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A Word to Sermon Critics

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We've all done it. I have. I'm you at times have too. We listen to a sermon not so much to hear how I should change or repent or be challenged or encouraged, but rather how the preacher's got it wrong. We pick apart his arguments or his delivery or his choice of tie (or lack of one). As a preacher, I'll think how I could have said it so much better. Sometimes I wonder, have we come to church to learn or to lecture? 

Martin Bucer, over 400 years ago, addressed those who were sinfully critical of preachers and their preaching. His words are as needed today as (apparently) they were needed then:

This is why Christians are first of all to ask the Lord with great earnestness to grant them faithful ministers, and to watch diligently in choosing them to see that they walk in accordance with their calling and serve faithfully; and when these ministers come to warn, punish, teach or exhort in the Lord’s name, not to dismiss it thoughtlessly and despise this ministry, as sadl…