October 12, 2015

Blame Game

I’m seeing a pattern of speakers and preachers going to the podium with unprepared messages. However, what is even more troubling than their being unprepared is that they are putting the blame on the Lord. Time after time I’m hearing ministers of the Gospel say, “I had another message prepared, but at the last minute the Lord told me He wanted me to share a different message with you.” Certainly the Lord can on short notice redirect a preacher’s sermon topic, but one would think if the Lord did so, He would also supply the cohesiveness needed for the new topic…and that the new message would be timely, impactful and Spirit filled. Paul gave Timothy this charge: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim 4:2 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I have to credit you with deeper thinking than I’ve done. When I’ve heard these, “…the Lord…wanted me to share a different message…” gigs, it’s struck me as preachers wanting to sound all perfectly directed by God and substantiated as the one to listen to because God talks to them so concretely. You’ve actually checked out the quality of their sermons to see if that matches their claim.
-----But then again, there are two types of “…wanted a different message…” claims that I’ve heard, maybe for our present topic we could label them “higher claim” and “lower claim”, the lower claim being the example you presented. In it the Lord has just told the preacher he wanted a different message delivered. The higher claim being that other statement I am sure you’ve also heard, “…as I was preparing what I thought would be today’s sermon, the Lord laid a different message on my heart.” Now the preacher not only claims the shift in topic was the Lord’s doing, but that the different message was actually given by the Lord. Of this message I would expect great, Spirit filled heights of timely impact.
-----I usually think deeper into this kind of thing. But I don’t have that much information on which to think about this until lately. I have so rarely found any preacher besides Lloyd McMillan, Ronnie Hanna, and Larry Zirskey (sp?) being mentally engaging enough to keep my attention by which I might be able to evaluate the differences between their normal sermons and these “special“ ones. Moreover, I don‘t think I ever heard one of those three pull such a stunt. And the preacher I now enjoy, whose sermon‘s more than rather captivate my attention, is far too humble to assert into his sermon some idea that the Lord steers him into perfection like a mindless mule. My impression of him is that he trusts his ability to follow the Lord enough to believe the sermon he began to prepare is good for the flock, and then applies that ability enough that it is. But then, that’s just my impression of him. I only know him by his consistently timely, Spirit filled impacting sermons because his yawners are so rare.

Love you all,
Steve Corey