It's time to fully exploit the tragedy of 9/11 for all its worth. After all, why let hapless sinners go to hell (or America down the toilet) if churches can use the 10th anniversary of this disaster to market themselves or their sermon series or themselves? Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, is using the upcoming anniversary to pimp...um...promote his new sermon series "Twilight's Last Gleaming." The Sunday evening series begins September 11, and they've created awesome graphics to advertise, including the Virgin Mary holding a torch.
That's the Virgin Mary, right? Because no way does a real Baptist mix civil religion and Christianity, right? Maybe the Holy Mother was paying tribute to her French cousin, Lady Liberty? Anyway, Jeffress, seen here looking like a cleaned up, gayer version of Dennis Kucinich, wants you to invite your friends and family so they can help save America. Actually, they can't save America, but more on that in a second. First the photo.
After his old time radio hour, I think Jeffress will be talking about..oh, wait. The ominous voiceover on the video gave me a list:
- economic chaos
- moral relativism
- terrorist threats
- global turmoil
In addition to learning of America's inevitable collapse, lucky believers will also learn
- what Christians can do to delay America's eventual demise (I'm betting he says pray)
- the relationship between abortion and America's fiscal crisis (wtf?!)
- how to prepare for the coming persecution against Christians in America (shouldn't it be of Christians?)
- and more (no explanation offered. perhaps tithing will be mentioned)
In case you're wondering how "leaders in America" feel about this series, there are blurbs. "I stand in awe of the clarity of his convictions." --Mike Huckabee. Awe? Really? Just because he's clear? There are three more: Cal Thomas, Erwin Lutzer, and James Robison. Who cares. You can watch the video for yourself.
More troubling than yet another sermon series about "the last days" or "the last days of America" is the tendency to exploit what ought rightly to be a solemn observance. Much has happened in the intervening ten years: the deposing of Saddam, two endless, pointless wars, the death of Osama bin Laden, a catastrophic foreign policy, a widening divide between rich and poor, a bailout of banks that systematically raped consumers, a mortgage crisis, unemployment, and the list goes on. It really is a sobering time, but it's not made better by calling attention to yourself as a man with answers when the day is not about you. Nor will answers from a Bronze Age book do much for me, especially when you're concerned with "moral relativism," as if the Church hasn't all along believed what was convenient and comfortable while pretending to believe everything in the Book. Moral relativists aren't just non-theists, Dr. Jeffress. And some non-theists are not moral relativists; we just happen to disagree about the constitution of morals and the Constitution.