Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I was going to post a long rant about the YouTube videos of Sen. Obama’s pastor that have been making news lately. Even though the news broke a couple of weeks ago, it’s still a hot topic by bloggers so I’ll leave the rants up to them. I recommend these two from the Newsweek/Washington Post “On Faith” blog portal, these three from the beliefnet “god-o-meter” this one from Christopher Hitchens at Slate, these two from the Independent Conservative, and finally ones from ABC News and the LA Times.

I’ll only add that what I’ve seen on YouTube shouldn’t be preached from the pulpit. I also recognize that we’re seeing three minutes of 30 years of preaching. But I have a rule of thumb regarding this, and the same rule applies to all preachers across the political and racial spectrum from Pat Robertson to Jessie Jackson. What is preached from the pulpit should 1) give insight on the nature of God, 2) describe God’s relationship with us and/or vise versa, 3) edify and encourage the congregation using scripture (i.e. strengthening the church: 1 Corinthians 14), 4) instruct the church on living Christ-like lives or 5) lead others to a saving relationship with Jesus. If a subject doesn’t do any of the above, it shouldn’t be preached.

Hold a press conference if you want or host a TV or a radio show. But remember the words of Paul, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13:1-3

To me, Reverend Wright is just a clanging cymbal. But isn’t he doing #3 above, you might ask? Well, where’s the love that Paul talks about? I wrote about this before, and this is what I think Trinity Church should be doing. Maybe they are, but our media loves a scandal and this makes much better news than reflecting God's glory.

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