Wrong Truth

truthbillboardI want to do a series on how we can preach the truth and yet still end up with a presentation that is unhelpful for the people in front of you. The first of these is what I call “wrong truth.”

This is when the preacher preaches a truth that the people do not need. It is really insidious when the sermon is actually the opposite truth of what they need to hear. For example, when the preacher shows up at the local church that needs to hear about the implications of being a Christian like discipleship and obedience, and yet still feels that legalism is the problem and therefor never touches the law and spends all of the preaching time on grace and love. This kind of emphasis, however true, can be problematic and actually support bad behavior.

Likewise, the preacher who shows up at the local church of legalists and preaches nothing but law and the importance of obedience. Yes it is easy to preach. And yes it may be true, but when it ain’t what the folks need to hear, it ends up promoting a status quo that is not in line with where God needs to lead the congregation.

Yes it is important to recognize that we must preach truth. It is also important to make sure that we preach “needed” truth and not preach that which is easy and ignore what the people really need. They need truth, and they need the right truth.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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