Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Let me tell you a sure fire way not to get hired at the Post Office or, if you happen to work there already, how to get fired. Just tell the interviewer or your boss as the case may be, that you will only deliver mail that contains good news. If it is a letter from the bank threatening foreclosure, or a note from a family member telling someone that a loved one has died, or a letter from a lawyer telling the recipient that their spouse wants a divorce, or some such—you refuse to be a bearer of bad news. Those letters are going in the trash. People don’t want to receive such mail.

Then, forget about working at the Post Office. The type of mail you deliver is not an option for you. Your task is to put the mail—all of it—the good, the bad, the ugly, in the mailbox.

There are churches and preachers that have made a conscious decision that they will not share any bad news with the audience. They don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Their take is that to discuss subjects like sin and judgment will drive people away. So—take down the cross from the sanctuary, delete any references to the blood of Christ from the songs, refrain from confronting people about sin, never discuss a topic like hell, put a smile on your face and be enthusiastically positive. Give them a few practical tips with a proof text from the Bible so people can feel better and then want to return to church again. After all, you are marketing religion and the attendee is your customer. You can’t increase your market share if your advertising isn’t appealing.

I understand. There are topics that I enjoy preaching on and others that I know will make people uncomfortable, because they make me feel the same way. It’s just that I don’t think my job in God’s Post Office is to choose what type of mail to deliver. What the Divine Postmaster intends for me to do is deliver the mail—all of it!

Paul certainly set the pace for us. He wrote:

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:17-18 NKJV).

How dare the Apostle speak of God as being a God of wrath! Why would he suggest that there is but one way to be justified and made righteous before a holy God? Doesn’t he realize how offensive that is to modern sensibilities? Post-moderns don’t want to hear words like “ungodliness” and “unrighteousness.”

I suppose Paul decided it was more important to please God rather than man. Tampering with the mail can get you in big trouble. He didn’t consider warning people to repent of sin and turn to Christ as being cruel; rather, he thought it compassionate. How loving is it to smile, pat people on the back and let them stroll merrily along to hell?

Just deliver the mail!

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