in jest" - listen to this clip where Mac says: "What about this church? God gave you Dr. Lindsay Sr, Dr. Lindsay Jr, Dr. Vines, do you think lightly of the kindness of God....now that he's brought judgment on you [followed by nervous laughter]"