Are You Preaching Christian Fairy Tales?

People love a great fairy tale: just ask many preachers in pulpits across America who serve them up weekly for their audiences.

I’m not talking about the preaching of the Gospel, which is the delivery of truth rather than the depiction of a dream. I am talking about preachers who create “spiritual fairy tales” to sell to their congregations every week.

It’s more like a new theology of action and adventure that these preachers try to create. They paint being Christian as being the White Knight taking on injustice in the world. He’s brave and courageous, and his deeds are not only noble, but they’re fun and adrenalin-soaked.

It’s a nice fairy tale, and sometimes partly true, but it’s often not even close to what the real Christian life is like, either today or in the past.

The original Christians, from the apostles to the early church, weren’t adrenalin junkies who did what they did for some need for adventure. They did what they did, which often was very dangerous, because they loved Jesus Christ so much they couldn’t imagine not fulfilling His commission to the church.

It usually wasn’t romantic.

It usually wasn’t a grand ‘ol adventure.

It often wasn’t easy.

It cost them everything they had, including their lives.

It was challenging, difficult, frightening, harsh and incredibly fulfilling. Not because of some personal reward, but from the satisfaction of seeing lost people believe the Gospel and come to Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior.

It seems as if today so many preachers believe they have to spin Christianity into a fairy tale to gain interest in following Christ. The problem with that is, they can never deliver what they claim. The Christian life today isn’t being the modern-day White Knight. It has its own challenges, and in some parts of the world, it can still cost you your life.

Even so, the Christian life is the most rewarding, fulfilling, and satisfying life anyone could live because it is real life! And real life is what people who really want the truth will be attracted to.

There actually is plenty of action and adventure in living for Christ. Sometimes it’s great stuff of legend! But often the action and adventure is of a more challenging, costly nature. But even that is something that draws people when given the whole truth. And the final reward far exceeds anything a fairy tale come true in this life could ever even begin to offer!

Isn’t it time we stop spinning fairy tales from the pulpit and preach the unvarnished truth of the Gospel? God isn’t calling people to come and be super heroes, He’s calling them to come be His obedient children who serve as His Ambassadors to a lost and dying world. Let’s tell the truth about that, it’s much more compelling than a fairy tale.

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jwscott@churchleaders.com'
Minister, clinical pastoral counselor, life and business coach, certified personal trainer, writer, leader, businessman James Scott has done a few things over the years, but being a servant of Jesus Christ is why he exists, and the greatest passion of his life is to help people better understand, and apply, God's Word to their lives.