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The Most Difficult Teaching

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  • The Most Difficult Teaching

    I was just thinking about this the other day:

    What do you believe are some of the most difficult teachings for a preacher to teach / congregation to hear?


    I have some of my opinions, based on recent convictions, but I will wait till later to see what others say.


    (I should note that I am asking about this with the larger church in mind, not just in one particular denomination)

  • #2
    Hmmm....I need some clarification I think. Difficult to understand or difficult to accept?
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
      Hmmm....I need some clarification I think. Difficult to understand or difficult to accept?
      I was thinking accept -- but I guess you could throw in difficult to understand as well. Why not?

      Comment


      • #4
        What is most difficult to accept may well vary depending on the particular church. In an affluent church, it may be stewardship and what that entails. In a church consisting of an oppressed population, it may be the requirement to forgive others.

        As for what is most difficult to understand... The Trinity, right?
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          What is most difficult to accept may well vary depending on the particular church. In an affluent church, it may be stewardship and what that entails. In a church consisting of an oppressed population, it may be the requirement to forgive others.
          Wow...that's a really great point. When I originally asked I was trying to take away denominational biases....but I think you are right that much of what is affecting the church (the cultural situation) may affect what is the most difficult to hear.


          So now I realize that I was totally framing my question with regards to the American church....and I didn't even realize it. Thanks for opening my eyes to my cultural bias, upon which I asked that question.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
            I was just thinking about this the other day:

            What do you believe are some of the most difficult teachings for a preacher to teach / congregation to hear?


            I have some of my opinions, based on recent convictions, but I will wait till later to see what others say.


            (I should note that I am asking about this with the larger church in mind, not just in one particular denomination)
            Good topic. I would say pretty much all of Jesus' hard teachings about life in general and how it correlates with our modern society. But if I had to pick a couple: as far as the clash of biblical principles and modernism, I'd say all of Jesus' teachings about money and wealth. Second issue would be Jesus' teachings about the family, which would be exceptionally difficult to gel with a lot of Christian teachings today about family.
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              What is most difficult to accept may well vary depending on the particular church. In an affluent church, it may be stewardship and what that entails. In a church consisting of an oppressed population, it may be the requirement to forgive others.
              I think forgiveness of others is one of the hardest for people to accept. They may hear it and think...yes that's a good word and a good principle...but putting it into action? Actually going and forgiving someone who has really wronged them deeply? I think many just REALLY can't do that.

              As for what is most difficult to understand... The Trinity, right?
              Yeah, that was exactly what I was going to say for understanding.
              "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

              "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                I was just thinking about this the other day:

                What do you believe are some of the most difficult teachings for a preacher to teach / congregation to hear?


                I have some of my opinions, based on recent convictions, but I will wait till later to see what others say.


                (I should note that I am asking about this with the larger church in mind, not just in one particular denomination)

                Based on my recent experiences within the church, I have become convinced that within the American church, biblical teaching on Money (& stewardship) seems to be one of the hardest for people to accept.

                It seems to me that it is often avoided, and when it is brought up people seem to get their underwear in a bunch. It also seems to bring out the extremes in people to the point that they end up believing their own dogma on money rather than simple Biblical truths.



                Some examples of the extremes that I have seen are:

                1. Pastor talks about giving, and people flip out thinking that the church just wants their money (ironically I think this shows more about the heart of the listener with regards to money).

                2. Pastor mentions the word 'prosper' or 'prosperity' and Christians automatically jump all over the pastor claiming he is adovating a 'prosperity gospel' and a materialist mindset. (my guess is that this is because of popular teaching that has made people hypersensitive -- and also from interpreting 'propserity' solely from a materialistic and self centered mindset)

                3. Pastors reducing the ideas about giving money to a specific ministry to simply reap financial rewards...thus focusing on and fostering a materialistic mindset, rather than a proper heart attitude. (I should note that I do believe that there are Biblical principles about being blessed through giving [&seeing increase from it] -- but that is NOT & should NEVER be the motivation for giving)


                Any thoughts?
                Last edited by phat8594; 02-27-2014, 01:04 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                  Based on my recent experiences within the church, I have become convinced that within the American church, biblical teaching on Money (& stewardship) seems to be one of the hardest for people to accept.

                  It seems to me that it is often avoided, and when it is brought up people seem to get their underwear in a bunch. It also seems to bring out the extremes in people to the point that they end up believing their own dogma on money rather than simple Biblical truths.



                  Some examples of the extremes that I have seen are:

                  1. Pastor talks about giving, and people flip out thinking that the church just wants their money (ironically I think this shows more about the heart of the listener with regards to money).

                  2. Pastor mentions the word 'prosper' or 'prosperity' and Christians automatically jump all over the pastor claiming he is adovating a 'prosperity gospel' and a materialist mindset. (my guess is that this is because of popular teaching that has made people hypersensitive -- and also from interpreting 'propserity' solely from a materialistic and self centered mindset)

                  3. Pastors reducing the ideas about giving money to a specific ministry to simply reap financial rewards...thus focusing on and fostering a materialistic mindset, rather than a proper heart attitude. (I should note that I do believe that there are Biblical principles about being blessed through giving [&seeing increase from it] -- but that is NOT & should NEVER be the motivation for giving)


                  Any thoughts?
                  I think you're on the right track here. It's certainly an emotional topic, and it's not the easiest to apply everything to our society because some things are so different from back then (i.e. there's probably more of a social safety net than there was back then)... but I suspect most of us do know what we can do better in that department.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good topic. I read a verse the other day that has been in my mind since, and it's a verse that...well, bothers me. It's one of those verses that I just don't like. Perhaps this would qualify as well?

                    Hebrews 12:4
                    You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.

                    We do not take sin seriously enough, not by a long shot.
                    I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
                      Good topic. I read a verse the other day that has been in my mind since, and it's a verse that...well, bothers me. It's one of those verses that I just don't like. Perhaps this would qualify as well?

                      Hebrews 12:4
                      You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.

                      We do not take sin seriously enough, not by a long shot.
                      Amen (the new TWEB version)
                      "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                      "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                        I think you're on the right track here. It's certainly an emotional topic, and it's not the easiest to apply everything to our society because some things are so different from back then (i.e. there's probably more of a social safety net than there was back then)... but I suspect most of us do know what we can do better in that department.
                        Yes, but I am less concerned with applying everything from one society to the next, but more with the heart issues surrounding money. The Bible is full of teachings about money and stewardship, yet it seems like we avoid it like the plague.

                        I heard one pastor joke that 'the last part of a person to get saved is their wallet.' IMO, it seems that giving in general, and having a heart of generosity should be one of the hallmarks of every Christian. But maybe that is just me?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In answer to the original post, I would go something along the lines of "Its not about living in this world, its about getting ready for the next." Right now, I can't be clearer.
                          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                            I heard one pastor joke that 'the last part of a person to get saved is their wallet.' IMO, it seems that giving in general, and having a heart of generosity should be one of the hallmarks of every Christian. But maybe that is just me?
                            I remember reading Craig Blomberg write something to that effect, and he also suggested that somebody who never gave anything is not giving evidence of salvation. (Now, in the case of those who are in genuine poverty, it may well be that their giving consists of something else.)
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1. A wife being submissive to her husband becuase he is her head.
                              2. Codemning Roman Catholicism, Mormonism and a whole host of others for their heretical teachings.
                              3. Specifically calling out heretics by name.

                              Comment

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