My friend Kate and I were talking about the flyer today.
She said she thinks there's this move away from Jesus-centered evangelism toward a more Tony Robbins/Deepak Chopra rules-to-live-by approach that may be based on biblical principles.
For example, she said, there's this new guy who's writing all sorts of books. She hadn't read them, but none of them appeared to be overtly Jesus-centered.
I knew exactly who she meant. I saw him on TBN (yes, I'm guilty of watching, only because I want to know what's going on in Christian-TV land) last week for the very first time. I've heard tons about this guy. He's got a mega church in the south, a friendly drawl and a wide-mouthed smile that doesn't go away when he talks. When I saw him he was preaching to what appeared to be a stadium full of happy-looking couples. He was talking about relationships.
He said it's important to get to know the people in our lives. What makes them tick? What makes them upset, angry? What do they need in order to live a peaceful existence? And what can we do to help them achieve that?
For instance, I told Kate, he said 'men,' [wink wink], 'you know that a certain time of the month for our wives...is sensitive. That's not the time to be making big decisions....' not the time to have conversations about important issues, etc etc."
("Because we don't have a brain?" Kate asked.)
Mr. Smiley Preacher was full of more examples of how we can get along and have peace with the people in our lives. His own life is a virutal handbook of fallenness and redemption. 1) He used to sort of ignore his kids when they'd come in his office while he works. Now he knows how important it is to give him his full attention for two minutes, to let them know he cares. 2)Because he works at home, his wife loves to join him for lunch. But on those days when he was working on his sermons, he'd be so engrossed that he could hardly engage with her in conversation. He'd nod, say 'yeah yeah' but not get too involved. One day he had an epiphany that that wasn't "fair" to his wife. He apologized. And now, **drumroll please** she doesn't eat lunch with him on those days he's working on the sermon. He never asked her not to. She just stopped coming in because she understands and respects him. And we can show respect to our own spouses in similar ways. When your spouse comes home from a long day at work, that's not the proper time to tell them that the toilet broke today or the hamster died or whatever.
We should also pay attention to the fact that what our SPOUSE needs to unwind is not what we need to unwind. "Sometimes i just tell V. to take a little trip to the mall. And when she comes back, she's a new person!"
To be fair, I only heard about half an hour of this, but it all seems reasonably Jesus-free, not to mention some of it midly co-dependent.