Preaching or Entertaining?
What is the job of the Church in a Republic such as ours?
The Church, and today's Culture
I live in Middle America, like many on the edge of the Bible belt, and go to church every chance I get. I think that it is my duty to learn all that I can and engage my culture when possible. I think that as the people of God we need to examine ourselves, and our pastors... I am not saying that we should be the judge of someone else and their salvation, however, we are supposed to judge a tree by its fruit, (Luke 6:43-45).
Sometimes I walk down the aisle of my church and wonder how many are truly saved, how many are there for the perks like the children’s activities, parties, social aspects and just a place to go to get encouragement. I also wonder how many would be different if the TRUE life changing gospel were accurately preached and taught in the pulpit of the churches today.
Yes, this is about preaching the WORD and not electioneering in the pulpit! I believe that while the preachers of today should not tell us how to vote in an election, meaning what candidate to vote for the churches and preachers should set out clear values that our leaders should have... and if they can't then they should not be preaching, because (Revelation 22:19) if anyone takes words away from this word..... God shall take away his part out of the book of life.........
Church involvement in election run up
Did your pastor, or priest set out clear character guidelines for you to judge character of candidates this election season? (Such as stance on life, stance on religious freedom etc.....)
What is on the menu on your church this weekend?
For many of us this weekend there will be a sweet spread of delectable delights, sweet to the taste and soft to the ears. I read in 2 Timothy 4:3 (For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ) This is what is on the menu for most of us at our churches this weekend. Why is that the case? People want their sin more than they want righteousness. That, however, does not change the fact that immorality is the same even if it is codified by some in the clergy. A preacher for instance that says that the only qualification for you to vote for someone is that you should be at peace after you vote, would be an apostate by biblical standards.
The preachers are to be the conscience of the people and the church should be the conscience of the society. Without the conscience the human race would have no moral compass, this is the purpose of the church. The purpose of the pastors and priests is to be the needle of that compass that points to true north on the dial of the compass which is GOD's WORD, the Bible! if we do not have that then what is our standard of right and wrong?
A good example of this is the abominable practice of abortion. The convenience and selfish desires of one person outweigh the value of the life of the other. The morality of the act of murder then is in question. When is it ok for one human to take the life of another without moral justification? Many would say that it is never ok to murder. Murder is by definition the taking of an innocent life without moral justification. What could possibly be the moral justification for killing a baby, before or after birth? There can be none in light of Jeremiah 1:5 in which the bible says that God knew us before he formed us in our mother's womb.
Even in the case of rape what is the justification for ending the life of the child? Think about that, the act of "aborting" that child is punishing the most innocent party in an event even a violent event such as rape, and letting the guilty go. Something sounds to me like it needs to be rethought.
Will your preacher talk about the social ills of fatherless families and how you can impact your community? Will they talk about the travesty of abortion and what you can do to combat it? Will they talk about the millions of children waiting to be adopted in the foster care system that may never have a real home? Will they talk about how you should vote? Or will they try to tickle your ears?
Preaching the WORD
Would you like to hear your pastor talk about more of the moral issues that politics entail during election time?
Why should the Church preach about elections?
In modern society there are a few constants, one, the family is the building block of society and two, and the church is the glue that holds a family together. I ask you how without the preaching of what is right and holy people can know. Are we supposed to trust ourselves? I think not for the Bible says: How can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14 C) To me, this speaks volumes and tells me that If I am not hearing the word preached in such a way that it changes my life, and my politics... then maybe I should question my salvation and the church I am going to.
Psalms 66:18 says: If I cherished sin in my heart, the LORD would not have listened. What does this say to you? To me, this means that if there is a sin that I know about or an evil act, such as abortion that I covet and am not willing to let go of then the LORD will not listen to my pleas. I think that if we endorse sin that it is the same as committing the sin itself. After all, what is the difference in the endorsement of a sin, and the parallel that Jesus made, if you hate your brother you are guilty of murder, and if you look at a woman with lust you are guilty of adultery? These are both matters of the heart and therefore need to be addressed.
What do you want to hear?
I am an unusual person and that is proved by the things that I read and my hobbies. That being said I am a demanding person about the types of things that I hear in church. I want to hear THE WORD, taught and extolled. I want to hear the WORD come to life in the pulpit. I do not want a teaching about what you the pastor can try to conjure from it or some platitude! I want MEAT, something to sink my teeth into, something to cause me to think and examine myself to make sure that I am walking rightly before my creator. That is the purpose of the clergy. To make us think about our own actions and even our thoughts, and beliefs! That is what guides our compass. If not the church then what guides your compass? Does the world? I have never been able to reconcile many of the things that others call normal. I do spend time in the WORD daily, however. Maybe that has something to do with it.
Would you continue to go to a church if the preist or preacher said things that promped you to rethink your position on a candidate, based on the issues?
The Unusual Few
If you like I get offended because the pastor is not offending you, or pricking your conscience I want to say that you are in the minority. I find that most church goers of today are of the variety that really does not want to be challenged or to have their conscience pricked. Most people of today had rather sit and have their ears tickled by a complementary sermon on how good they are and how God should be excited to get them. I, on the other hand, am a little different; I think that if sin is not proclaimed, then how am I supposed to know what it is. I am of the school of thought that the age of 1 Timothy 4:3 is not a period of time, but a period that every church goes through. This period of time will hinder the growth of the true believers and will change the makeup of the apostate church.
I know that apostate is a word that may spark anger by some in the clergy, however, the truth is the truth and it needs to be said. There are too many preachers now who simply are trying to build a dynasty instead of building up the church of God. In the church today we see pastors, and priests shaping their “theology” around what make the people in the pews feel good, and not what will bring them into a closer relationship with God himself. This may appeal to the majority of "believers" but it is not what appeals to the majority, or how many attend on a given Sunday that the preacher should be about! What the preacher should be about is seeing that sin is exposed, people are saved, lives are changed, and the culture is impacted by each and every sermon that is preached.
Preaching a feel good sermon about how good the people of town X are may build your congregation Mr. preacher, but does it build the Kingdom of God. Mathew 7:22 tells us that there will be many that call him LORD that will be cast into the outer darkness. Pastors, are you one of the shepherds that are leading these people astray by not giving them the full measure of the Gospel? People who vote for evil practices, such as abortion, or people who support those practices, by the standards Jesus set out in the Sermon on the Mount, are guilty of murder..... I am nobody's judge, nor do I want to be, but when I see what I thought were fellow brothers, and sisters in Christ voting for pure unadulterated evil, I have to judge the tree by its fruit.
I am not condemning anybody; I am only calling attention to the truths that I find in the word of God. The truth that being born of water and of the spirit produces a change in your heart that is not compatible with the actions described above. Change that when realized drives one to their knees in repentance, change that will eat at your conscience. I beg you pastors of the American Church......Preach the Word, Speak on the values that make up platforms, and extol the Word of God. Thank you for reading.