One of the most influential way of getting members in a church is the very attractive, interesting and very exciting way a pastor addresses a certain subject or topic he wishes to convey to his members.
Protestant and fundamentalist pastors have innovated their way of preaching from just mere talking in front of the pulpits. They have immersed their preaching alongside singing and the use of Hi-tech gadgets that awes and inspires the listeners. Such styles became so rampant that whatever they preach seemed to be coming from heaven above itself. As for the Catholic Church, I can honestly say that I had personally witnessed only around 5 priests of my 34 years on earth who preached with such inspiration and energy and style that the listeners during mass couldn’t help but clap at the end of the sermon. Apart from that, sermons range from very interesting down to very, very boring.
I had a lot of friends especially those who join in fundamental churches who often criticize how Catholic priests do their sermon during mass. Some of them moved away from the Catholic faith merely because they said they haven’t learned or absorbed anything from “boring” or “dry” sermons and that in a fundamental church, preaching is always interesting, exciting, and motivates them to be better Christians. Besides, their pastors try to know them personally and visit them whenever they can especially when the member is in dire need of spiritual help. I seldom see the same being done in a Catholic parish and I admit that especially that I am a layman who personally sought what the Church really teaches when the Church seem not to seek for me to deepen my faith.
I do hope that somehow, many of our priests come to their senses that their mission really is to bring people back to God. I have witnessed with others some of them slowly drifting away from their mission and some of them are damning themselves into hell simply by not fulfilling the vow they have made with God. I still pray for them, but my prayers will never be sufficient if some of them do not start doing what they promised God to do.
Going back to the topic…In the end, no matter how wonderful, no matter how boring, no matter how motivating, and no matter how discouraging, the question really is…”Is it the Truth?” In the great divide among Christians all claiming truth, who really is preaching 100% genuine Truth?
If every pastor call out to the Holy Spirit for them to interpret the Scripture according to the “truth” and preach this so called “truth” to the people, how can we be assured then that they are really preaching truth? Yes, yes, it is written in John 14:16 and 26, and it is also written in John 16:13, but those verses were used for the benefit of the pastor, not for the Word of God and according to what it really means. We know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and Unity. Obviously, the Spirit of Truth does not reveal scriptures differently from one pastor to the others allowing them to teach doctrines that contradict one another. There is no truth in contradicting interpretations of the one and only scripture and definitely, the Holy Spirit does not reveal a contradicting “truth” to go against the “truth” He revealed in another church or denomination.
Therefore, I end my point by asking you….Would you rather go for an energetic, exciting, and attractive preaching that you are not sure if the teaching is according to genuine truth or would you choose a boring lackluster preacher who may be teaching you the genuine truth after all? I still do hope some lackluster preachers who really preaches genuine Truth may also literally try to preach it in the human level that may interest all the faculties of every person to easily internalize it and live it. I know that there are many priests who are given by God the talent to preach and some of them have not discovered it yet to the fullest, but understand this, the Truth of God is not always palatable in the eyes, ears, and even the hearts of those who listens to it. Many have left Jesus already because His Truth did not impress them (John 6:60-67) even despite the fact that He was a great preacher.
Test the spirit all around you (1 John 4:1). Remember that division is not from God but of man. And a ministry founded by pastor simply because he did not agree with another pastor in another ministry is obvious enough that there is something wrong in what they are preaching. You were not made by God to be spoon fed. Seek His Truth (Proverbs 12:17)! You were made by God to carry your own cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24-26).
Patrick L. Carbonell