Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Avoiding manipulation

"My sense is that manipulation occurs when I, as a preacher, utilize my ability to make a mark in the emotions that is disctinct from the content of the biblical text. After all, the text is boss in an expository sermon, so if I am representing that text appropriately, then it should not be manipulation. But when I resort to “techniques” – stand-alone tear-jerking stories, turns of phrase, emotional outbursts of my own, etc. – that aren’t representing the message of the text, then I am on dangerous ground.

"If we remember that our role is to herald the Word of God, then we represent (re-present) the text of Scripture. In so doing we need to represent a Word that targets the heart very often, and is seldom focused purely on exhortation or education. We should be wary of manipulation, but not so that we ignore any textual targeting of the heart. If we fall into the trap of performing, then manipulation creeps in so easily and we can corrupt the pure Word of God."


Post a Comment

<< Home