Sunday, August 17, 2008

Preaching, heavy is the responsibility

This might be something quite sensitive but suffice to say that it is merely my thoughts and opinion of the matter. You are free not to agree with me.

The one thing that filled my mind today was the pulpit - with the fact that not only was I lamenting over it at church today but right after service I was also the recipient of an sms from a close friend lamenting over the same thing: the direction and focus of preaching in today's churches.

My lament over this morning speaker was on several points, while he gave a fair exposition of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, his initial attestation to several authors has put me off right from the start. I was not familiar with all three names that he mentioned, but the name of Cindy Jacobs was good enough to give me considerable suspicion. I remember being given an article once for a TEE class to read and comment about this so-called prophetess - I am bad with names, but this one rang loud and I was quite sure they meant the same person. I came home and checked - it was. Check here in the Apologetics Index for more information about her aberrant and heretical movements.

I was also not comfortable about the way the speaker preached his sermon. He was using a lot of demagoguery as he went along and towards the end he was crying as he did an semi-altar call. I must say that it is not wrong to do that, to cry I mean, just that personally I was uneasy, nor was I touched. I felt that if there were anything that would move me to respond to God is the power of His word, not a preacher's tears.

I am not saying this because I know best, because I don't. I actually feel bad about such thoughts but the more I think about it, the more I think about how important it is to preach the Word and nothing else. To preach the Gospel message, the saving grace of God, and of God himself and no one else. I do not have the courage to preach at the pulpit, I had done it only once - the responsibility is too great - God help me if he does call me to it. But I am just as responsible as a teacher - this very day itself, I had two classes to take on. And I tremble with fear at my own weakness and frailty. O God, have mercy on me.

James 3:1
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.



  1. Hi Pearlie,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that preaching is a very heavy responsibility, and as a preacher myself, I don't take this resposibility lightly. More often than not, I always have sleepless nights on saturdays, and struggling to prepare sermons.

    I also do not believe in appealing to and stirring up the emotions of the people over the pulpit (although emotions are not wrong). By doing so, one could almost be as close as manipulating the people. I would rather allow the Spirit of God do the job. If I am fully convicted of the message and the content I preach, usually, I notice that the people would respond appropriately as well.

    But again, those who have to endure my preaching may think otherwise.

  2. I 100% concur with everything you say. I'm not a preacher and I don't judge preachers.

    But I agree with your basic tenet that the Word of God must be preached and through the Word of God, we know the God of the Word.

    'For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified'
    (1 Corinthians 2:2).

  3. We are blessed to have a Pastor who preaches each and every time out of scriptural passages. The Word of God is where all truth is and I don't want someone's "opinion" but what the Word of God has to say.

    I'm glad you closed with that verse, Pearlie. I was thinking about it as I read your post. Also, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teacher, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." II Timonthy $:3&4

    God help us and His Church.

  4. Hi pearlie,

    Thanks for a good and honest post about preaching. I am not comfortable with preachers crying or sharing with a catch in their voices. I often wonder if they are to preach three services the same morning, do they cry at all three services? However I am not against preachers being passionate about their message. In fact, I think all preachers should be passionate about their message. My caution is like Kar Yong, about preachers stirring up emotions to get a desired response.

  5. KY, sleepless nights eh? I remember I was playing and replaying my sermon that one time before I preached it.

  6. Danesh, good verse you picked there. We pray that it'll be the position of every Christian.

  7. Susan, you are very blessed to have such a pastor. The 2 Tim verse is sadly all too familiar for me.

  8. Thanks Alex.
    Oh, I am all for a preacher who is passionate about the Word, and we can usually tell, can't we? :)