Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who is the Arrogant Preacher?

This is a good little video from Doug Wilson on what arrogance in the pulpit really looks like:

Rob Bell and the nature of Arrogance from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

I once had someone tell me that I should share more of what God is teaching me in the pulpit. This is just a good video for you to think about what preaching should look like. Early in my ministry I had someone write me a personal note asking me to interact with people more from the pulpit. I was directly asked to share more in the pulpit what God was teaching me in my personal life.

Now this note did led me to reconsider somethings and I did learn much from the comment--particularly that a pastor must cultivate and show the heart of a shepherd. Hopefully I have grown in that area and I continue to grow and want to grow.

However, one thing I could not in good conscience do was make the preaching of God's Word a time to share about what God is teaching me. Now if this person meant: show what God's Word says and how to clearly know that based upon my study, then I'd agree. But I believe the note meant that I was supposed to add more of myself and my experience to the message. That is was not enough to say 'thus saith the Lord' but rather I was to add more authenticity through personal story. I was to open myself up and peal back the layer of how God was dealing with me so that people could see my journey and experiences. That may be good for personal friendship and discussion but that is not the purpose of preaching God's Word. In preaching, I, the preacher, must decrease and He must increase. 

Preaching is not a chance for me to emote on how personal the journey is for me, how deep God is dealing with me. It's time for Word of God to be made clear. People are not to be compelled by my emoting but rather by the Word of God.

This does not of course mean that the pastor should not share his life. Paul says: "So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us" (1 Thes. 2:8). However, my life is not shared in the pulpit, the pulpit is the place for the Word of God to be heard with all reverence and humility.

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