Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Hidden Horror of Gospel-less Ministry

It's horrible that some churches aren't preaching the gospel correctly to their people. What people rarely consider is the horrible truth that so many of them don't ever "fix" their ministry problems when tragedy hits.

When you don't give the gospel to people in the congregations, you don't have the mindset and experience that you need to deliver the gospel in times of crisis and critical illness. If you don't understand Law and Gospel from the pulpit or in the pew, you won't know what to say at the bedside. Even the best of us have trouble in emotionally difficult situations so, if you aren't immersed in the Gospel, you aren't going to dust that off and declare repentance and the forgiveness of sins when it really really counts.

For all the talk of relevance, helping, and healing people, if you don't have the gospel then you've got nothing in clutch time. All of your rhetoric and platitudes mean nothing in those crushing times when all human words fail. I've been there. I've stood by the beds as the trendy pastors mumble positive thinking and empty hope. I've been at the scenes of a violent death where counselors don't know what to say or they say things that make it all so much worse.

This is the hidden shame of Christ-less Christianity. Nothing they have to offer is eternal... and so it becomes an insulting joke when death looms.

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