Dear False Prophet,
I almost didn’t recognize you. But there you are. You fit in so nicely at our Church. You are well liked, respected, and many even look up to you. You are something of a celebrity. You easily find company to sit with at Church pot-lucks. You have a way with words, and never seem to lack anything to say. Indeed, you are even called on to preach from time to time, and with the response you usually receive from many within the congregation, there is no doubt you’ll be invited to speak yet again. You can regularly be found in the company of the pastor, and at times, seem to be his right hand man. A smile can regularly be found on your face.
But something just isn’t right. Something is off. You regularly say many things that are right and true. You say that Jesus is Lord, and I can even drop an “amen” while I listen to you preach. But while doing so, I find myself a bit troubled. For it isn’t so much anything you are saying that troubles me per say. It is the fact that when I listen to you, I never find myself troubled by anything that you do say. Indeed, troubling words never seem to run across your lips. I feel quite comfortable listening to you, and in retrospect, that is what troubles me about you the most. I am troubled for my lack of being troubled while listening to you preach.
You are quite skilled. You manage to successfully avoid offending or shocking anybody with your preaching. Jesus and His apostles couldn’t even avoid doing that. Instead, your sermons are regularly light-hearted and uplifting. They are even funny, and make me want to be a better me. But you regularly avoid certain things in your preaching.
Like for instance, you don’t talk about sin very much. And when you do, you seem to simply gloss over it, or treat sin as if it were just a mere mistake, or something merely holding me back from reaching my full potential. Sometimes, you even seem to excuse it altogether. And I’ve also noticed, you don’t talk a lot about the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and you almost never mention His resurrection from the grave. Might Jesus Christ return in our life time? From your preaching, I honestly wouldn’t know if Jesus Christ is ever coming back one day. And even if I suspected He might come back one day, after listening to you preach, I wouldn’t know what to really expect if He did.
But why talk about such lofty and abstract things? You are practical, and you want to talk about the here and now. You want to help people find joy, peace, and fulfillment. You want to help husbands be better husbands, and wives to be better wives. You want to help them succeed at work and in play. You want to help them manage their finances, and help them enjoy the finer things in life. You just want them to have their best life now, so that they can be all that they want to be!
As you are reading how I describe your preaching, you probably find it an accurate portrayal of what you say and do. In fact, you probably are scratching your head thinking, “And how exactly does all of this make me a false prophet?” But you see, that’s exactly what makes you a false prophet. You don’t even see your preaching as being off. And being deceived, you can in turn deceive others effectually, because ultimately, you are sincere. You see, the thing that makes you false is not your contradiction of the word of God, or making predictions that never come to pass. It’s much more simple than that. What makes you false is that for all your speaking, you never begin to declare the word of the Lord. For you are just too busy declaring everything else.
At any rate, I just wanted to take a moment and write and let you know that I see you. I hope others will as well.