Bully Baby's silencing of the authentic Christian Voice is crippling America
A Catholic priest whom I knew well when we both were ministers in a central Texas town once said to me, "If I really preached the Gospel, I'd be run out of town."
I've never forgotten those words, which I knew the truth of well before I heard the priest utter them. The people who worship weekly in your pews simply do not want to hear the Truth about controversial issues, especially when those issues involve politics or are in any way critical of their ideas and behavior.
True, no Christian rightfully wants to be "ambushed" in the sanctuary. Worship should be a sacred, personal experience you have with others present, reverently participating in the ritual while hearing the scriptural advice in a comforting, reassuring way.
But no preacher wants to be "silenced" in advance by a congregation. Invariably, though, that's what many church members insist upon. They simply do not want their opinions - their prejudices, if you will - challenged by an "uppity" preacher. And they let the preacher know, often early on, in the opening days of the preacher's being their pastor. Then, afterward, whenever the sermon begins to unsettle them, they will cough and mumble to share their displeasure with the like-minded.
It takes experience to know how to tread through such muddy waters, and for the preacher to survive.
Every respectful Christian interpreter I know of agrees that the preacher should never be a domineering, self-righteous "Bully" from the pulpit, condemning those in his congregation who hold differing views.
And every respected Christian interpreter I know of agrees that the first task of the preacher is to proclaim the Good News on how to live the good life.
My experience has been: If you do the latter, you have done the job required of you in the pulpit.
But here's the problem: Too many American Christians do not want to hear the Good News and live by it. "Love your neighbor" means loving your neighbor regardless. "Forgiving" means exactly that. And the "stranger" who truly loves is the Good Samaritan, someone very different from the typical White Christian American worshiper.
Donald Trump has sought to capitalize on this monumental weakness in American Christianity. He has intentionally comforted and solicited the support of those deaf to the Gospel, and silenced the true Voice of the Lord in the present day.
I cannot accept that. I will not. When unchristian 'Christian' Americans decide they want to hear not Donald Trump but the Voice of the Lord, then our collective preaching task in the U. S. will have been accomplished. I pray for the coming of that day. Come, Lord Jesus. Come soon.
To view Pastor Pate's June 7th "Church in Place" video, cliick on Return to Glory.