Saturday, August 30, 2014

Preaching to the Choir

"Sometimes I just wish we could say all the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see and explain every unanswered prayer
But I'd rather speak honestly and wear a tattered heart on my sleeve
'Cause in the middle of my broken dreams, Redemption is here

"I don't have every answer in life
But I'm trusting You one day at a time
'Cause You can make a weak heart stay alive forever
this is where Heaven and Earth collide
I lift my hands and give my life
This is how my weary heart stays alive..."

Sanctus Real
“The Redeemer”

Usually said with tongue in cheek, the expression 'preaching to the choir' finds a home in the mouths of those who either think they already know everything or as a criticism toward the same. In either case, not a favorable connotation, right?
After thinking on it a while, though, I decided – preaching to the choir isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, whether they realize it or not, the choir is in just as much need of a good sermon as the next guy.
This is what I mean…
The expression ‘preaching to the choir’ implies that people already in church are cleaned up enough to be there, no improvement necessary.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to go to a church where the members are already perfected, or are pretending to be. Because I’m so… not.
Church is for the ailing, hurting, broken-hearted. Even with Jesus living in our hearts and the Holy Spirit tending our souls, we still struggle. We still need a safe place to heal, grow, detox from a fallen world, repent, adjust, be encouraged, learn, gain perspective.
It’s not that ‘church people’ are ignoring the ‘real’ stuff that happens in the world. It’s not that ‘church people’ have answers to all the hurt in the world. It’s not that ‘church people’ are acceptable and ‘non-church people’ are shunned.
While the government has done a bang-up job ‘separating’ religious/spiritual from secular, I feel like the church has done its part to contributing to the chasm. Yes, there IS a difference between saved and unsaved people. But JESUS is that difference, bottom line. Saved people still screw up. Saved people still make bad decisions. And saved people even act mean sometimes.
Yes, saved people are called to behave differently, and by all means, we should demonstrate salvation through our actions- love your neighbor! But on days when loving your neighbor doesn’t come as easily as you’d like, leaning on the Everlasting Arms reminds us that it’s not about us, it’s all about Him.
And THAT’S why preaching to the choir is okay with me.


Brandon Barr said...

It's true, we do need to keep the choir in line. Heresy and bad theology doesn't usually come from outside.