“Master, are you aware the Pharisees were offended by (what you preached)?” (Matthew 15:12)
The truth has a way of offending.
Those who preach the Word must keep a sharp edge on their message.
The typical “liberal” church in modern America has no problem offending traditionalists. What it cannot do–will not dare do, not for all the world!–is to go against the conventional wisdom of the day. If the culture decides a thing is wrong, the accommodating church finds a way to adapt its doctrine and practices to the prevailing whims. And so we have churches that call themselves Christian and Bible-believing ignoring or twisting Scripture in order to justify abortions, euthanasia, legalization of drugs, and the LGBTQ agenda, while erasing from their beliefs and practices anything having to do with the necessity of being born again, the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation, or the reality of hell.
What’s going on here?
“Beware of Pharisees. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers; and do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders, for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23
Pastor, given a choice–and you always have a choice–try not to look and act like a Pharisee. For my money, the best way–the very best way in the universe–is to use this phrase: “When I got my doctorate…”
I’m not sure why that sets me off, but it does. And I haven’t the slightest idea whether it’s only me or the rest of the universe.
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, that phrase is completely unnecessary and is inserted only to call attention to oneself, to make sure the hearers fall to their knees in abject horror. “Oh my, you have a doctorate?! You must be of superior intelligence, far beyond most mortals.” “Forgive me for thinking you put your pants on one leg at a time!”