By James MacDonald
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Several thousand people have now left comments at this new blog, and I am blown away and edified by the diversity of opinion. Recently I posted a video blog trying to get pastors to think more carefully about how they use key words/concepts in their preaching. The idea was to set up the significance of a word before you use it, rather than after. Pretty simple really, but at times I have found it helpful. Anyway, I get this comment that . . . Ok, this is the absolute WORST comment I have ever gotten on my blog. So completely out of touch with scripture and culture. First the quote and then some comments.
“Astounding. I already feel a swelling confidence that I can give better speeches. It’s a shame that giving speeches has to be the poorest method ever devised for declaring the gospel of the kingdom to a dying world.”
This guy is sorely in need of a biblical education. Sadly he is not alone in his sentiments. Many people today believe that preaching is humanly ‘devised,’ ineffective, and passé.
1) Preaching the gospel is not a method; it is a mandate (2 Timothy 4:2).
2) Preaching the gospel is not humanly devised, but God ordained (Mark 3:14, Acts 10:42).
3) Preaching does seem like a foolish idea, always has been and always will be, but God has chosen it so that the glory would be his not ours. “…my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Cor 2:4-5).”
4) Preaching is not limited to pulpit expression, but is to be the method of individual interaction regarding the good news. “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).
5) Preaching the gospel has been incredibly effective in our church with more than 10,000 baptisms in 21 years in our churches and church plants. This includes not just suburban broken, but urban poor and those in prison, and many countries of the third world. How is that watered down, hyper-relational, culturally confused, “I like Jesus and you should too” approach going?
Peter L. Berger, the twentieth-century sociologist, said that, “Strong eruptions of religious faith have always been marked by the appearance of people with firm, unapologetic, often uncompromising convictions—that is, by types that are the very opposite from those presently engaged in the various ‘relevance’ operations. Put simply: ages of faith are not marked by ‘dialogue’ but by proclamation.”
Yep, worst comment ever. Congratulations.
©2009 Harvest Bible Fellowship.