I heard a preacher this weekend. He is not for everyone. His eyes are piercing. He is grave and serious. He has some unique mannerisms. His primary appeal is not to the emotions.
He may be a storyteller but his stories are not calculated to make you laugh or cry. The stories are just another tool in his box to probe the conscience. What is your taste in preachers? Your taste in preachers is revealing, every revealing. You have read the Scripture where it says; “They heap to themselves teacher having itching ears.” They don’t mind preaching, they rather like it, but they like their preachers smooth. Sort of religious after-dinner speakers. Make me laugh, warm my heart, affirm my human potential, but don’t disturb me. Affirm me don’t afflict me. Most of the modern church likes her preachers smooth.
There was John the Baptist. He was Jesus’ bulldozer. The prophet Isaiah predicted what the forerunner of Jesus would be like. He would make the crooked places strait. He would make the rough places smooth. He would prepare a highway for our God. Jesus said since the time of John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it my force.
Preachers that make a way for others have to be violent enough to move a little earth. They have to be more than paid churchmen with a collection of little happy platitudes. They have to have convictions that match the convictions of God not just diatribes against things that do not concern the heart of God while they are silent about the weighty moral and ethical issues of our day.
And these men are used of God to move the hearts of men and women. Thank God for that. How sweet to see a child of God broken-hearted over sin, hungry for God. How very, very sweet.
What kind of preachers do you gravitate to? Feel-happy preachers or those who faithfully probe the memory and appeal to the conscience? Something to think about, isn’t it?