The goal of preaching today
in Evangelical Churches, is for Christians to understand how the Bible impacts daily life. But how can a preacher clearly understand the Message of the CreatorSustainer of the Universe unless he is unusually self-aware? An unusually-self-aware preacher oughtabe the chief CONFESSor in a church. Is this what we see? Hardly. Do we even WANT our preachers being chief confessors? We like our leaders STRONG. Do we who sit in the pews feel comfortable ourselves, being chief confessors? Alien notion?
Without unusual self-awareness, preachers — and the rest of us, live in denial of the strength of our flesh, imagining ourselves more wonderful than we are, blind to our colossal failures at following Jesus, blind to the depth of our INdependence, ignoring our fruitlessness with seculars. Seed cast on thorny soil that does not reproduce.
So the goal of preaching OUGHTABE, to bring us Christians into fresh awareness of our unrecognized sin — especially the sin of INdependence, so we can CONFESS it afresh, and have fresh FAITH. Contagious faith. Jack Miller once said, “The starting place for faith, is conviction of sin.” There is no conviction of sin apart from the Spirit’s work. No Spirit working, no conviction — no fresh faith. No fresh death to the reputation/worthiness our flesh craves. No joy and peace, unless circumstances go my way. And when circumstances GO my way, I’m merely strengthened in my control addiction, INdependence, pride, self-absorption, willfulness, agenda. Walking around blind to the sin/idolatry that robs me of joy and peace. And this blindness makes it harder than I imagine, for others to live with me, and work closely with me.
So the big need today — seems to me, is the Spirit being poured out on us Christians so we are freshly self-aware, so we are freshly undone, contrite — chief-confessors among our secular friends, not chief experts on the Bible, or on following Jesus, or on all things spiritual. Holy-Spirit-generated humility is compelling, while togetherness/strength/expertise is a turn-off. Also compelling are joy and peace that have nothing to do with circumstances.
— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, neediest of all for the Spirit’s fresh work
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