Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's call it what it is.

For those of you who aren't professing Christians, this discourse might not make much sense.  Christians are told in scripture not to forsake gathering together.  To the non-Christian, it might appear we can't agree on much.  We have many denominations and as many ways of "doing church" as there are churches.  So, what do we agree on.  Well, hopefully we all preach that the only way to re-establish a relationship with God is through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, God's son, on the Roman cross over 2000 years ago. We also include His subsequent resurrection from the tomb and ascension into heaven.  After that is settled, the rest  is subjective.  There are tenets that most all Christians agree on that are considered to be basic and unarguable.  Others that deal mostly with the method of worship vary depending on interpretation and tradition.

Is arguing, or thoughtful discussion good?  Is all tradition bad?  Should we go along to get along in spite of what we know or feel?  In the book of Proverbs we are told that men sharpen men as iron sharpens iron.  So, in order to stay sharp, we must try our beliefs by putting them to the test in discussions with others who are studying and trying to gain spiritual insight from the scriptures.  Arguing with non-Christians is not productive because the Bible tells us that unless they believe and receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they find our explanations and beliefs nonsensical.  So, we have to discourse with one another.  In times past, the Pastor, or certain mature members known as elders, were good sources when questions arose.  Paul told young Timothy to study the scriptures so that he could rightly divide the Word of Truth.  Today, because of increasing apathy, these sources are harder to find.

Pastors are told to teach the congregation so that they can become better equipped to do the things that God requires of them.  Unfortunately, some pastors are ill equipped to do this.  I researched what others had to say on the subject of "Bad Preaching" and found some interesting quotes in a blog entitled, "Plodblog".  The author, Steve Plodinec, has this to say in the post, "Trying to Fix Bad Preaching":

"Other speechifying offenses are committed regularly on Sunday mornings. Shallow preaching is dished up by those who have not had proper training in doctrine and biblical exposition, or they are lazy and don’t study. They dispense spiritual baby food. Their name is legion."

Underlines are mine.  Plodinec further states,

"There are also those who should have never tried to preach in the first place, but they taught Sunday school once and that old lady in church who tells everyone how much their message touched her said that to this guy too. Unfortunately, he interpreted this to mean, “you are a gifted preacher” so he went to seminary, graduated and is now killing a church trying to be what God never called him to be."

I think we are seeing more of this ilk in today's modern pulpits.

I am of the opinion that not everything traditional should be thrown out to appeal to the masses.  I am convinced that making churches appear like nightclubs or other casual secular venues in format and in music simply to lure in those who are non-believers, is not giving the seekers anything different.  It is a difficult task to make them see the difference in the first place given our bent toward sinning.  Church was always the place where things were different from the world and the atmosphere created inside helped to solidify our purpose for attending.  Church was a place, both in group Bible study, and in sermons, where the word was opened and expounded on.  This was for the scriptural purpose of equipping the saints.  Those who were seeking were invited in every service to make a decision to accept Christ Jesus and become a part of the body of believers.   

Most preachers, who fit the criteria in the quoted sections above, spend most of their time trying to  blame others and avoid contact with those who study and participate.  They appeal to those, who because of youth or lack of maturity, can't or aren't willing to confront bad preaching practices.  These pretenders bend the scriptures and accuse those who challenge them of not being loving or spiritually in tune.  They may speak of elephants in the congregation while ironically ignoring the one in the pulpit.  It is the duty of the elders and mature believers in the congregation to confront these errant practices to prevent further damage to the witness and fellowship of the local congregation.


Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
(1742 - 1799)


  1. Hi Pappy,
    I always enjoy your Blog, keep it coming.

    I also enjoy this Blog. Maybe you would to.

  2. Thanks for the tip. Glad you came by for a visit. Pappy

  3. You said it! We have both traditional and contemporary services, but the traditional service is too early for us since we have untraditional circumstances at our house. We dislike the later contemporary service so much that we'd rather not even go, although the preaching is good. I just can't stand up for 20 minutes and sing or listen to the same "mind-control" choruses to tunes that have no melody, all sound alike, are too loud and performed by a praise band without an organ or piano. It's fine for a college coffeehouse, but please keep it out of Sunday morning church. After several years, our attendance has gone down rather than up since implementing the two different services. Seekers really are seeking something different not the same old pop culture. Thank you for saying it so well! Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a church today that has both a good preacher and a good traditional service at a decent time.

  4. We sang hymns that were hundreds of years old, but they still had a great tune and message. Then we sang more modern hymns also with great messages and printed music. We also sang choruses in our more informal gatherings. We also had great organ and piano music to set the mood and calm the soul. What was wrong with that program? My grown kids still like it.


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