Tuesday, January 28, 2003


Having what amounts to a captive audience a couple of times a week can lead to various temptations. As a preacher/teacher your job is to pass along Biblical information along with your spiritual insight based on study, experience and contemplation. The problems start when you start to confuse your personal preferences with spiritual insight or even with the Bible itself. Hey--I'm on a raised platform and all these people are listening to me! That's why humility and self-effacing humor always come in handy. It's wise to remember you're never as brilliant as you think you are.

My sister Susanna comments on an Episcopal minister who confused his political preferences with prophetic utterance. He's against the upcoming war with Iraq. That's fine with me, but don't preach a sermon about it. Anyone who knows me knows I have very strong political views. I'll express them privately. I'll express them at theosebes if the occasion calls for it. I try very hard not to express them in a preaching or teaching context. Sure, sometimes I'll make an offhand comment or allusion. And sometimes I might speak on, say, abortion as a moral issue. I will not tell you to vote for (or against) Candidate X based on his abortion views. That's for you to decide. That's not to say that one should separate religious views from political views. That I'm very much against. But I'm not going to abuse a position of trust by trying to make my political preferences a Voice From On High. Be very wary of someone who does.

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