Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Great Guru

Three weeks ago I reviewed a book written by a "spiritual guru" . . . a well-known pastor whose upcoming "tell all" book may, indeed, come as quite a shock to some of the folks in his parish--a mega-church of such tremendous size that it probably has its own zip code.  Since the review has not yet appeared in print, however, I feel obligated to stay mum until the book, and review, are published.

But I can still comment on the commentary.

Naturally, many big names and top leaders--especially in the church--feel that God has given them a unique message, a special dispensation, or an individual blessing that has catapulted them into the limelight of success. . . which is, of course, the place where God needs them.  (It never seems to occur to the gurus that God might not need them, or that they are, in the larger picture of human history and church history, quite disposable.)

Reviewing books written by spiritual giants isn't very fun.  The only thing one can do with a book built on such a dead-serious and ego-centric foundation is chop it down.  I always get the feeling when I read these books that the spiritual giant created the church, and that the church built upon the blood, sweat and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is just an afterthought.  Thank God the guru straightened Jesus out!

I also find it interesting when the giants want to write a tell-all book . . . . Why aren't they being honest with their friends and family from the beginning?  Are there really that many secrets to keep?  Are people really going to be surprised to learn that they are, after all, flawed and broken individuals?  Why wear a mask for thirty years and live in secrecy and self-delusion?  Doesn't the gospel free us from such things?  Or, am I missing something . . . ?

The saddest thing about reading these tell-all books about ministry is that most of these famous leaders don't seem to have a life worth living.  They always come across to me as starched, humorless, and calloused people . . . .

Well, but maybe that's the reviewer in me. Or maybe I've had too much fun in my life.  Some of these people, honestly, they need to have their ticket punched.  I think Jesus would be more pleased . . . and I'm sure Jesus wouldn't buy the book, and he sure as tootin' wouldn't read my review.

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