Something I am passionate about is preaching.

When I was fifteen or sixteen my youth pastor asked me to speak to the youth group while he was gone on a mission trip, and I think it was then I found a passion and gifting that Christ had given me. 

It was probably not the best seeing as I misused the word debauchery several times as well as preached through the whole book of Galatians in one message.  Luckily God has given me a lot of opportunity and put great people in my life over the ensuing years to get better at preaching and fan that flame.

So back to what I was saying.  I am passionate about preaching.  I can also be very critical of it.  Sometimes over analyzing things preachers are saying.  Even when I prepare my sermon notes I really want everything I say to be Biblically true and sound, so I am careful with the words I speak so that I am not preaching something opposing the Gospel and the Bible. 

What I am most critical of is works based faith preaching or a preaching that promotes moralism in a way.  Basically a preaching that says something like “do this, because it’s the right thing to do.”  So maybe that’s not exactly works based faith, but that becomes the result of preaching moralistically I think.  And obviously it’s not always phrased like my example but honestly sometimes it is.

 The other side is a call to grace driven effort, which is the idea that because we have been accepted by God because of His grace, we are driven to run the race well.  That because of what Christ did we can’t help but be compelled to serve him by following His commands and living by the Spirit.   Which a lot of times is a promotion of those same morals that when preached a different way irk me.

I think it is important to define that line and be wary of it.  It can be a fine line because I think I seem to notice this slant towards moralism in preaching a lot.  (perhaps I am just too critical).  The reason this is an important line to notice is because if we preach moralism we are just preaching what a lot of other religions can agree with and get behind, and we don’t highlight the beauty and supremacy of Christ. 

So I think we can agree that preaching moralism is not a good idea.  Or not based in the Gospel.

My questions to preachers (Bible study leaders, Sunday morning preachers, missionaries, anyone that preaches) are; How do you avoid preaching moralism, and preach a grace driven effort?  How has that affected the people you have preached to?  How should we respond in our hearts when hearing preachers preach something that sounds moralistic, but by believing the best in them, knowing them, and knowing that’s not what they meant? 

My question to anyone that has heard a preacher is this;  What do you hear more of, a preacher preaching grace driven effort, or preaching moralism?  Or do you think the distinction is clear? 

This is a different post than I ususally do, but I am curious and would like to hear many opinons on this matter.  I already know my opinion on this matter, but I want to hear others opinions on this.  So let’s discuss here in this post among each other and see where the conversation leads.