I LOVE espresso! And I’ll admit….I’m addicted. I’m one of those crazy, moody people who get that ‘I’ll kill you’ look in the eye if I don’t have my strong coffee first thing in the morning. I’ve even been known to take my french press with me on leadership retreats (because they NEVER have decent coffee).
Once or twice in the last 20 years, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of using coffee grounds from the day before to make my espresso in the morning. Why, you ask? Either poor planning or it was simply the end of the paycheck. It doesn’t matter, though. No matter the reason, don’t ever do this. It’s watered down and nasty!
The same is true with the Gospel message. God’s Word should be strong, tasteful, and fresh every time it is heard. But like using old coffee grounds to cut corners, the scriptures can be cheapened….and often are. For those of us who are key leaders in the Church, this represents poor character and communicates a weak image of God. Wouldn’t you agree?
I don’t need to spell them out for you. There are numerous moral and social issues in the news every day that boast health and unity, yet run cross-grain to the Word of God. And the worst part…many pastors are allowing the Bible to be diluted by political correctness, social rights groups, and Hollywood agendas in order to not offend anyone.
“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NLT)
My encouragement (and plea) to any pastor reading this post is to preach with boldness God’s truth. Communicate what it says without running it through the news media filter first. Doing this just might get your church ridiculed in the local paper, result in hundreds of people ‘unfriending’ you on facebook, or even cause members of your own family to treat you differently.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather endure these kinds of social scoffings than have Jesus himself look me in the eye and tell me that I watered down what He died for. Just teach what the Bible says…God will take care of the Pharisees of today.
What are your thoughts?