Hugh’s News & Views (Why Do You . . . ?)

“WHY DO YOU PREACH LIKE THAT?”

Only rarely do I use an article written by someone else for my weekly “Hugh’s News & Views.” I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have done that since the inauguration of this column back in November of 2010. However, the following article by Don Loftis is such a fitting sequel to last week’s article on “Hanging Out Our Dirty Laundry For All The World To See” that I have chosen to use it for this week’s edition of my “News & Views.” Don has recently retired from full-time ministry after serving the Old Hickory (TN) Church of Christ for over 20 years. The article is taken from a reprint of it in the November 15, 2018 issue of the bulletin of the Calvert City (KY) Church of Christ. I heartily commend Don’s words of truth and soberness to all of my readers. (hf).

I like to think that most preachers seek to be balanced in their sermon selections. Some lessons are topical, others are textual; some biographical, others doctrinal; some positive, others negative. Even with balance, sometimes we are asked, “Why do you preach against so many things? Why not just talk about how to be happy and love one another?” In some way, many listeners connect a sermon against sin as being unloving.

If a patient is sick, very sick, is the doctor unloving in telling the man that he has cancer? Is the teacher unloving when she informs parents that their child is failing math? Is the engineer unloving when he tells the city that a certain bridge is unsafe to cross and needs to be closed to prevent a disaster?

Sermons against sexual immorality are not as much fun to preach (or hear) as the newest three step plan for a super-happy marriage. Yet, Paul warned folks in Corinth that those who commit immorality (and other specifically named sins in I Corinthians 6:9-10) will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus told a parable in Luke 16 about a man who died and found himself in torment. His request was that one would be sent to his family “to warn them so that they will not come to this place of torment.”

True love cares for a person’s health more than their feelings and about their relationship with the Lord more than their comfort level. Come to think of it, a sermon against sin and its eternal consequences might be the most positively helpful sermon ever delivered.

Well said, Don. And so very true!

Hugh Fulford

March 19, 2019

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