Itching Their Ears?
I've had some fun with the message series the last two weeks called FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). I got much of the ideas from Lifechurch.tv for this series and have added some of my own stuff to it as well. Each week I've shared that as we address these frequently asked questions, when the Bible speaks directly to them, we will let the Bible speak for itself. Where the Bible doesn't speak directly to the question, we will incorporate biblical principles. Also, if I offered an opinion, I would let everyone know it was simply my opinion.
This format has been unlike any series I've ever done at Ridgeview. Never covered so much so quickly ranging from homosexuality, tattoos, cremation, suicide, the coming judgments, living together outside of marriage, gambling, interracial marriage, pets/animals in heaven, and Sunday's 9/11 question of why bad things happen to "good" people. It has certainly kept people interested!
As I've gone through this series addressing these questions, I know some in my church are dealing with some issues that are very clear sins. The Bible speaks very clearly to that. As I dealt with an issue in the message, part of me quivered a bit with the thought, "What if this person is offended and leaves the church?" Granted, I'm just sharing what the Bible says. But, what if? I certainly have had it happen before (i.e. tithing message).
Hopefully, as a person of integrity, I will not shy away from preaching truth to the church I pastor because of fear it may anger and cause people to leave. I don't want to be the preacher Paul refers to in 2 Timothy 4:3, "...they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." I'm not going to cast stones at any preacher that may do that or play the martyr card either. I'm simply reminded that John 1:14 states, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." I want to be the Christ follower who shares His truth to people far from God. But in sharing that truth, I do it with grace. Both must be at work. All grace and no truth; that will take one down a road of liberal, believe anything theology. No grace and all truth; well, that's just not being like Jesus! A balanced approach is what I try to take. Hopefully, I honor God in it all.