Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Halleujah! A thoroughly biblical sermon

One of the mild surprises in my nearly eight month pastoral hiatus, during which I have been a visitor in numerous churches for the Sunday morning service, is that far too often there has been something missing from the worship time - a biblical mesage.

This surprises me, since I have been in SBC churches, inerrantists all, save for a Sunday off the reservation at a Presbyterian church  (whose pastor, a friend of mine would make a good Baptist and preached a solid biblical sermon that Sunday).

There have been Sundays where the sermon was jettisioned in favor of music.

There have been Sundays where a patriotic God-and-Country theme meant a perfunctory reading of a single Bible verse followed by 45 minutes of Founding Fathers with Jesus in a cameo appearance.

There have been Sundays where it seemed that if the pastor got red-faced and apopleptic and screamed a lot, that was supposed to be preaching. It wasn't.

There have been Sundays when the idea seemed to be to declare the glories of some of our denominational programs.

There have been a Sundays where I just wasn't sure what was being preached.

And there have been many Sundays where the sermon was biblical, solid, and preached well.

This past Sunday I worshipped in a rather high-church fashion. Music was good, though sedate. Any hymn with a Brahms symphony (the fourth, I believe) for the music is a hit with me. OK, I cannot recall singing the Gloria Patri lately, although the Doxology (not the one whose tune I always used) was comforting.

Several passages of Scripture were read.

The sermon was on Uzzah and was the best treatment of that text I have ever heard, though I cannot say there are many to choose from. The pastor was enthusiastic in his delivery and thoroughly biblical in his handling of the story. I love narrative preaching that paints a picture, explains the story, and makes appropriate application. He did well on all counts, and that with nary a hint of alliteration.

I could learn something from this.

Oh, did I mention that the pastor and church were Baptist? They are indeed. Did I mention that this Baptist church is one of the few Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches that no longer have any ties with the SBC? They don't.

We had better be careful about those stereotypes. It might just profitable for us inerrantists to give geater primacy to Scripture in this church.

1 comment:

Tommy Rucker said...

I always try to find an SBC church to visit for worship when on vacation, and to be honest, I have been disappointed with the preaching as often as not. There truly is a drought of solid, biblical exposition out there. No wonder our people are starving.