I Can’t Imagine Being a Liberal Preacher on Good Friday

Erik Raymond —  April 17, 2014

It is the Thursday before Good Friday. I can’t wait to preach tomorrow night and then Sunday morning. I love preaching Christ every week, but there is something about the Resurrection weekend that is particularly special.

However, when I woke up this morning I was drawn to think about someone I don’t often think about: the liberal pastor. By liberal I am not referring to political affiliation but theological conviction. In particular, I am talking about those who either deny the reality of or diminish the priority of the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

How would you like to be a liberal “preacher” tomorrow? Some of these guys will moralize, emotionalize, sensationalize, or trivialize the work of Christ. They gloss over the wrath, sacrifice, blood, sin and guilt. Instead the focus is on us and the hopefulness of humanity.

I remember growing up attending the Roman Catholic Church. They would actually read a lengthy portion of the gospel narrative. I listened to the priest read the Scripture and many times I was glued to it. I could picture in my mind the scene described and the horrible events that ensued. I was always moved by it. I remember thinking about how awful this was and I never knew why. Sure I was told it was because Jesus is so good and loves us so much, but the whole thing seemed like a nice gesture that went horribly bad. It was a humanitarian mission that kind of went out of control. This was reinforced by the priest’s pathetic homily. He would get up and start talking about anything from the environment to Mary to reasons why we needed to love people. I would check back out.

I am disturbed and provoked as I think about all of the priests, ministers, and pastors who will get up in a pulpit tomorrow. They will read some of the most gripping words ever penned–and then they will open their mouths to talk! My prayer and burden is that they would see the rusty bottom of their homiletical boat. I pray that they would see that they are just up there knitting pillows for uneasy sinners to go back to sleep upon. I pray that God would cause them to be arrested by the convergence of holiness, love, mercy and wrath. And that upon seeing it they would be so affected by it that they proclaim it!

Oh, may God shred the liberal playbook and put the gospel tongue in these men’s mouths!

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

3 responses to I Can’t Imagine Being a Liberal Preacher on Good Friday

  1. Erik,

    “I can’t wait to preach tomorrow night and then Sunday morning. I love preaching Christ every week, but there is something about the Resurrection weekend that is particularly special.” Amen!

    Similar to what you wrote about theologically liberal priests and pastors, I’ve often thought how impossible it would be for me to serve as a chaplain in the generic sense of “spiritual professional.” What hope, peace, or confidence do I have to offer people other than Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant, spotless Lamb of God, risen Lord, and reigning King? If Jesus is not the Alpha and Omega, if he does not hold the keys to death and hades, if he is not the resurrection and the life, what in the world can I stand in pulpit or sit by a bedside and tell people?

    Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful insights. This has been an encouragement and timely reminder as I finish preparations for tomorrow night and Sunday morning to make sure that Christ, his atoning death, substitutionary sacrifice, and resurrection victory are the hope, confidence, joy, and purpose to which I point people.

  2. “I pray that they would see that they are just up there knitting pillows for uneasy sinners to go back to sleep upon”

    The uneasy “pastor” knitting a pillow for those uneasy “sinners.” I guess one can’t exist without the other. Glad your casting gospel stones at my forehead.

  3. Good word my friend. I pray for more pulpits to be set free from these false teachers, and be replaced by men full of the Spirit and truth. Amen.

    We had a superb service tonight. And I look forward to Good Friday as a day to share the Cross of Christ. It is the power that saves dead souls walking around in this dark world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGCISQQ7Zo