American Preaching

By: George William

Over the weekend I was on vacation and I had attended a church that I had not gone to in a while. The message was very good, and biblically sound. However, the preaching in this country has become relaxed and this is something we must combat.

The sermon was on Psalm 22. For those who are unfamiliar with the chapter, it is a prophecy by the Psalmist, many believe to be David, about Jesus and him being crucified.

I’ll admit, this may be nitpicking but, I think it’s important. Throughout the sermon the pastor referenced others to make his point clear. C.H. Spurgeon twice, a good reference, very biblical man. Two poets, sure I suppose. Lastly, he referenced Philippians 2, almost offhandedly at that.

The pastor referenced other than biblical sources on the text more than he did the bible, while also saying twice during the sermon, something along the lines of “we know this.” referring to the prophecy being fulfilled by Jesus. What if they don’t? Granted, you may know you’re congregation, that’s good, however, and I don’t mean to be rude, that doesn’t matter.

Paul quoted the scriptures to everyone, no matter their history with Judaism or pagan religion. In Romans 1:17 he is quoting Habakkuk 2:4. Romans 2:6 he quotes Proverbs 24:12 and Psalms 64:12. Romans 2:11, quoting Deuteronomy 10:17 and Job 34:19. Romans 2:24, quoting Isaiah 52:5 and Ezekiel 36:20. 1 Corinthians 1:19, quoting Isaiah 29:14. Ephesians 2:17, quoting Isaiah 57:19. I could go on and on.

We also know most people don’t read their bibles. How can they possibly know what you say is true? As a pastor you must prove that you know what you’re talking about week in and week out, not just at the interview.

Let us theorize for a moment, let’s say someone is thinking about converting, goes to this church and hears this sermon and the pastor saying “we know this.” It’s possible they might stay, I’ll grant that but, if they’re anything like me and hear someone say, “we know this” without backing it up, I’d walk out. Then you are not saving lives but condemning them by withholding the good news from them.

It is no secret that this country strays further from God every day. The answer to this problem is not to resign yourself to your flock and say, “These people are saved, now I can relax. Let the other pastors take care of their flock.” The answer instead is “I have this flock, I will tell them everything, and do it again and again and again, giving them every piece of knowledge I have, and I can find everytime as long as the Lord gives me strength because it is only God who knows the heart. Finally, when I am tired and weary, I will help other pastors with their flock and do it again.”

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