Thursday, March 10, 2011

The difference of foundness

Bob Spencer has noticed something about a lot of contemporary preaching in the U.S.:
I think that much preaching is in this mistaken mode: appeals to the broken and hurting in which (or, because) everyone is defined primarily as broken and hurting. Thus, Bible texts are chosen for their ability to comfort the broken and hurting. These turn out to be the most successful sermons (that is, they elicit the most emotional response) and so the preacher learns to return to the theme frequently.

In all this it is not disciples who are not being addressed, but simply folks with problems.

But hey, isn't everyone broken and hurting? Even disciples? Yes, yes, but what I have noticed is that this sort of preaching winds up having the effect not so much of healing them than of encouraging people to continue to self-define as victims. Just what the wider culture does! It's as if this self-definition (hurting and broken victims) were inescapable, and church then becomes primarily a place of momentary solace or an interlude of hope rather than a place of equipping.
Too true, I think.

5 Comments:

Blogger Brad said...

If you preach to the dead while looking for the living, then you're a living preacher.

If you preach to the dead every sunday and expect the same dead to return the following sunday, then you're also dead.

A living preacher knows what's going on but the dead won't listen to him. That's why the living preacher doesn't preach in church buildings to the same old dead ones every sunday.

8:36 AM, March 15, 2011  
Anonymous CB said...

Therapeutic sermonizing is a mark of our age, to be sure, with the ounce of truth opening the door for the pound of foolishness. The older I get, the more vanity I see - and not just in others.

7:23 AM, March 16, 2011  
Blogger Brad said...

We were all born dead spiritually and it takes a lot more than to say a few religious words to become alive in the knowledge of God.

The knowledge of God is the only important part of this age and was revealed by using his chosen bodies that he could call into obedience even though we were dead in the flesh.

He only needs the flesh to see, hear and speak until they're killed. Then this age can end according to his plans and the prophecies found in the scriptures.

This age is almost over now because the knowledge he needed to reveal has been accomplished. The door to the Kingdom is closing and now the earth can start it's changes into a paradise for us.

8:15 AM, March 16, 2011  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for your comments, Brad and CB. And CB, I'm with you in seeing more and more vanity--especially in myself. Peace.

10:38 AM, March 21, 2011  
Blogger APOSTLEN07 said...

I TOTALLY AGREE! WE ARE STUCK IN THE VICTUM MODE.

10:52 AM, May 18, 2011  

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