Help wanted: preacher needed, preferably soft

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:

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This has even shown up in Revelation Media’s “In His Image”, a free movie that shows the brokenness of our gender dystopia. The main message was that God made us male and female. But then they proceeded to have Mary Kassian explains what it means to be made in God’s image as male and female, and she was the one to explain what masculinity was (!). My wife didn’t understand why I stopped watching.

Where’s Voddie when you need him?

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Feminism; one of satan’s great triumphs. It destroys men but particularly destroys women.

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Oh dear!

Most folks think that the chief social blemishes of old age are physical, or material. Wrinkles. Atrophy of muscles. Slowly advancing deafness. Eyes that can’t see very far, or very well. All these invite pity and condescension.

But the worst is the penchant for the old fart to dredge up things from his distant past which he thinks relevent but which merely irritate his audience. “What the hell does that have to do with anything?”

Trigger warning: Prepare to be irritated, but not becuase you’re barred from beholding the ravages of five decades on my body (I used to be handsome, you know). No, I’m going to reach back half a century to this:

Fifty years ago I was fired for embracing the view I continued to hold for the next 50 years concerning divorce and remarriage. I applied to the placement department of the seminary I had attended, and I got several interviews. Each of them proceeded pretty much the same way.

Each pastor or placement committee member asked me to review my previous pastorate. When I got to the place where I was fired and the cause of that deplorable event, I could see the eyes glaze, the face go blank, and the conversation deflated to a queasy conclusion.

However, one pastor ventured to help me out by offering this observation as the interview wound down: “Rev. Mouser, we really don’t think it’s wise to drive down any one-way streets.” He was the pastor of the largest ostensibly evangelical church in Birmingham, the most populous city in Alabama.

The point: What Pr. Bayly describes is at least as old as those interviews. Were I a wagering man, I’d bet all I owned on the fact that it’s a flaw in the church that goes back much further.

For a long time I’ve wondered if the preaching and teaching which Pr. Tim thinks is needed now has only been seen in America twice (maybe only once) in our nation’s history, namely at the first and second “great awakenings.” My history prof told me that Edward’s “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” was read in nearly a monotone. But, people were fainting in their pews, or seized with a fit.

The Scriptures are one, very long one-way street. Really two of them, one leading to eternal life, the other to eternal damnation. The gospel is not soft, or gentle, or fuzzy-wuzzy. Our Lord didn’t mince a single syllable about that (Matthew 10:34).

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You might be interested to hear, then, that the church I go to has just finished a preaching series on the “Hard sayings of Jesus” (from the Beatitudes, mostly) and is now doing a series on Hebrews and the many exhortations within that letter written to an audience itself already under a lot of pressure.

On second thoughts, the problem begins in our evangelism; we preach a ‘soft conversion’ in which the cost of discipleship is downplayed if it is acknowledged at all, then pastors are left with ‘soft disciples’ who haven’t, really, counted the cost. Setting the entry bar somewhat higher than what most churches manage, may be the place to start.

Pleased and envious of the pastors who can do that and keep their flock and their crooks.