Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's preaching worth?

In some areas of the world, Christians still risk their lives and/or possessions for their faith. They fear angry mobs who will burn their churches, vigilantes who will punish them for believing and authorities who will either aid the locals or persecute the Christians themselves.

For these Christians, church is not a social function. Church is a risk to life and livelihood. For the preacher, he risks not just his own life but he also endangers those who come to listen. For this preacher, every sermon must be worth prison, every sermon must be worth provoking the wrath of this world. He must ask himself every time, "Is this worth my life? Is this worth my congregation's life?"

Why should our sermons be any different? I fear no angry mob, does it mean my sermons can be cheap? I fear no persecution, so does that mean I can spend my time giving anecdotes instead of the word of God? Just being called to be heralds of the king should sober and embolden us on its own. But recognizing the price our brothers and sisters pay for the word of God spurs us on. Let us cherish the proclamation we make.

Lord help us. Help us so that we, in addition to honoring our savior, would also honor the sacrifices and risks our brothers and sisters must make every time they choose eternal blessing over the crucible of this world.

3 comments:

  1. Hey Jason!

    True enough...comfortable Christianity is exactly that...comfortable. Not that you need to preach sermons that spur angry mobs to come after you, but perhaps what is needed is an eye to uncomfortable ideas. The way we treat the poor, the way we treat non-Christians, the way we treat each other...all of these are areas where we need to look to Jesus's example. Not necessarily fun topics for a typical Sunday morning, but still ones that need to be considered.

    Glad I came across your blog, cousin!

    Take care,
    Steve

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  2. Hey Steve, good to hear from you.

    I agree, sometimes stirring up anger in others is just a result of someone being a jerk (e.g. Westboro Baptist). I think my main concern, in slight contrast to just the uncomfortable ideas (though those are important too), is that Christians fight against having a cheap faith. We have the liberty to have cheap faiths because our country protects religion, but in the eternal sense, what good does cheap faith do anyone?

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  3. Yes, agree about Westboro, for sure. And yes, our faith can be cheap if we let it become so. Not much room for lukewarmness when you can die for your beliefs. But concentrating on loving others (even those that the traditional church has a hard time loving) combats that lukewarmness well!

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