Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Standing before a congregation carries a bit of pressure. We want to please God. We want to please the church. Our wives and kids have friends and we don't want to uproot them by moving again and again.

So what I did was to learn to adapt my messages to fit what I thought the critics of the church wished to hear; we were the only true church and all others were wrong. I thought I was doing the right thing, but that tickling their ears passage would not go away.

A problem began to develop within as I didn't believe everything I was preaching. Image of courage and force was important to me. We had been sufficiently warned in school that many others mistakenly yielded along the way to the deceitfulness of liberalism. It wasn't going to happen to me!

I finally went to an elder and told him I was lying from the pulpit; that I was not telling the truth but, rather, I was trying to keep my job. I had good elders who walked beside me at the time and one named Harriel Scarsdale counseled me that I had to be bold enough to make adjustments if God was going to be honored.

As the preacher, his words of assurance seemed to be what I needed in spirit to grow up a bit and move forward. I took my message to the pulpit and cleared the air. There was a significant stirring afterwards; both pro and con.

I hadn't thought of that conversation with Harriel in about twenty years; but it was a significant moment. When that really good elder gave me counsel that Saturday morning a new life began for me....and for Memorial Drive. I started a transition out of preaching Church of Christ into preaching Christ. There is a difference.

It didn't go down easy; but it surely bears Holy Spirit fruit to this day. The days ahead weren't necessarily easier for quite a ruckus ensued. But the stability of being honest with God, the people, and myself put me into a zone I desperately needed.

I had settled in as a preacher trying to keep a paycheck. However, my yielding to popularity had become unsettling. I don't urge any reader to become a trouble-maker. I am, though, saying the preaching of Jesus will stir the pot at times causing many great discomfort. Let it, best you can, be His timing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A friend once told me that's it's called Christianity, not churchianity.