Trees are judged by their fruit. The first tree bears the fruit of a Christianity which taught its adherents for decades to become all things to all people, even to the point of absurdity: in this case, dressing as a cartoon character for comic relief and preaching from a children’s movie. The second tree bears the fruit of a Christianity which teaches its adherents to count the cost of discipleship, to joyfully embrace the hard truths of the faith, and to pursue godly masculinity to protect the weak and to slay the dragons in the land.
Two men went viral last week within Christian and conservative social media circles.
The first man was Andy Wood, the lead pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. His virality came after he appeared last Sunday morning alongside his wife and fellow pastrix, Stacie Wood, the former dressed as Woody and the latter dressed as Bo Peep from the Toy Story franchise. Stacie patted her husband on the shoulder and thanked him for “being a very good sport about this,” proving who carried the lasso in the relationship as Andy gazed sheepishly at his audience.
Like many other megachurches across the nation, Saddleback Church is in the midst of a “Summer At the Movies” sermon series, in which the congregation’s pastors exegete blockbuster Hollywood films instead of the authoritative and sufficient Scriptures. Andy Wood fed his flock on Sunday, for example, with the eternal wisdom found in Toy Story 4.
“In terms that make sense only to Forky, Woody helps Forky finally understand his purpose as Bonnie’s toy,” he explained. “No matter how we might feel or see ourselves, God sees us as his invaluable treasure set apart for his amazing purposes.”
The second man was Marcus Schroeder, a member of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. His virality was due to his arrest last Saturday at a public drag queen performance targeted at children, where the young man chose to read the Bible with noise amplification and immediately felt the full force of the law. Video of police officers yanking a microphone out of his hands and marching him away in handcuffs, even as homosexual men twerked for small children only a few dozen yards away, garnered millions of views.
Marcus said in an interview with me at The Republic Sentinel that his arrest was more than worthwhile and would only serve to provoke him and his friends, many of whom likewise faced arrest and detainment, toward further boldness for the gospel.