Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Preach what you confess. . .

British author and journalist Douglas Murray, who is not a Christian, says he supports Christianity from the outside and is supportive of conservative causes in general.  What is most interesting is his complaint that Christians have become either apologetic about or simply fail to preach their truth.  They substitute social positions for Christian truth and they fail to preach their own doctrinal identity.  You can read his complaint below:
My own view is that the Churches have, broadly speaking, become very bad at preaching the doctrine of their own faith. So, I am always attacking the Scandinavian churches; they are the worst example. But the Church of Rome, as we call it in the U.K., under this current pope, also has the tendency to migrate towards the sort of “Jesus was a refugee,” “Jesus was a migrant” and then the forms of green politicking which make the Church a little more than the Greenpeace of prayer. I think this is very worrying because I think that the Church has doctrine, beliefs, and they should preach them, they shouldn’t seek to preach new different things like social justice action, or welfarism or greenery or anything like this. So weirdly enough one of my positions is to try and persuade the churches to preach their own doctrine.

I do actually find myself in studios sometimes with bishops begging them just to preach the doctrine of their own faith, and they are really reluctant to do it, you really have to push them. I don’t think the Church can criticize nonbelievers if it doesn’t have confidence in its own beliefs, or to put it in another way, to sneak through without anyone noticing that they are Christian.
His point is well taken. But it is not merely true of those churches that substitute social or political positions for doctrine, it is also true of churches that preach a generic Jesus.  So, for example, is it possible to preach a Lutheran sermon without mentioning baptism, Holy Communion, absolution, etc.?  It would do well to consider if somebody sitting in your pews for a span of a couple of years would be surprised to find out that Lutherans believe in infant baptism, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, or that the efficacy of the Word of God?  If your members moved would they seek out a church that matched their worship preference or their doctrinal confession?  It is high time that Lutherans (and others) actually preached the faith they confess in their public doctrine and not hide who they are.  This is part of my issue with so-called contemporary worship and music.  It is deceptive.  It is simply deceptive to worship like an evangelical and they insist they you believe like a Lutheran.  The people sitting in the pews will define the church on the basis of what happens on Sunday morning and not on the basis of confessional documents they have only limited experience with.  Preach who you are and worship like you confess.  That has integrity.  Anything else does not.

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