Preacher Trick

Posted: July 20, 2009 in Theology

As I sat at Stone Mountain this weekend watching the laser show, I was reminded how much being emotionally charged affects your thinking.  When they showed the soldiers, different parts of the country, and play certain songs it just does something to you.  It’s like you took a pill that causes you appreciate your many blessings or to be ready to attempt something really hard…when it’s possible you shouldn’t!

I’ve listened to enough preachers to know that they aren’t naive when it comes to charging people up emotionally.  If you notice during your next church service, see if the preacher doesn’t tell an emotional story or build up your emotions before they ask you to do something hard.  Check and see if there isn’t some sort of passionate ask before the “invitation.”  See if the Gospel isn’t presented in such a way that it seems like you are getting an amazing deal and it’s too good to pass up.

I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I love the way that Jesus seemed to always try and squash anyone from following for the big emotional highs or just the benefits.  If you have never read Luke 14 you should.  It’s a picture of the Gospel (available for everyone) and Lordship (only for those who are sold out).  Jesus summary: “Come and receive the gift of eternal life, everyone, anyone!  But, beware! You have to love me so much that its like you hate everyone else…even those you love the most!”

Everything gives up something to follow Jesus, what’s your story?

  1. Josh says:

    You should be very careful to distinguish between salvation and discipleship, though. We don’t have to love Jesus more than anything else to be saved; we have to believe on him. We’re don’t deserve salvation, and nothing we can give or do would make us more deserving of it. So many churches are falsely teaching that salvation is obtained by human effort in making Jesus the “Lord of our life” or by giving up sin, but the bible is clear that salvation is for all who believe on Jesus Christ. Of course, unless we’re willing to give up everything else, we’re not “worthy” to be his disciple. But we aren’t required to give up anything to receive eternal life.

  2. agratto says:

    Salvation is a tricky deal no matter how you qualify it. It’s not because of any human effort that we can receive it, but maybe more importantly we don’t even have the faith believe in it. Both the faith to believe in it, our choice to make Christ Lord, and the decision on God’s part to save us are out of our hands.
    I just think it’s important to help people understand what they are getting into when the choose to cross the line of faith and don’t make it out to being a big party and the Christian life easy, simple, and for the faint-hearted.

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