Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Deep Preaching or just Pretending to be?

Have you ever sat in a church service listening to a preacher and not understood a thing he said? The sermon is too academic and overly intellectual with a lot of big words most people don’t understand. These guys speak in a “unknown tongue” each week and people leave not understanding a thing.

When Jesus taught He spoke in terms that normal people could understand. He didn’t use technical or theological jargon. He taught profound truths in simple ways. Yet, many pastors do the exact opposite; they teach PLAIN TRUTHS in WAYS HARD TO UNDERSTAND. They take straightforward texts and make them complicated by using big words that are rarely used in normal conversation. Sometimes they will even speak Latin or conduct extensive Greek root-word studies which tend to confuse or bore most people. They think they are being “deep” when actually they are turning the water muddy. It is more important to be CLEAR than CLEVER when teaching God's Word.

In contrast, crowds loved to listen to Jesus teach. Mark 12:37 says, “the COMMON PEOPLE HEARD HIM GLADLY” (or with enjoyment). Jesus was the greatest communicator who ever lived and the Bible plainly tells us that people were SPELLBOUND by His teachings.

Some pastors today crticize any method of preaching or teaching that is not didactic. Their attitude implies that Paul was more profound than Jesus; that Romans is "deeper" than the Sermon on the Mount; that the espstiles are more important than the Parables. I call that foolishness, and it's close to heresy.

The next time you encounter one of these overly intellectual types who is muddying the water, just remember this - there's nothing wrong with you, there's something wrong with the communicator. He doesn’t really talk that way all the time…. he only pretends he does when he’s preaching.

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