Monday, April 21, 2014

Ministry Monday: I Don't Want Poo On Me

When we hear preachers that use strong language or offensive illustrations, it would be good of us to read the Old Testament before we pass judgement.

Malachi 2 offers as vivid and offensive (and stinky) an illustration as I have seen. God is speaking through the prophet and hopefully not at mealtimes. The audience is the priests, that special tribe called for a special purpose.

“Listen, you priests—this command is for you! Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning to heart. I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile. Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. ~Malachi 2:1-4
Preach the word or get poo splattered on your face. I don't know about you but I don't want poo on me. God, through Malachi, explains.

The priests were saying wrong was right and living how they wanted. They allowed divorce, a desecration of God's creation of marriage. We don't get to do that. We don't get to spend our weeks searching for great illustrations and blog posts to use as sermon fodder without considering what truth is. We aren't privileged to say what's on our minds without considering what's on the Mind of God.

That kind of preaching causes a smell. It's not a good smell. On the contrary, the smell pastors are to give off should be like Paul's description.

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us. ~2 Corinthians 2:14b-17
So if you are going to preach and you don't want poo on you, then I suggest you preach the Word of God as God intended. That won't smell bad.

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