I don’t usually blog like this, but I’d like to share a passage that bothers me and ask your opinion. Colossians 1:25 says, “God has given me [Paul] the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.“
I’m bothered by how many preachers I’ve heard who tend to focus on one primary theme. Some preach mostly on faith, others on healing, or missions, or poverty, etc. I wonder: Is every preacher of the Word commissioned to proclaim God’s “entire message”? Or, are there some preachers who are commissioned to preach on a single theme? Furthermore, could it be that the accumulated messages of all God’s preachers meant to be an accurate representation of His message? The jury is still out in my mind, but I’d like to hear what others think.
In many liturgical churches, the minister preaches from the scripture readings of the day. So in theory, the whole counsel of God would be preached (because the minister would eventually work his way through the Bible…over a very long period of time, granted). Of course, if he has an ax to grind, then he could turn the passage to whatever he wanted (e.g. a passage about Christ’s love could be turned to poverty or missions or healing). But in theory, it should provide for at least some balance…
I think they all have the responsibility to preach ALL the Word. If not, and they are pastoring a church, the believers might hear messages only of God’s grace, and never of His sovereignty or holiness. They would understand Him as a loving God (that He is), but never see Him as a JUST God. I think without the whole picture, we as believers would be woefully equipped to stand for Christ in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. JMHO. 🙂
I don’t think the entire message is necessarily every word of Scripture, but the entire picture that Scripture paints. Creation, fall, redemption, etc. would be part of the entire message, but could be accomplished without a verse by verse exposition. I do think that it is every preachers responsibility to present the entire picture, because it only makes sense in that context. Grace means nothing without the fall, the New Testament can only be properly understood in the context of the Hebrew scriptures.
Those are my initial thoughts, but I will probably continue to think about this for some time. Thanks for the question.