January 25, 2016


The term “amen” is an affirmation used at the end of a prayer, or used to express agreement. From the pulpit I continue to hear pastors and speakers asking their audience to amen their statements. In their mind they may feel they have made a profound spiritual statement, however, it is presumptuous on their part to ask for an endorsement. While discussing speaking in tongues Paul makes it clear that it is the listener who determines whether or not they are edified and can express agreement in what is said. “If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified” (1 Cor 14:16-17 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----The last sentence of your quoted scripture pretty much says it all to the preacher, “You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.” The big part of why we assemble is to edify and be edified. Edification happens when something new is relevantly good. The ideas and concepts themselves do not need to be new. The perspective upon them can be the new. When this good tidbit naturally fit’s the hollow in someone’s life, edification is produced.
-----It is true that there is always a life with a certain hollow amongst any crowd of people. So the preacher whose sermons are as repetitious as the meadow lark’s song is yet edifying some. But as pretty as the meadow lark sings, I’m never quite inclined to stick my head out the window and chirp whenever I hear one again for the umpty-ninth time in my life. I must admit, though, the meadow is charming when filled with chirping.
-----I would propose that if we were a bunch of bird-brains we would chirp at any tune from the pulpit. But when I look at how we’ve failed to take hands across the valley and be like Christ’s body really is, when I see our failure to flood the school boards and city councils and all public forums with Christian perspective and the sound evidence and reasoning on which it stands, when I see the passive surrender we’ve made to political correctness and the mad-hat, lunatics elected to public office in a nation supposedly 75% or more Christian, then I really would expect our church houses to be full of bird-brain chirping at any noise from the pulpit.
-----The truth is, even the dimmest of us are not bird-brains. We’re just not courageous enough to live Christ’s power into the mess deceit has made of this society. Occasionally, even the meadow-lark preacher chirps something worthy of an “amen” but gets none for the lack of courage in the congregation.
-----In the same way Paul showed how the body from all its parts working together performs, it can also be shown that the body from all its parts not working together fails. If in the end the behavior of Christ’s body overcame and dispelled the evil in the world, then Christ would have no need to defeat evil-doers upon His return. But we won’t and He will. We’re not totally good or totally bad. We’re just a bunch of messed up humans given a very, powerful, eternal life. We’re not doing the best we can. And I think every one of us realizes in the still of the night on the edge of sleep that we don’t even try as hard as we can. We are left to go to sleep desiring to do better. And desire is something the Lord takes hold of tightly. He works good from it in spite of our misgivings, mishaps, and mistakes. So I assure you, whenever the preacher does ask for the “amen”, whether or not he gets it, there’ll be a few hearts at least desiring what they heard. .

Love you all,
Steve Corey