I've been married to a pastor for almost 41 years. I've heard my pastor say a lot of things over those years. I have seen him change, grow and develop in his ability to communicate truth. I have heard good sermons and bad sermons. I have heard long sermons and shorter sermons.
Just this past Sunday I heard an excellent Palm Sunday sermon. Now that's hard to do on a holiday - to preach something that challenges the heart and isn't the "same old, same old." This sermon I heard last Sunday definitely did challenge my heart and wasn't the "same old."
I have NEVER in all my years of being married to a preacher and hearing him and many, many other preachers preach heard such unbelieveable rantings as have played on the news over the last week or so from the lips and lungs of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. One has to wonder if they pass out doctored kool-aid at the door when people enter for them not only to sit still for such preaching and ranting but to actually respond emotionally to it. Perhaps it's a "Chicago Land" thing - one can only hope!
There is absolutely NO chance that anyone could sit anywhere in the vicinity of such "preaching" and ranting as Rev. Jeremiah spews forth with such venom and not know exactly what kind of "preaching" was happening! I seriously wonder why someone doesn't call for the "men in the white coats with the straight-jacket" to come for Rev. Jeremiah. He's so totally over-the-top that he's falling out of his "Afro-centric" clergy clothing!
I haven't had time to focus on what Obama had to say in his speech today, but I will. I was otherwise occupied this morning during the speech. I was at the ice rink at a ice bumper car birthday party. I think I made a wise choice.
God weighs in on this matter when Jesus says, "I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matt. 12:36) Words spoken and yelled with spit and venom in the name of preaching qualify for such a warning! Just because someone has the ability to move a crowd emotionally and whip them into a frenzy doesn't constitute responsible leadership nor is it the kind of spiritual/emotional influence we need over the leaders of our nation.
The fact that we are not horror-stricken is because we have grown numb to such horrors. We have seen, heard and read too much until "too much" becomes at least a tolerable "norm" of sorts.
Where is the balance? Where is the truth? Both balance and truth come from God's heart reaching into broken hearts and changing and restoring those hearts (one at a time) from within. Balance and truth never come from frenzied venom! Beware!