“In San Diego, one anchorman was more man than the rest. His name was Ron Burgundy. He was like a god walking amongst mere mortals. He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr, and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo.”
For all his great strengths, Ron Burgundy had one weakness: he’d read anything that was put on the teleprompter (See clip below language warning).
This said, what was a weakness for the great Ron Burgundy, would be a great strength for a preacher. So often we veer off from the teleprompter inventing our own words and stories. “Be more missional, grow in numbers, be accountable, have a better family, be a better spouse, lose weight the Daniel way, try this that or the other ministry model…” Although every one of these scripts may hold validity in their own way and may even find some Scriptural support, it is not the big story; it is not what God has placed in the teleprompter for us to preach to the whole creation (Mark 16:15). Michael Horton writes:
“Each week we come to church with our own scripts… Yet God descends to give us a new script: a rich plot in which our original character dies and is raised with the lead character. Instead of trying to find a supporting role for God in our play [i.e. not reading teleprompter and making our own story], God writes us into his script as part of a growing cast for his new world. The script does not offer a blueprint for a new creation, if we will only follow certain steps for realizing it. Instead, through this gospel the Spirit sweeps us into the drama, into the new creation that has already been inaugurated.”
In other words, as Horton writes elsewhere, we veer from Christ’s redeeming work written on the teleprompter and focus on how this fact might make our stories a bit more interesting. Stretching the metaphor a bit, we reduce Jesus; the central character of the story of redemption; to be a prop in our own story. As Horton writes elsewhere, “The challenge before us as Christian witnesses is whether we will offer Jesus Christ as the key to fulfilling our narcissistic preoccupation or as the Redeemer who liberates us from its guilt and power.”
So preachers: will you veer from the teleprompters this Sunday and further bind your congregations to your or their own agendas, or will you; like Ron Burgundy; read only what’s on the teleprompter no matter how foolish and irrelevant it makes you look.
PS: I know most you who frequent this blog agree with me on this one. I was just watching “Anchorman” the other day and I thought it would make a fun post. Either way I hope you enjoyed…