Pathetic or Transformative Relevance
James Forbes, in his very helpful work The Holy Spirit and Preaching writes: “Preaching under the anointing of the Spirit deeply touches the hearer, evoking either acceptance or rejection of the gospel.”
Sometimes We Motivate Rather than Preach
Sometimes our desire to be understood, or to be accepted will cause us to preach a message that states that which rational minds could come to if they only thought about it. Sometimes we preach sermons that are more like motivational speeches about how to do better at work or improve our families. We preach about tactics to survive in this world. And then we call this “relevant” preaching. Sometimes we even pack the house. We then throw a whoop on the end and the people go away without having to confront the real God who will force you to see a different world. And then that real God will force us to accept or reject this new world’s implications.
As preachers who are under the anointing of God, we will all the real gospel to come forth with its hard edges. We will preach the real gospel with its cross of Jesus, and we will even preach the implications of that real gospel that will call us to pick up our own cross and follow the Master.
Relevant and Important
And yes this preaching is vitally relevant, but it is not the talk-show host kind of relevance that provides good advice that you can take or leave….no…NO…it is a vitally important message that is in your face…and that you must…you will…you have to either accept or reject. Let us stop our pathetic pandering to the status quo and point our people to another reality that is even now breaking forth into this world.