REJECTION OF PREACHING?
Unfortunately ‘Preaching’ and the perception thereof, has by many – been tagged with only negative connotations.
Have you ever wondered about the whole idea of Preaching? I’m referring to preaching, of the – how to live uprightly kind.
I mean, the classic rejection of anyone who seems to be preaching at you, is: “What right have you, to tell me, how to live?” Followed by: ‘Nobody’s perfect’.
We’ve heard it: ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’. ‘The pot calling the kettle black’ and so on.
The idea behind this rejection of Mr. Preacher Man – is that he too is imperfect, has faults, is a hypocrite, doesn’t practice what he preaches, ‘you’re one to talk etc…’ And thus, in our rejection of the speaker, we believe we are pretty much de-obligated from having to change or adjust our behaviour, in accord with what he might be saying.
And yet there is hardly a conversation in one day, between two people, that does not include giving information, direction, advice, opinion, in short – preaching.
As we, rightly, acknowledge the fact that ‘nobody’s perfect’ does this now mean that all public speakers are obsolete, or made redundant? Nobody should preach – then? No one should tell us what is right? No one should judge us? No right way exists? Disqualified – we all be?
Jesus warned/warns others, about the Pharisees.
Matthew 23:1-3 (NKJV)
23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
Well, there you have it, – sorted!
Jesus while clearly highlighting the hypocrisy of these preachers, at the same time acknowledges the need for someone to ‘tell you’, so that observance of (in this instance) the law, might be maintained. So imperfect preachers – sharing God’s law/word. (comparison with the perfect law of liberty of the New Testament is another subject for another day).
Stand up the perfect man?
His name is Jesus – the only one who is perfect, and who preaches perfectly.
But he has ordained, that imperfect ambassadors for Christ, should still preach His word.
When preaching, professing Christians first must stand and proclaim that we are ‘chiefs of sinners’, (Paul the apostle did), but we are redeemed (bought back, and brought back) from the totality of sins-contamination, to be clothed with another persons righteousness.
46 ‘Which of you convicts Me of sin?’ asks The Christ.
Answer: Nobody, because He knew no sin.
We find this in…John 8: 45-47. Jesus said:
45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
So sinner man like myself, preacher man, tell me the truth please – I may not like it, especially when you have a long way to go in living and practicing what you preach yourself.
But I will try to say: ‘That’s ok’ ‘I’m listening’. And of course as I’m ‘straining’ to hear God’s voice – I might just find that He is telling me to do exactly what you say, but also informing me to ‘…not do according to your works…’ (?)
COFFEE CAFE CREATIONS FOR CONVERSATIONS
Paintings or drawings hanging on coffee shop walls.
Perhaps some aspiring young artist – ‘hanging in hope’, sharing with a passing world.
They are straight out of the head and heart onto the paper.
I always think the Cafe/Coffee bar experience is sweet.
Each of us inhabiting our square, round or oblong little island on the cafe floor, alone with our thoughts, or sharing with a friend or friends the business of the day.
As we eat, drink and talk there are little interludes when our eyes wander to the wall and rest on the artist’s unique contribution to the decor.
We leave sometimes, without giving the images a second thought. For a few moments though there’s the possibility we might want to engage more fully with the work or make a new friend of the artist. The life of a painting or drawing nevertheless gets your eye and mind working, if allowed to, and they may salvage a subjectless or redundant conversation you are trying to have with friend or acquaintance.
Thanks for the second glance.