Monday, November 12, 2018

What are you hearing in sermons and homilies?

Howard Kainz, a Catholic, observes, “I was surprised in the last couple months to hear two homilies – one on the abuse crisis and cover-ups, the other on abortion. My surprise is based on the fact that I have never heard these two topics discussed at any Sunday Mass since Vatican II. And I have attended Masses in quite a few states.”

I’ve noticed the same thing at our church.  In over 40 years at UALC, I’ve heard one sermon on marriage and nothing about abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, war, poverty, immigration, and just a smidgen on finances, etc. It is up to small groups or social ministries to address those concerns—without a pastor and usually without Biblical leadership.

Forty years ago I was relieved not to hear about the culture and day to day drama from the pulpit, as we had transferred from First Community Church and that seemed the primary topic of the day, but with no gospel.  The preacher there in the 1970s was a fabulous speaker, impassioned, poetic, with sermons that read like the front page of the Washington Post;  and he was also unfaithful to his wife and children leaving in disgrace. Maybe he just had pent up energy or guilt.

But there are times I feel we conservatives Christians are drowning in a culture of hate, bias, misinformation, and scripture twisting. I understand the pastor has to speak to everyone, but it does seem we just quietly go out to coffee in the narthex to struggle on our own while munching blueberry donut holes.

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