Home Pastors Preaching & Teaching One Pastor's Top Three Sacred Cows in Desperate Need of Tipping

One Pastor's Top Three Sacred Cows in Desperate Need of Tipping

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pastor Jared Moore’s new book is 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to Be Tipped. In this brief excerpt, he hightlights his top three. It’s a worthwhile discussion—why not leave your list in the comments below?  

Sacred Cow #1—Entertaining Sermons

There is a real temptation in preaching today to pursue being liked for the wrong reasons by our congregations. We must seek to reveal God’s glory, instead of pursuing being liked by those who may have itching ears (2 Tim. 4:3). Some church leaders want to be liked so much that they seek to entertain their hearers while preaching the Bible. Unfortunately, Scripture is often the garnish or the footnote, rather than being the main point of their entertaining sermons. The danger in seeking to entertain through our sermons is that we may be encouraging people to enjoy our sermons without enjoying Jesus—the One whom they were created for (Col. 1:16-17).

Unfortunately, when we seek to entertain our hearers, we prove we don’t believe that God or Scripture can hold the attention of God’s people—at least that’s what our dependence on entertainment communicates. In other words, we may say “the Bible is worthy of your attention,” but if we use entertainment to communicate this truth, then we’re undercutting our message with our methods. We’re feeding our hearers’ sinful appetites for entertaining sermons, when God’s word demands their attention because where the Bible speaks, God speaks (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God was not a comedian when He spoke to His people in Scripture. Pastors who speak to His people today shouldn’t feel the need to be comedians either. Remember that the goal of preaching is to preach God’s word (2 Tim. 4:1-5), not to appease our hearers’ sinful appetites. We just might be entertaining our hearers to death (Matt. 7:21-23; Rom. 3:23; John 14:6).

Sacred Cow #2—Relevant Sermons

There’s an emphasis today on preaching ‘relevant’ sermons, which often translates to sermons that meet people’s needs. This emphasis puts unwarranted pressure on pastors or teachers to cater to their hearers’ needs regardless of whether these needs are God-honoring or not. The temptation is to present a self-help gospel, or a gospel that costs our hearers nothing, or any other gospel that tickles itching ears (2 Tim. 4:1-5). Instead of succumbing to the sinful desires of our hearers, we must preach the word (2 Tim. 4:1-2).

Our goal as preachers is not to make the Bible relevant, but to help our hearers understand how relevant the Bible already is due to God being its Author (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible is the word of God and is timelessly relevant. The Bible transcends all societies, cultures and fads. If the Bible is God’s word—and it is—how could it ever be not relevant? How could God ever be not relevant to His image-bearers (Gen. 1:26-28)? Thus, our task is to accurately explain God’s word, and to help our hearers apply it to their daily lives. God’s word will then convict and save those who have ears to hear (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12). 

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Jared has served in pastoral ministry since 2000. He is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is the author of 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to Be Tipped. Jared is married to Amber and they have four children. He is a teaching assistant for Bruce Ware at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and a PhD Student in Systematic Theology at SBTS. You can take Jared's Udemy Course, "How to Enjoy God Through Movies, TV, Music, Books, etc." with this link for 43% off. Engage popular culture with Scripture. Enjoy God through popular culture.