August 31, 2003

Pine Crest Bible Church

I'm always amused when I get the chance to go to a new church and muse upon the differences between their way of doing things and the way that I'm used to (along with all of the different ways that I've already run into.) This week, we had the joy of going to Pine Crest Bible Church and boy was it a fun time...

We rolled in a couple of minutes after the service had actually started and thus missed introduction. After what came later, I'm fairly grateful for that stroke of fortune. The singing selection was interesting and conservative (read: hymns), but hey, to each his own. After this, the real fun began as the pastor proceeded to preach from Revelation 18. For the first 20 minutes, I was exposed to this message: "Babylon is materialistic and materialism is bad... materialism is bad... materialism is bad... Babylon is materialistic... materialists will mourn Babylon... materialism is bad."

A fairly sound message, not very well preached and certainly not very deep, but fairly sound nonetheless. Then things got interesting as he proceeded to tell us about the evil demons and evil demonic birds that infested Babylon and went to this passage:
He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all {other} seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
Mat 13:31-32 (NASB)

He then asserted that this passage was referring to the "Mystery Kingdom" which exists between Christ's first and second coming. Ever heard of the Mystery Kindgom? If so, enlighten me, because this was a new and special reference. He then further asserted that the birds were clearly demons living in the time of the Mystery Kindgom. Anybody out there willing to take a hack at this?

While this was easily the most aggregious of the bad exegetics on display today, there were other interesting observations from the sermon, such as "modern pop cultural music" being evil and some more yammering about the demonic birds. I will leave others to review other aspects, but will close in saying that the constant advertising for the evening service on giving was a bit unsettling, especially in the face of this sermon on materialism. That pretty much breaks my cardinal rule on discussing titheing in sermons and the whole guilt-tripping bit and even moreso with the heavy lines about materialism... and encourages me to take myself to a pew elsewhere as if everything else hadn't.

I guess I should have refrained from using the name of the church... but then again, I want you to be warned if you decide that you should go yourself. For a different perspective, Wilson already has a review and I'm suspecting that some of the others with whom I went will as well... sooner or later.

Incidentally, here's the church doctrinal statement (I dug it out of the webpage, the actual provided link is broken.) Would you expect such a train wreck from such an innocent statement?

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at August 31, 2003 03:20 AM