How to Make a Rabbi Mad

Since I'm very confident our senior pastor doesn't read my blog, I feel pretty comfortable bragging about him without being viewed as a suck-up. One of the things I love most about our senior pastor is that he is as engaged in personal ministry as he is in his professional ministry. He loves pouring his life into other people - even people he doesn't get "paid" to pour into. 

From time to time, if you walk into Yogi's Bagel Cafe on a weekday morning, you'll see Ken visiting with a heavyset man who happens to be the rabbi at the synagogue next door. The rabbi calls Ken "his pastor," and although the two of them are in radically different places theologically, they get together from time to time for honest conversation. 

As you can imagine, the conversations between a type-A evangelical pastor and Jewish rabbi often get fairly animated. But it isn't our pastor who makes the rabbi angry - it's the guys on TV. 

Just about every time the two meet, the rabbi reports on his television viewing. He loves to watch the "Christian channel" on television. He watches Osteen, Jakes, Copeland, and the guys over on TBN, and they absolutely make the rabbi furious... but not for the reasons you might think. 

He's not angry because they point towards Jesus as the Messiah... he's angry because they don't.

"Ken, they don't ever talk about Jesus. They never talk about sin. They make me so mad. If I was a Christian I would figure out a way to get those guys off the air - they don't even talk about the things that make Christians Christian. If I was a Christian I'd figure out a way to get those guys off the air. They make me furious."

Seems like our Jewish rabbi friend has more discernment than many Christians today. 

Just wondering: Is there anything distinctively Christian about your church? If the rabbi next door walked in the door of your church, would it be crystal clear to him what sets us apart? Would he immediately recognize Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2) as the centerpiece of your church service? If not, you're liable to make him mad.


elenburg said...

Mark Driscoll has a really funny bit on YouTube about this. Of course the Driscoll solution is to get into the Octagon with these sissy pastors and put them in a triangle choke or arm bar until they tap out. Driscoll cracks me up, and fortunately he's *all* about preachin' Jesus.

nick said...

Props to Driscoll. But seriously, who DOESN'T get pissed watching osteen? I agree, a well placed right hand of fellowship would be and effective solution to his (osteens) heresy.

elenburg said...

If a radio or TV preacher (or any supposed preacher of the Gospel for that matter) doesn't make mention Jesus, sin, or repentance at the pulpit, but they do wax eloquent about money, prosperity and "happy thoughts" then these wolves in sheep's clothing need a good Galatians 1:9b smackdown. That's what I'm talkin' about.