Thursday, November 10, 2011

Principles for preaching- get ready to be crucified

Bonhoeffer famously said "When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die".

If, as preachers, we are preaching Christ truly, then we are asking our congregations to die. Literally. Like actually do things that could well get them killed. Not necessarily heroically, perhaps obscurely. Not just taking a stand for the truth, but perhaps pouring themselves out in love of the weak.

People, even Christians, don't really like that call.
And so as you get up to preach, you should have some sense of dread
"This sermon could get me fired"
"This sermon could get me lynched"

If you don't have that feeling, are you really asking them to walk with Jesus into the New Creation? Or are you making them comfortable for this world?

*NB By God's grace and Holy Spirit, those sermons where you think people will hate you are often the ones that Christians respond best to. Finally someone has assured them that following Jesus into suffering is in fact the path to resurrection glory!

"The [listener] must approach as they might a surgeon, knowing, of course, that he will not die, but that it is a serious thing and he will not come out of it unscathed...He must be totally convinced that we are capable of making him scream" Antonin Artaud

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