(Tim) At a former church, the wife of the longtime Moderator of our Elders board used to get up from her seat and march out of the sanctuary if I mentioned the word 'abortion' in my sermon. This happened any number of times and it's inconceivable to me how I could be at all faithful to the Gospel here in the shadow of a major research institution without it being a constant in my ministry. Our world is so similar to the Ancient World the Apostles ministered within. Why would they live on the brink of death and we'd live lives of ease--unless, of course, we had come to a sophisticated knowledge of some of the nuances of Scripture they had missed. Help me! Where are those nuances? I'd love to find them. I'm very tired of suffering attacks.
This in from our Asian correspondent, Joel Linton, who with his Taiwanese wife, Judy, serves as a church-planter in Taiwan under the PCA's Mission to the World.
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It's a comfort to remember that people walked out on Jesus...
Certainly we shouldn't seek to be offensive, but if people never walk out on us in our time of service as teaching elders, perhaps we're sugar-coating our message and, by erasing the offense of the Gospel, failing to clearly present the Gospel.
I've experienced it before at another church, and it hurt my heart. I did not sleep much that night and felt greatly troubled in spirit and ended up spending a lot of time praying. But the visitors in question eventually came back because they realized our church stood out from others in that it really did try to proclaim God's Word faithfully.
It does concern me that people-pleasing collegiality so as not to turn off listeners seems to be a growing trend in the pulpits -- and then no one is ever challenged at their root heart attitudes and life actions.
Shall we serenade people on their road to hell so as to ease their passage?
I'm glad others did not do that to me so that I could learn my need for a Savior.