Friday, January 11, 2013

Should We Only Preach Behind Pulpits?


The Louie Giglio controversy has moved me to resurrect this blog from the dead. I read this morning that Giglio decided to pull the plug on his participation in the inauguration of President Obama. In his letter to the President he wrote,

Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration. Clearly, speaking on this issue (homosexuality) has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.

So, he opts out. He succumbs to the demands of the enemy and chooses to not stand firm (Eph 6:13-14ff). He would rather return to his Sunday pulpit to continue his church ministry than engage in a battle for the truth. Thus, he misses out on a huge opportunity to proclaim the truths of Christ. And for what, to be popular? To be liked?

Giglio chose to do what most pastors are comfortable doing each week. Simply preaching a message behind a pulpit--a rather safe place. The schedule is controlled, the time slot for the message is all planned out, and mostly those who already accept the Scriptures as true are there to listen.

But should we pastors only preach behind pulpits?

Let's consider the New Testament. Did not Paul and the apostles take the message of Christ to the synagogues, places of public gathering? Did they not take the message to the people and engage them in preaching truth on the streets? Did not Paul in his travels throughout Macedonia and Achaia preach in the agora (marketplace/town square). They were surrounded by shrines, temples and monuments to false gods, yet stood before them and reasoned with people from the Scriptures.

Why didn't Giglio embrace this opportunity? The media dominates the conversation today and fills it with their secular, godless agenda. Why aren't pastors like Giglio willing to engage the world with the truth on their territory? Why cower behind your comfortable Sunday pulpit? And in his case choose not to preach on something controversial for 15-20 years. What a tragedy. That is grounds for disqualification (Titus 1:9).

I personally believe that a minority of people in churches today are evangelizing the lost. And often a minority of pastors are engaging the world outside of their churches with the truth. This isn't what we see modeled in Scripture.

Why aren't we going to town-hall meetings and proclaiming truth? Why aren't we engaging the world on their territory with the message of Jesus Christ? Over 333,000 children were murdered/aborted last year. Can we simply just be comfortable preaching behind our pulpits? May we look for opportunities to enter public discourse where we can proclaim the truths of Christ. How can the church advance truth in the world when for the most part the only people hearing it are those in the pews who agree with us already?

What can we do to preach outside of our pulpits to a world on the fast track to perdition?

1 Comment:

The Radical Watchman said...

Lance there seems to be a general embarrassment for the truth on the part of many mainline evangelicals today. Whether it is the issue of homosexuality or creation, those who are deemed the spokespersons of evangelicalism seem to think they must continually make apologies for the truth of God's word as if this will appease the world and enhance the church's reputation. As Mohler well noted in his assessment of the Giglio situation, THIS IS A FAILED STRATEGY. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 comes to mind!