How dare we speak

We should never presume to occupy a pulpit unless we believe in this God. How dare we speak, if God has not spoken? By ourselves we have nothing to say. To address a congregation without any assurance that we are bearers of a divine message would be the height of arrogance and folly. It is when we are convinced that God is light (and so wanting to be known), that God has acted (and thus made himself known), and that God has spoken (and thus explained his actions), that we must speak and cannot remain silent.

— John Stott, Between Two Worlds

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3 thoughts on “How dare we speak

  1. How ironic that you would post this while i was writing…….

    Reading Robert Reich The Empty Pulpit I could not help but note the similarities to the Christian Church as it stands today.
    Reich’s piece has nothing to do with the Christian Church but everything to do with leadership and what failed leadership does and does not do so they fail.
    Imagine if the word Preacher, Pastor or Bishop instead of President where the topic of the piece.

    “Instead of powerful explanations we get the type of bromides.”
    Bromides are also used by preachers, teachers pastors and bishops in the Christian Church today. Platitude to sedate. Insincere sermons that bore and are never really meant to accomplish the goal but to avoid controversy and bore to death the listener or leave them disappointed and dismayed.

    “a man seemingly without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, ….a .deal maker who doesn’t explain his compromises in light of larger goals”
    or
    A man/woman in the Church “without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, …..dealmaker who doesn’t explain his compromises in light of larger goals”
    “…… cannot mobilize America around the truth, in other words, ….cannot mobilize America around the truth, in other words, because he is continuously adapting to the prevailing view. This is not leadership.
    Or
    “…….cannot mobilize the “Christian Church” around truth because…………….”

    “A more disturbing explanation is that he simply lacks the courage to tell the truth”

    The Christian Church could take the same piece change a few words and call it the Empty Christian Pulpit

    Montgomery wrote:
    “Luther’s actual objection to the church of his day was that it had become an end in itself, and no longer a means to an end. Luther’s real objection was that the church had become SACRAMENTALISTIC, that is to say, people went to church feeling that if they took part in the prescribed sacramental rituals, in some automatic fashion their problem of God-relationship would be taken care of for them. They regarded the sacramental rites ex opere operato, as works having power already inherent in them – as virtually automatic means of salvation.” (“Damned through the Church,” page 55 )

  2. This is the reason pastors should spend as much time in prayer as they do in study–or more. Generally we teach in the pulpit (which certainly has validity); but without spending time in prayer, preaching God’s word is arrogant folly.

    1. I agree we should pray more and prayer is more important than we think IMHO but… here I read Luther saying persons in the CC, at that time and I think in this period of history too, assumed they were save by some act such as saying I believe in Christ, or the act of baptism, or participating in some ritual or repeating a statement or oath was all that was needed to be in Gods good graces and saved. Luther points out their error.

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