As I have confessed before, AnOldSinner has a love-hate relationship with some talk-radio hosts. A few months ago, one host challenged that relationship with a cringe-worthy comment.*
The topic of conversation, as it has been for the last couple of years, was the ongoing political dramedy known as the 2016 presidential campaign. Accordingly, he was talking about all the front-runners still in the races at that time, but the comment in question concerned The Donald.
The host played a clip of Mr. Trump commenting on his relationship with Evangelical Christians. During his comments, Trump mentioned that he goes to “Sunday School” regularly. The host quickly scoffed at The Donald’s use of the term. The host commented, “I used to go to Sunday School when I was a kid, but then I grew up and graduated to, you know, regular church.”
The radio host’s tone was both amused and discounting. He was clearly trying to make it sound as if Trump were somewhat ignorant in this area, or was being untruthful. After all, how could anyone who called a book of the Bible “Two Corinthians” instead of Second Corinthians be a real Christian? If the host’s comments were not shtick, he was the one showing his ignorance.
Sunday School, including Adult Sunday School, is still a part of the church experience for many Christians. In many cases, it is now called Adult Bible Study or Adult Bible Fellowship, but it is Sunday School for adults. This writer is in Adult Bible Study every Sunday before the “regular” church service, and many of the other adults in attendance still think of it as Sunday School. Anyone doubting this is the case simply needs to do an internet search to see how much interest there is in adult Sunday school.
The radio host may have simply been going for a laugh at Mr. Trump’s expense. On the other hand, if he truly believes he is now a mature Christian simply because he goes to “regular church,” he may be making the same mistake many others make.
Before going further, I should make one thing clear. It is impossible for a human to truly know another’s heart. Some of us, through training, experience or spiritual gifts have the ability to read others to a degree. We can analyze body language, tone of voice and other behaviors to help discern another’s motives, truthfulness or intent. Still, when it comes right down to it, knowing a person’s heart with certainty is beyond the power of another human. In fact, it is sometimes difficult for us to know our own hearts completely.
For the sake of argument, this writer will assume the talk show host in question has a heart for God. Also, his claim of attending “regular” church is accepted at face value. In fact, he often speaks of his church and faith. Based on his on-air personality, one would be safe in labeling him a fairly fundamental or conservative Evangelical Christian. Unfortunately, his comments about Mr. Trump makes this writer wonder about the depth of his understanding.
This particular talk-show host and Christian may have very strong faith and a very close walk with God. Attending “regular church” may be all that is necessary for him to maintain that walk, but if that is the case he is an exceptional person. Most of us need more. We need more than a rousing sermon and a few worship songs or hymns each week.
We need quality time with other believers who can help hold us accountable and help us with our spiritual growth. We need time to study God’s Word, and help in understanding it. We need the experience of other believers to help us avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that others have made.
What about you? Are you like the talk-show host? Have you graduated to regular church and no longer need to be in Sunday School? Is your soul being fed completely by a sermon and a worship team? If you feel that way, perhaps you should read a bit more of AnOldSinner’s walk? You see, there was a time when I might have agreed with the talk-show host, and I would have been just as wrong. Check out “Seeking…an Excuse“or “Seeking a Shield,” and see if there is anything in them that resonates with you.
*Publication of this piece was delayed to avoid the appearance of it being a political statement. After all, this election season will end in November. Hopefully one’s faith will last a bit longer.
© S. E. Jackson – 2016