Yes, thank you Captain Obvious.
But let’s get real here. We don’t always do that. Ministers sometimes turn into story tellers. Bible study groups turn into social get togethers.
And the Bible takes second place.
Or even third place or fourth place.
Have you read the Bible? All of it?
I have – once. I should more often.
A couple of things that I learned from reading the entire Bible:
- There is a lot of “stuff” in there. Thousands of people, many generations, lots of things that happen.
- There is a lot of violence in there. God gave His people the ability to win amazing battles but He also allowed them to be punished when they screwed up.
- There are some things that make you feel really good.
- There are some really uncomfortable stories. Stories that make us squirm. Stories that should make us squirm.
- It is not all pleasant reading. Actually a lot of it is very hard reading.
- But it’s God’s story of taking pain and sorrow and wickedness and evil and turning them into a tale of redemption and release.
Not everything in the Bible will make you feel good. A lot of it won’t make you feel good.
But for a church to be healthy, it needs to be Bible based.
Everything it does needs to be run through the “filter” of the Bible. What does God say about this? What’s the Bible’s stand on that?
Sermons need to be not just the preacher’s opinions on something, they need to be teaching from God’s Word. That means:
- Preparing for preaching needs to require spending a lot of time searching and seeking God’s will and what He is saying there. And a church and their pastor need to allow and plan for that.
- Sermons need to be more than an explanation of what happened in a certain passage. An explanation of what King David did when the Ark of the Covenant came back to Israel is not a sermon – that’s a Sunday school lesson at most.
- Sermons need to be the tool that helps church members spiritually make it through another week. A week of spiritual warfare, a week of weakness, a week of struggles.
The church needs to be Biblical. The church needs to be the hands and feet of God and needs to do everything in light of His Word.
Otherwise we’re just a social club – and it’s a club that is going to alienate those who are searching for something more.