Weekend at Bernie’s theology

I saw this great metaphor over at Lone Star Times about how those who don’t believe the essentials of the Christian faith have taken over many churches and propped them up to suit their motives.

In the not-so-classic movie “Weekend at Bernie’s,” two friends prop up a dead guy to make him appear alive so they can throw parties at his house. In the same way, liberal theologians don’t believe in the essentials of the faith (Jesus is God, He is the only way to eternal life, the Bible is authoritative and accurate, etc.), so they think they have a dead church on their hands.  They don’t have faith that God can still work through his Word to transform lives and cultures.

They prop it up, though, because they like the money, the influence, the buildings and the status that comes with their leadership roles. But they are really frauds. They either lied at their ordination vows or changed their minds later. Either way, if they were honest they would stop accepting payment from their members for teaching the opposite of the beliefs the church was founded upon.

Their teachings are like salt water, leaving you thinking that you are having your spiritual thirst quenched but all the while killing you.

For a better analysis, read this by Charles Spurgeon. He wrote it in 1870 but the message is still fresh and applicable.

6 thoughts on “Weekend at Bernie’s theology”

  1. Excellent post Neil, and what a great comparison of the liberal mainline “theologians” with the Weekend At Bernie’s! That is so true. You are also right about lying at ordination in order to be able to lead in these “churches.” I went to the NC UMC Conference for several years and watched people I knew that didn’t believe the tenants of the faith profess that they did.

    Jude put it like this:

    “These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever….But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” Jude 12-13, 17-19


  2. An excellent way of analogizing the current situation. I will admit that I am still baffled why anyone who didn’t believe in a central aspect of the faith (like the deity of Christ) wouldn’t just move on to a U.U. church or the like.


  3. Their teachings are like salt water, leaving you thinking that you are having your spiritual thirst quenched but all the while killing you…quite the metaphor indeed Neil!:)


  4. Hey Neil,
    I have touched on this topic previously. Are the people reading your posts CHRISTIANS? I try my best and as it is the hardest trial I think I will face but, I am human and not perfect. This is no excuse as I admit I fall down at times, have to pick myself up and apologize to GOD for doing so. Sometimes several times in a row. However, I keep my focus on GOD (all three entities – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and keep my daily dialog with him.

    The Church of Jesus Lite – containing 1/3 fewer sins!
    Is something I wonder about. Watch TV and you will see a lot of televangelists that fit the role.
    I was skipping the TV around one Sunday night and ran across a guy (whose name escapes me at present) on a stage in a large arena with a group of people gathered around with infirmities. He would ask them what their problem was and tell them to drink the contents of a small bottle that his “plants” just happened to have opened and available for them. This was “Healing Water” and cured them of their sickness. I had never seen this before and it fascinated me that so many people were in on it. If he would have smacked them in the head “Benny Hinn style” I would have switched quickly. A commercial ran frequently suggesting one send money to gain one of these miniatures of “Healing Water”.

    A JW knocked on my door the other day and I chose not to answer. I get tired of their rhetoric though they keep it up. I found a Watchtower tract stuffed up under my storm door with their usual message of how great it will be on earth during the 1000 years of peace after Armageddon (they don’t mention Jesus as in a Christian POV) accompanied with the colorful illustrations of people petting full sized bears and lions while picking berries and other produce while deer and rabbits run around. All of this is taking place at the foot of Mt Everest or in the Rockies.

    I have no idea of your’s or of the general Christian version of what earth will be like when Jesus returns but I don’t envision the illustrations on Watchtower tracts.
    Frankly, I don’t know what picture to paint for you as there is nothing but imagination for it. Jesus hasn’t done it yet so where do we go from there? You can read scriptures and Revelation all day long but there is no real picture to present as fact.
    The words of John in Revelation make no sense for the most part. Picture the beast, 10 horns, 4 horsemen and other supernatural descriptions.

    That is why I always fall back on the fact that it is “supernatural”.
    Explain a miracle. For the most part, a miracle is impossible and can’t happen except by some supernatural intervention.


    I wrote this out of the will to want to explain my take on the topic. I had no start or end in mind and this is where I arrived. If I put GOD on my mind I can usually write something about Him.
    Whether or not it makes sense to anyone else is another story. I could be typing in tongues.


  5. There are those for whom an act or idea is too personally pleasing or compelling for them to quit easily. Yet, they do not want to be seen as self-serving. So in order to make it work, they will insist they are Christian whilst maintaining their personal peccadillos, and attempt to have some kind of justification for it should their fault be questioned.

    This really isn’t hard to understand. No one wants to be wrong. No one wants to be considered sinful. And no one wants to give up that which they find personally pleasing. So the easiest way to have one’s cake, etc. is to call wrong “right” and carry on as if they are pious and devout.


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