A Prevalent Concept of Preaching

James P. Needham

Preachers sometimes think of themselves as the official interpreters of the Holy Scriptures; they are the “answer men.”  Everyone should put on his blindfold, open up the top of his head and let him fill his mind with “right ideas.”  Some brethren get terribly upset when anyone disagrees with their pontifications.  Their judgment is infallible, their understanding inerrant.  They glory in this position of prominence.

On the other hand, many church members are just as guilty.  They don’t want to think; that’s what they pay a preacher to do!  After all, he is trained to think.  It is his job to do my thinking for me; it is mine to blindly follow him.  After all, he is such a nice fellow.

Let us not forget:  Jesus said, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Mt. 15:14).  Do we need to be reminded that we will fall into the ditch regardless of how much we think of our blind guide?

Do you ever really think about the preaching you hear?  Do you ever search the Scriptures to see if it is true (Acts 17:11)?  Do you ever study your Bible school lesson, or do you just listen to what the teacher says, with no effort to think for yourself?

If a preacher or teacher provokes you to think, so you become angry?  Do you check out what he says, or just check it off?  Would you permit me a closing observation.  The most unpopular preachers in the church are those who make people think!  Sad, isn’t it?