You know the new form of Corinthian Hoo-Haa: Chasing after 'great' preachers, always linking to them, forming fan-clubs on Facebook, downloading and listening to the back catalog of every online sermon of your favorite preacher, sometimes just to hear what all the talk is about. This is especially real here in the US, since we are entering what one blogger called: "The Conference season."
I am on the record as being nervous about Christian Fan-Clubs, unless it is a fan-club for Selwyn Sexton. I base that on Paul's warnings in his two surviving letters to the starry-eyed Corinthians. (Of course, I think that most well-known preachers would certainly *not* want you to join their Fan-Club. They are mostly humble men who want to draw attention away from themselves.)
The reason that Christian people often give for this (following, downloading, quoting, loving, promoting) is that the gospel is being preached in a fresh and relevant way, and that lives are therefore being saved and changed.
And I, too, love that the gospel being preached in a fresh way. And I, too, yearn for lives to be changed.
Here is a genuine idea, then, that hopefully combines your love for the Gospel, together with the challenge of sacrificial love. Here is an idea that I think captures the way of the Cross. Here is an idea that kind of tests whether our behavior is Corinthian:
If you have a hot ticket to a Christian conference with a gifted communicator, why not give up your seat to a non-believer? A not-yet-believer? Let's say that the conference you want to attend is completely sold out. Would you sacrifice your seat for a person who was not yet a Christian?This is a genuine question. And I don't want it to be theoretical. If you think that this is right and godly, you could very easily contact the conference organizers, and say that your ticket is available if such a person contacted their office. Or let that be known in your church. You can get the Downloads afterwards.
I don't want to spoil a party or anything. I love going to these conferences too. But am I right that this could that be a gospel way forward?
Pic on Flickr by Alistairh.