This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at our Sunday Morning service. It’s always a good time for me, maybe not for everyone in the seats, but whatever.
I don’t know if it’s arrogant or cocky to say this, but I really like public speaking, specifically preaching. I love it. It’s just so much fun. This past week was no exception. I talked about Korah’s Rebellion from Numbers 16 the text of that message is below. It’s kind of a difficult topic because it’s not a feel good message, so I had to find a way to make it applicable to people’s lives (because let’s be honest, God hasn’t been causing the earth to swallow people lately.).
I said something that I’ve been getting a lot of comments about, all good. I said that some days you should come to church and wear your cup. I just floated it out there subtly. I didn’t think anyone caught it because I went over it so fast. But after service a lot of folks said they didn’t get it at first, they thought I was talking about cup cups, and not athletic cups. So they caught it late but that’s okay.
I said it because I thought it was funny but I also said it because I think it’s true. One of the things that the seeker sensitive movement has spawned in many churches is this mentality that you should always feel good after you leave church. It’s a very consumer mentality, and frankly I don’t think it’s biblical. Sure there are messages that will inspire, lift you up, or energize you. But Church should not always be a self-help seminar.
Someone, sometime once said that the church must address the felt-needs of a people group. I don’t know what that means but I’m pretty sure the biggest need that we all have is that we are sinners. I don’t know what a bigger felt need would be.
Frankly we need to be reminded from time to time exactly who we are, sinners saved by grace. If we don’t talk about our failures or our shortcomings in church then we will only set people up for a fall. We need to be honest about this kind of stuff. There’s a popular Televangelist down in Texas who never talks about negative things, he likes to focus on the positive. That kind of thinking leaves a lot of the Bible off limits, like most of the prophets, a lot of the psalms, Jesus statements to religious people, and more. All the Bible is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training up in righteousness.
I’ve been reading Mark Driscoll’s new book Confessions of a Reformission Rev. It’s been really cool to see how he has had to stand up for the gospel time and time again. Here’s a church in one of the most liberal cities in the country, that is religiously conservative and yet growing like crazy. He’s had his battles, he had to take unpopular stands, and he most definitely is not a tickle-your ears kind of preacher, and his church is growing.
I’m sure that there are many lessons for me to learn from his example, not that I want to be Mark Driscoll, but he’s definitely paved a way for churches to talk about the whole Bible unashamedly again.