The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

On provocative preaching

“Preaching is about saving before it is about consoling, and God makes this clear to Ezekiel and to every preacher. I think a lot of people think that preaching is supposed to merely please and encourage them. There is a place for that but good preaching also afflicts and provokes response. Jesus was more than willing to provoke people and unsettle them. It is not a goal in itself. Rather, it is the necessary outcome of lancing a spiritual boil or setting a broken limb. Protests, anger, and so forth are not necessarily the sign of failure. I’ve had people come to me and say, You once made me mad but you also made me think and I’ve come to understand what you were saying was true. A lot of times powerful preaching takes people through a cycle of: mad, to sad, to glad.”

— Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington

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posted November 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

Tell it to Tony Danza!

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posted November 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm

It’s the difference between what we like to hear and what we need to hear.

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Truth be told

posted November 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

And what the HRCC wants you to hear. And obey!

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posted November 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

A hearty AMEN ! to MSGR.POPE .
In many churches today , CATHOLIC & PROTESTANT , the homilies /
sermons are totally watered down . So many of our priests / pastors are negligent in preaching the whole counsel of GOD.They are reluctant to mention : SIN / REPENTANCE / HELL. I believe that JESUS mentioned HELL more than HEAVEN ! His public ministry began telling people to repent of their sins and be baptized.
Sadly today we have ” ICHABOD ” churches // ” LAODICEAN CHURCHES !!
JESUS is knocking at the door of the churches to let him in !
REV 3:20
Contemporary ( rock ) music ! // entertaining the masses ! //
people sitting in ther seats drinking coffee / eating bagels while while the ( PRAISE ROCK BAND ) JAMS ON STAGE !
Welcome to the : ” Come as you are , Stay as you are , Leave as you are church !
Too many people sitting in church not having the assurance of salvation, not knowing for sure they are saved .
Ask 10 people on the street and 90% will say they are ” good people ” and not as bad as their neighbors. ” I haven’t killed any one! nor
raped any one ! ” Well what about lies / theft / blasphemy / lusting ? ”
WELL ! ” I teach catechism / sunday school / give to the church /
Scripture demands that priests / pastors must shepard their flocks and preach the word in season and out of season! Preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED ! They will be accountable to GOD for what they have failed to preach !
Romans 10 : 9-17 says it nicely ! people need to hear the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST. I’TS A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH !
Once again i say AMEN to the Msgr !
” How beautiful , attractive , welcome . timely , are those who proclaim the GOOD NEWS ! ”

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posted November 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

By this measure, the best preacher I ever saw was a man named “Brother Jed.” He used to come once or twice a year to NIU when I was there in the late 80s/early 90s. He looked vaguely like Sam Waterson and would stand in a well-traveled quad with a bullhorn and trenchcoat. His theology was a bit like Westboro Baptist, if memory serves, and he’d provoke anyone who looked gay, immodestly dressed women, etc. He was so over the top I sometimes wondered if it was for real or just some brilliant street theater. He once had to be rescued by the campus police when a mob had seized hold of him and was on their way to “baptize” him in the pond!

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posted November 19, 2010 at 12:57 am

I think your allowing your cyncism to get the best of you. Msgr Pope says that preaching is like lancing a boil or setting a broken limb. It’s not provoking for the sake of provoking. It’s causing discomfort for the ultimate purpose of healing and saving.
Truth be told,
You obviously haven’t heard a Catholic priest preach in several decades, if ever. Would that the challenge to obey the truth of God’s word were more often preached!

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