Monday, January 05, 2009

Sunday Supplement: Preaching ourselves

Sir Richard Arcos writes: Returning after an unexpected absence caused by my one neurotic daughter checking herself into a nursing home, then beating up one of the staff, who was stealing from the patients, I decided to visit a local church, which has recently got a new pastor, of whom we had heard great things. Taking said daughter along, as she really shouldn't be left on her own, I visited the church last Sunday. The morning sermon was on 'preparing for the New Year', so I wondered just what to expect. The preacher, a youngish chap, got up into the pulpit after someone else had led the musical bit. I think he was called a 'Worship Leader'.
Well, when the chap got up into the pulpit, I was a little worried by the fact that he did not give out a biblical text. He began to talk about a vision that he had for 'God's plan for our greatness'. Much of the sermon seemed to be culled from motivational texts and the like. Certainly the stuff about 'good being the enemy of great' comes straight out of a business manual, rather than the Bible.

When he did get to a sort of biblical quotation it was taken from the story of Abraham. Really rather worrying, too. The application was of the 'lessons for life from the Old Testament' variety, and may be summarised as follows: '1. God had a plan to make Abraham great; God has a plan to make you great, too. 2. In order for God to bless Abraham, Abraham had to leave where he was; in order for God to bless you, you have to leave where you are.'
This last part of the message really spoke to my daughter and I. We left the church there and then, and went across to the little Baptist Church in the same village, where we caught a proper biblical sermon and were greatly blessed in hearing it.

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