Sad Separations

Here are three separations often occurring in pulpits that are sad, to say the least:

The separation of leadership and preaching – I’ve mentioned this before, probably after reading Michael Quicke’s 360-Degree Leadership.  In some churches, especially those that have to, or choose to, rely on visiting speakers, there is an unfortunate separation of preaching from leadership.  The result tends to be preaching that is informative, perhaps even impressive, but not truly pastoral.

The separation of theology and application – It’s sad to see a situation where the riches of theology have supposedly been plumbed, and yet there hasn’t been the appropriate and necessary emphasis on application.  Is theology truly preached if it is only offered as informational instruction rather than transformational preaching?

The separation of gospel and text – Perhaps somewhat different, it is sad to see that in some situations the gospel is preached, but without genuine reference to the text.  That is to say, the text is presented, but rather than preached, it offers a springboard to a generic gospel presentation.  Better the gospel than no gospel, but much better the gospel well rooted in God’s Word.

Any other sad pulpit separations you’ve noticed?

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3 thoughts on “Sad Separations

  1. I am starting to see that with my love for God’s word that there are some things that frustrate me.

    1.) When preaching turns into a crossword puzzle and we are going all over the place trying to find how Strong in Gensis and Strong in Romans might be different preach that one text and stick to the nuts and bolts and how I can live it out in my daily life.

    2.) It seems like many people leave felling empressed by the sermon and not empressed by the God who the Sermon is about. I believe this is because as one Pastor said at a revival this week “we need to be more concerned about the blessor than the blessing”. Seems like we want people to know that we are good preachers instead of wanting people to know that God and his word is what it’s all about.

    3.) Things that sound biblical that seem to suggest easy living instead of struggling through. I am all for happy sermons and telling people about God’s provisions but not at the expense of God’s Doctrines. Also things that sound biblical that are not, because it gives us nothing to stand firm on and will not support us where we need it too.

    That is it for now I think thanks again for the insight.

  2. I attended a Palm Sunday service where the dogged adherence to the expositional preaching from a different part of the New Testament EXCLUDED mention of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

    On the drive away, it occurred to me the stones were crying out! On inquiring from the Pastor, he said (and this is a near quuote), “OH, the church calendar just gets in the way.”

    My response was: “You mean all that birth, death, and resurrection stuff?”

    Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter exit for a reason. CELEBRATE them to the utmost, if not for yourself, for those who are focused on the main thing.

  3. Thank you Peter for reminding us and cautioning us to the separation that can happen in the pulpit and the life of the church.

    My favorite preacher, the late Dr. Vance Havner speaks to this separation often among preachers, from the pulpit, but more importantly from their lives, as seen in this sermon outline of his entitled, “Putting the Gospel to Work.”

    Havner says, “The good news has been denied, it’s been defended, and it’s been declared; but what it needs most is to be demonstrated. The best argument for Christianity is a Christian.
    There is nothing distinctive about many church members today. They’ve lost their identity because they’ve lost their identification. They’re lost in the crowd, assimilated, amalgamated, homogenized, and meshed into the mass.

    There’s a time for the declaration of the gospel. Paul said, “I declare to you the gospel.”
    There’s a time for the defense of the gospel. Paul said, “I am set for the defense of the gospel.”
    There’s a time for the demonstration of the gospel. Paul said, “Christ liveth in me,” and that’s the best way to demonstrate it.
    The gospel works, but the world needs to see it work in you and me.”
    (From, Sermon Sparklers: Outlines and Quotes).

    Most of Havner’s 30+ books are out-of-print, but thankfully can be found in electronic format from Wordsearchbible, http://bit.ly/bvIvNF.

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