Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is the person in the pulpit ashamed of the Word?

Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38, assigned for Lent 2 in the Revised Common Lectionary

This is what the 1979 Book of Common Prayer says about the Scriptures:
Q. Why do we call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God?
A. We call them the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible.

"Word" is capitalized to show that the whole Bible expresses Jesus Christ. He is the Word (Greek Logos, perfect self-expression) of God, as explained in John 1.

This is what your clergy vowed when they were ordained:
...I solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation...

Are you being encouraged to take the Bible seriously as the whole Word of God, or are you getting flaky sermons that tell you all about how to ignore it?

Are you getting sermons in which various parts of the Bible are played off against one another ("Paul is wrong," or "If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, why don't you sacrifice goats?")?

Are you hearing about a "Christ" who has little to do with what the Bible says that Jesus said and did?

If your preacher can't connect the various parts of the Bible to Christ, bringing you a coherent message from the Word of God, you are being robbed, exploited and put in spiritual danger. If your preacher is ashamed of the Holy Bible, your preacher is ashamed of Jesus Christ. Go find a church that gets you ready to experience glory.


Georgia said...

Fr. Tim,
I was reading the first sermon from Acts 2 - and the words 'Repent' and 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' (NIV) seem the perfect message both to the Church and to the world.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Father, reading the Church Fathers would help those who preach. I think especially of the sermons of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great. Here we find preaching that is focused on Christ and Christ's Kingdom in the text.

It is sad that those called to proclaim the Gospel spend so little time listening to what God has to say. The preacher should turn off the noise of the world for long periods of time. The preaching of one who listens to God and goes deep in His Word will ring true, authentic and fresh.