“Few people grasp the preacher’s challenge. Where else in life does a person have to stand weekly before a mixed audience and speak to them engagingly on the mightiest topics known to humankind: God, life, death, sin, grace, love, hatred, hope, despair and the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Who is even close to being adequate for this challenge?”
(Albert Mohler, The 2013 Preaching Survey of the Year’s Best Books for Preachers)
I’m currently a full-time seminary student and part-time pastoral intern. About a year ago, prior to landing at my current church, I was looking at church job boards and other similar sites, trying to find a ministry position. My wife and I were stunned by how many pastoral job descriptions required some sort of ‘vision’-related skill or experience and how few required ‘accurately handling of the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15).
From reformation21 comes a cautionary tale of how Evangelicalism has fallen into this trap and exactly why it is so dangerous:
The process is simple. A church has a pastor. The pastor receives from God a specific vision and mission for his church. The church follows the visioneer. …
Combine unbiblical ideas of a pastor who receives visions from God with slick fashion, cutting edge marketing, and shameless self-promotion and you have a cult-leader in the making.
This is an excellent warning for pastors to find the church’s mission in God’s Word rather than an extra-biblical word from God, and for church members to follow the Great Shepherd rather than a cult of personality.
Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University on the separation of Church and State:
Here’s my key take away from the video:
“In separating the institutions of the Church and the institutions of the State, there was never a thought, nor should we entertain the idea, that there is a separation of religion from public life or religion from politics. Our tradition in the United States is really quite the opposite. Religious people have always been involved in politics. Religious leaders have been leaders of important movements–the movement to abolish slavery, the movement against child labor and abusive and exploitative labor practices toward women, the movement to correct the great injustices of segregation. These were all led by religious people.”
We need not separate religion and public life to preserve the separation of Church and State. Click the link below for more information about Professor George’s work on this topic.
(HT: Between Two Worlds)