Warning: some pop culture references in this post may require the assistance of someone who was alive during the 70's!
When I went to school there were always guys who did things to act tough. One really impressive way to bring some serious intimidation onto the playground was to wear a Kiss T-shirt and stuff a packet of cigarettes up the sleeve. I can just imagine Chuck Norris fleeing in terror at the sight of one of these guys! Well, lame tough guy routines did not escape the notice of church growth experts.
Pastor Perry Noble is a bizarre byproduct of the consumer driven, seeker sensitive, church growth movement. He is the new wave of what I call reverse psychology seeker sensitivity. Why not attract people to your church by acting tough and offending them with your tough guy talk. Why bother with the offense of the Gospel when you can do it yourself by being an obnoxious jerk behind the safety of a pulpit and a microphone . . .
Can you feel the love tonight . . . .
Wow!!! Pastor Perry thinks he's the big man in town - look out Leroy Brown! Talking tough to the sheep. Maybe he found some new paraphrase that says:
"If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and verbally abuse the one that went astray . . . and refuse to visit it in hospital . . . unless of course it is pronounced dead" PNSBV (Perry Noble Sheep Beating Version).
The Apostle Peter might have known a thing or two about the job description of a shepherd of God's flock:
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3)
So what Bible are you reading Perry?
Paul says that a Shepherd must:
be above reproach the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:2b-3a)
But clearly Pastor Perry has a slightly different hermeneutical approach and maybe some members of his church have cause for complaint with their song selection for worship services:
(That video was from the Elephant Room conference where Noble was interviewed by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. For the life of me I cannot see the point of flying Perry Noble to a conference to discuss the merits of adding "Highway to Hell" to the hymnal. Nonetheless there will be a lot more said about the Elephant Room conference in later posts.)
Perry is about as tough and manly as that guy in the Kiss T-shirt with the cigarette packet stuffed up his sleeve . . . but that would be an emasculating insult to chain smoking Kiss fans everywhere! How about we finish it with some real men instead of pathetic wannabes like Noble who clearly know nothing on the subject. A couple of young guys who never pastored a seeker sensitive mega church but knew a whole lot about real biblical manhood:
Go On To Part 9
Go Back To Part 7
Go Back To Part 1