Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Cor. 9:16).
It has become en vogue in our day for pastors to think they’re doing their congregations a great service by framing their sermons to deal with the social justice issues of the day. Obviously, the problems are many and we’re never short of issues to address: environmental problems, racial tensions, poverty, a sexual revolution, and more. No one questions, of course, that God’s truth should be applied to the contemporary societal challenges people face.
A few reasons why churchgoers react so strongly to calls for the Christian pulpit to remain focused on issues of salvation, forgiveness of sins, and the exaltation of Christ’s work, and not social issues, are because: (1) the ministries they sit under have trained them to think that cultural transformation “is” the gospel, and; (2) they have not experienced the true power of Christ-centered preaching that gives life, empowering and equipping Christians to love their neighbors in such a way that actually, not theoretically on social media, affects the world in a positive way.
Our current discussions are more a revelation of the deficiencies of today’s pulpit ministry than anything else. Once people eat and drink Christ every week the way the ministry is designed to accomplish, these secondary discussions move to their right position. Any church that wants to follow in the apostolic tradition of preaching Christ and him crucified should take this to heart.