There is a very bad preaching method that has weakened a majority of churches for decades. It’s not enough that we have to deal with prosperity shysters who steal from the congregation and those who water the Bible down to motivational speeches. No, as bad as these are there is a group of pastors that teach a “third way” type of sermon. Basically it goes like this, there is the conservative way, and there is the progressive way but we in the church won’t engage about the issues of the day because all we want people to understand is the gospel of Jesus and His way. This is wrong!
For one thing, it gives the congregation the feeling that the 2 political parties are on the same level. They are not. The second thing is that it makes one believe we are never to confront evil. That is a falsehood from hell. The issues must be confronted. The pastors of the Revolutionary War spoke from their pulpits almost every Sunday about the evil that Britain was doing to the colonies and helped the people rebel against these “evil authorities” and throw off the shackles of British rule.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany and founding member of the Confessing church who was an active dissident to the Nazi’s and Hitler. His dedication to try to remove the man who killed over 50 million people was based upon seeing evil and trying to defeat it. He gave his life and was hanged about one week before Hitler shot himself. Will God judge this pastor worthy or should he have remained like many of his fellow pastors who stayed in their four walled churches and encouraged their congregation to sing louder when the screams of Jewish men, women and children were heard in the train cars going by. Jesus himself had no qualms about calling the leaders of his day, “vipers and snakes.” Only those leaders like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who humbled themselves, would He speak to with compassion. The rest of those “white washed tombs” Jesus criticized. His cousin, John the Baptist, gave his life for criticizing the king. Jesus said John was the greatest man born of a woman. Should John have just kept his mouth shut and stayed in the desert as a hermit?
Please understand, not every sermon needs to be this rapprochement of society but we are drifting toward the abyss. Pastors, don’t submit to evil rulers or cowardly congregants. If people don’t listen it will be on them not you. Call out sin and evil. Spread the seed of truth, righteousness, holiness and love. The ground will be whatever it will be. You must be the counterculturalist. You must re-establish your moral authority. Be real, be raw, be dangerous to evil. I don’t know if this country will survive but I do know that God is watching what we do. You may feel like Elijah but I guarantee you that 7000 are out there not bending a knee to Jezebel, Ahab, Moluck, or the priest of Ba’al. And if you, the reader, don’t understand what that means, ask your pastor.
“We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds…are we still of any use?”— Bonhoeffer 1942