Sunday, April 06, 2008

Uncomfortable in Church this Morning

So I was uncomfortable in church this morning concerning the preaching.
Depending on your background, this will provoke one of many responses:
1) Wow, the preacher must have been hot and screaming and stomping on toes!
2) The preacher must be teaching some weird doctrine.
3) You must have been convicted.

I have to say it was #3. Now, I post this because I want to focus on what it was not- #1. The preacher is not a toe-stomping, barn-raising, pulpit-kicking kind of guy. He doesn't have to be, though. Had he been, I could have walked out of church and blown it off because I figured he just pressured me. Or, I could have gotten scared and decided I had better do what he said!
Neither response is edifying for the Christian. Had I blown it off, I would have missed an opportunity for real growth, and that would have been the preacher's fault. Had I knuckled under to the force of his pulpit presence, I would be doing it out of the fear of man- something the Bible warns us against.
Instead, it is clear to me that the Spirit inside is trying to speak. It is clear to me that by taking this step, I am following the Spirit. It is clear to me that this guidance comes from God, not man.
Toe-stomping preaching causes Christians to "grow" based on fear, guilt, and manipulation. It is a false growth that further separates the Christian from the Holy Spirit at every step since the Christian is responding more to the preacher's "power" then to the power of the Spirit.
This is why I have a red cross-out over a picture of Billy Sunday on the right side of my blog, with the reference to II Tim 3:5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

If toe-stomping preaching is what you are getting then find a church that doesn't have it. Ignore the blowhards that call you liberal, lily-livered, panty-waisted, and any number of other adjectives that prove the point.

Its not about finding a church that makes you comfortable; its about finding a church that lets the Holy Spirit do its job of making you uncomfortable.

No comments: