Monday, September 11, 2006

Preaching and Weakness

Knowing everyone is different, if your belief makes you happy, and makes sense to you, doesn't mean that you are right. Preaching is a sign of religious weakness, and also a lack of faith. If you feel you need to preach your beliefs on other people, you fear they would not know about unless they tell you. Shouldn't "god" be visible to people other than word of mouth?
Actions speaks louder than words, but when there is no action, people can only talk. I believe that people fighting about heaven and hell wouldn't exist if people didn't talk about it. All this carries on because out unquestionable presence on this earth.


First of all, I must confess, I am a preacher.
Nevertheless, I have seen what you mean-- people who are driven to preach at people who are not ready to hear. Frankly, I hate that. Preaching is only good when accomanied by WANTING to hear.
But preaching-- in and of itself-- is not a sign of religious weakness. Rather, I am a preacher despite my natural inclinations. I am frankly nervous to tell people about Jesus unless I am sure that they actually want to hear.
So I started a new church among a new people. This is how I get around your correct complaints:
My church is among the homeless and mentally ill. Our times are at least two and a half hours long. The first half hour to hour is just a meal. We have a meal with every meeting. If people just want to eat and leave, that's fine. But the meal comes first, so no one goes hungry. Then we have the service, which might include singing and might not, but we have a Bible study and prayer. But it is not a monologue. People can interrupt my preaching with comments or questions, if they like. Then people can stay afterwords and talk or hang out. In two of our services, we also offer clothes and showers for those who need them.
In this way, we are a church. And I am preaching. But no one has to listen if they don't want to. And we are not just speaking words, but going out to the people who need help and offering them what we have.
The main reason I preach is because Jesus told me to. He said so in his word and he gave me that calling personally. If I wasn't told to, I wouldn't. It certainly isn't usually culturally appropriate. But what Jesus told me to do is more important than what people tell me not to. This isn't a "religous weakness" on my part. It's religous obedience. And people may not like what I do. But they aren't the ones juding me-- Jesus is.

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