Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Send the Mayor a Sermon or Equip Christians?

In the wake of the mayor of Houston, Texas demanding copies of sermons from pastors, some high-profile Christians have recommended pastors across the nation send her copies of their sermons; one also made sure that he included the admonition, “do it in love”. How will the mayor will be able to discern a sermon sent in love from one sent in another attitude?

The pastor of the church I visited Sunday morning told the congregation that he would be sending her his sermons this week. I thought the statement problematic.

Firstly, is this action likely to foster understanding and open a door of dialogue and witness with the mayor? I doubt it. It looks more like a, “We’ll show you!” action, hardly one clothed in humility and charity.

Secondly, and I think more important, how does this action model a way of witness for the congregation? Pastors should be thinking about how they can equip their people to live in a hostile world, a world in which overt hostility is becoming more commonplace. How can pastors help their people negotiate treacherous waters in the workplace, in their families, in their neighborhoods, in their schools? Modeling an “in your face” response to challenges is hardly helpful, hardly thoughtful, and hardly likely to bring others to Jesus.

One high-profile Christian leader wants us to rally to the US Constitution; it’s better to refresh ourselves in the Sermon on the Mount. Satan might be amused at how easily we are distracted, and perhaps the angels weep. Nothing should ever divert us from the Christ of the Cross and the Cross of Christ – not the mayor of Houston, not the Constitution, not having our “rights” trampled on…Jesus invites us to be longsuffering witnesses for Him to others…will we accept His invitation? Oh yes, and will pastors start equipping their churches?

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