An excerpt, not unrelated to my last post:
If you don’t know about Appalachian mountain religion, then you may not understand that it’s possible to go to church and be around Christians for years hearing about the devil, heaven, mama, the end of the world, sin, morals, family, miracles, prayer and twenty other things…and almost never hear about the cross.
But it’s not just mountain churches; it’s evangelicals and Christians of all kinds. You can be in church, around Christians and neck deep in a Christian culture and not understand the heart of the Gospel.
My dad, in his mid 70’s, after years of fearing God, praying to God and hoping that God would take him to heaven, finally learned about the cross and all that it means to the very heart of our faith.
How does that happen? Dad wasn’t in church much, so it’s no surprise, but that still doesn’t soften the blow. Dad didn’t know what I knew as a 16 year old boy. He didn’t know about the cross until Charles Stanley told him. When he did, it was good news. Good news for a man with many sins, many failures and many, many fears. Now he knew that the cross wasn’t just a bad event done to a good man. Now he knew the cross was for him.
This is why I tell my preachers that I want them to preach the Gospel. I don’t want their stories and anecdotes if they aren’t leading us to the cross. I don’t want to hear lessons from the Bible to help my students be better people. I want them to hear about, be moved by, be compelled to consider the God who was crucified for them.
Read the whole thing.