5 American Idols

bishop-long.jpgI turned on the television after our church’s LIFE groups session tonight when I ran across Bishop Eddie Long’s broadcast “Taking Authority.” I only caught the last 5 minutes of the message, and now I’m hooked on the sermon series he was preaching. It was on the 5 gods of America.

  1. The god of prosperity
  2. The god of pleasure
  3. The god of government
  4. The god of technology
  5. The god of sports

I am tempted to order the series – just from the titles, I’m interested in hearing these messages.

What’s your take on these 5 areas that seem to take first place in much of our society? OUCH?!!

(and please, I’m not interested in hearing about anyone’s dislikes of Eddie Long or television ministry, or large churches for that matter!)

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7 thoughts on “5 American Idols

  1. Mark W. says:

    My initial reaction was that sports seems like it’s completely out of place in this list. It looks as if Bishop Long was just trying to get a round number and pushed it too far. The first four “gods” are very much powerful players in all areas of human existence…sports, however, is a minor deity at best, and most likely only a demi-god doing double-duty under pleasure and prosperity.

    I don’t know, perhaps there are a few people out there who think that sports are actually the “end-all, be-all” to life, but I doubt it. It also makes me wonder whether Bishop Long has “elevated” sports onto his short list because he is targeting a primarily African American audience.

  2. Jim says:

    I definitely want in on this…I just don’t have time right now. Great post!

  3. dean says:

    i kind of agree with mark in that sports would probably fall under the “pleasure” category, and even “prosperity” if its a matter of a professional athlete putting the money he or she makes above God in their lives.

    however, sports being a big sticking point for me as it relates to the god of pleasure dates back to my days in youth ministry when parents would allow their kids to join these “traveling” or “tournament” baseball teams, which inevitably played weekends all the way through sundays. i never would begrudge a kid the opportunity to play the sport of his choice, but these athletes would join up with these traveling teams after playing an entire season of league ball, which by and large did not interfere with a family’s opportunity to worship together on sunday.

    it was obvious that the parents had already decided what was top priority in their lives, and they were passing those same misplaced priorities on to their kids. of course it then became the “job” of the youth minister to straighten their kid out. is it any wonder that we’re now seeing generations of youth that are bible illiterate?

  4. Nodrog says:

    Excuse an uninformed knee-jerk comment but it seems like this preacher is (along with many other Christians) too focussed on preaching against things rather than for things. From what you saw, would you say that a non-believer or interested seeker would get the impression that Christians (and therefore God) are against prosperity, against pleasure, against government, against technology, and against sports?

    I’m all for being counter-cultural and challenging the prevailing assumptions and values in our society/ies but if people are put off by externals before they ever get to hear what we believe, where will the opportunities to challenge in a loving fashion come from?

    Methinks this smacks of ‘preaching to the converted’ and maybe there’s more in the complacent world of middle-class, affluent Christianity that needs challenging than there is in the wider world…

    I just wish Christians (and politicans for that matter) could practice expressing attractively what they are for, instead of expressing unattractively what they are against.

    /rant
    Sorry – got a bit carried away there. What do you think?

  5. For the guy who thinks sports isn’t an idol….man, you must only know some real dedicated men of God…

    In our house, admitedly or not, it was an idol for sure, but a sanctified one.

    Really, anything can be an idol to anyone. It may not affect you much, which is good, but it is definitely an idol of a major kind in America. How else could players get bazillions of dollars if we didn’t drink up sports like water? WE buy the tickets, WE order the pay-per-view programs, WE buy their shoes with their names on them.

    I’ve never heard of that preacher. He looks like a TBN type which makes me suspect as to how he could tackle prosperity….but then he might not be that kind. I’ll have to check him out…

    mark jr.

  6. This is interesting…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Long
    I don’t know if this will hyper link, so copy and paste it if you need to.
    mark jr.

  7. K.T. says:

    I know I have never commented-but just a little of my two cents.(Lurker alert)I am not a “watch sports every time it is on” type person,and actually you will never see me turn to any sports event when I am watching television.But,I think he was right on with this one.Alot of people that are self proclaimed Christians,only pray when they want the ‘Knicks ‘to win.For them,they only ask God for the superficial things in life(as most of us do) that mean an awful lot to them in general.When you ask a sports fan if they pray,and there are MANY sports fans in the south,They will most likely answer…”Yes,when I want “my team” to win…”Sad but true.

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