Friday, February 7, 2014

Make the Word Plain!!!

In his sermon on 1 Corinthians 14, H.A. Ironside, pastor of the historic Moody Church from 1930-48, spoke about the importance of making the message of Scripture understandable to the congregation:

The Apostle rebukes the vanity of ministers who delight to use the pulpit as a place to display their education and culture, but also the use of language that is far above the heads of the people to whom they are ministering.  Charles H. Spurgeon said: "I am afraid that many of my ministerial brethren must imagine that when Scripture tells them to 'Feed my sheep,' it means 'Feed my giraffes,' for they put the food so high that people would have to be giraffes to reach it."  

Always put the food down where the sheep can get it.  It should be the ambition of the preacher of the Word to use language so simple and so plain that everybody can understand.  A few months ago a lady brought to me a little boy about ten years of age, and she said, "I want my little grandson to meet you.  I hope you won't be offended about what he said.  I had been telling him about you and he wanted to hear you.  He said to me, 'Why grandma, he is not a great preacher; I could understand every word he said.'"  I replied, "Well, my dear madam, I consider that a great compliment."  

I hope you will always pray that when I stand up to minster the Word, I may do it in such a way that the youngest child, as well as the oldest saint, may understand every word; because if we do not, we are just speaking in to the air.  

Likewise, I ask my congregation to pray for me similarly. 


Woody Woodward said...

Some very humorous words of profound truth from a very wise and humble man of God. Reading this powerful thought reminded me of the time I had the opportunity to go with my former pastor and his 2 of his staff pastors to a mission gathering at a Methodist church in Blue Springs MO. The keynote speaker was the young pastor of this church and he bloviated his high mighty words of self pontification for over 30 minutes and said nothing. When we were returning back to our home church, I was ask what I thought about the pastor’s speech. I replied, “Sounded to me like the guy was trying to prove he had been to seminary. Spewing forth every religious King James term he could think of didn’t impress me in the least and I am sure it didn’t impress the Lord either.” The three pastors didn’t comment.

Ed Jennings said...

The goal should always be to edify the Church. With this in mind, I consider the importance of updating outdated and easily misunderstood King James English an issue. For example, in the Gloria Patri the phrase "world without end" is lost to most of the modern Church. The original text was intended to mean "man-age" (were-ald) without end, in other words, forever. A lot of people think that the old English usage means that the world is eternal, just as God is eternal. That is not what is meant. The "it" in "as it was in the beginning" modifies the central theme which is the Glory of God, and that Glory is never ending. Now THIS is edifying to the Church! Perhaps we need to go back to the original Greek version, but even the early Latin texts reveal this same interpretation.
Why is it that the Apostle's Creed in the back of the Trinity Hymnal has been modernized but the Gloria Patri is still using 5-century-old English?

Perry said...

Speaking of Moody, if you want to get inspired, check out the, "List of Moody Bible Institute People," on Wikipedia. I just happened to find it linked to Moody's Wikipedia page.