Sunday, August 20, 2006
Remember those comercials from the 80's with that little old lady asking "Where's the beef?" I have a vague memory of them, I was a wee lad in the 80's, but I do remember that we had this really dorky beach towel that said "Where's the beef?" on it.
Well, being back in St. Louis, there is a wide variety of churches to pick from. My lovely wife and I went to one today (of which I will not name names) and were very, very disappointed by the sermon. The preacher talked for 25 minutes about the dangers of getting caught up in sin. How it sneaks up on you, how we need to avoid it at all costs, and going into great and graphic (and, I thought, inappropriately violent) accounts of sinful actions. His point was that sin sneaks up on us unawares, that we are powerless against it and that despite our best intentions, we fall victim to the ravages of sin. All very well, but what are we to do? This sermon was terribly short on the beauty and safety of the gospel. Christ was mentioned, I'll give him that, but in such small amounts and comparatively of such little importance that all my wife and I left with was a feeling of impending doom.
What was even more discouraging is that this message was from a seasoned retired pastor, who, in my humble opinion, should have known better. It is a tragedy when a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ focuses solely on clever stories, illustrations and the sinful life. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that many (not all, but many) retired ministers in the LCMS are prone to preaching in this way. It is as if they are above the gospel, that they have lived such lives of service and have had so much experience that they cannot be held down or bound to the gospel alone. This is very sad and somewhat discouraging for me as a young man just about to begin a life of service to the precious Word.
Do you, my dear readers, have any thoughts on this? Have you seen similar things? Are we to just sit back and take this kind of disservice of the gospel? What is to be done if anything?
I have learned that one must never assume the Gospel of Christ!
WHERE'S THE GOSPEL?!?