Easter service at Community Church in Salem has recently been known to be anything but subtle. Pastor Tom McCracken's casket sermon has been featured on national TV and the internet.
He says it's all about the getting the message across.
This Easter Sunday, he was back at it again. This time he used an 8-foot casket to illustrate his sermon.
“There comes a point in everyone's life where we are faced with death, and most of the time it brings an element of anxiety and fear and my job today was to throw that casket down, showing that we have defeated death and there is reason for us to fear it anymore,” said McCracken.
McCracken used resurrection Sunday to preach about the fear of death. He hopes the illustration will help people to understand the message better, while reaching those who don't go to church.
“Something is happening right here. Last year for Easter we had 225, this year we had 340. It's drawing excitement; it's drawing attention. We have people after service come and surrender their lives to Christ,” said McCracken.
McCracken says it's all about the gospel, despite the criticism that follows. Some say his way of teaching is too much of a show, but McCracken doesn't think so.
“Our churches and our congregation have had to listen to the dull dry boring preaching and it's a bad reflection on the word of God, because the word of God is not boring,” said McCracken.
McCracken says he plans to put clips of the falling casket online, as he did before.