Why do preachers feel like they have to yell and scream and get all ‘red in the face’ when they preach?
I heard this question asked again the other day and my mind went back some time ago to a softball diamond where I happened to stand as the short-stop. The teams were even, the score was close, runners were on and base and the game was up for grabs. In the bottom half of a critical inning the pitch approached home plate, the batter swung, the ball was hit well, but the outfielder pursued swiftly. After making the catch he fired the ball back, hitting his cut-off man in the chest, keeping the runners from advancing – or so he thought.
From the opposing team’s dugout stormed someone well-versed in the rules of the game, advising that, actually, the runners were permitted to advance a base apiece, because the fielder was ‘out of bounds’ when he caught the ball on the fly.
Sadly, my minds eye has instant-replayed the moments that ensued several times. Several times before I’ve contemplated blogging about it; the heated exchange that took place between the players, the color or crimson that flushed the face of the arbiter, the exact confrontational words he directed towards the grown man indicted in the outfield, and the decibel level that he reached during his message.
Teammates whispered about it. Thoughts varied as to whether he went overboard, but not a public complaint was offered. Who could argue with him? After all, he wasn’t wrong, in theory he was right – he’d played for years and undoubtedly knew the rules better than anyone. Besides, it was just a game of softball.
Oh, ok. I get it. So, it’s cool when it's a sport – softball, basketball, football, etc. Because he was right and knew the rules concerning field of play better than anyone else, he was justified in yelling and screaming and getting all ‘red in the face’ about a subject he was knowledgable in and passionate about…but God forbid a man or woman, a Pastor, Evangelist, Apostle, Prophet or a Teacher called by God to lead His people, who has dedicated his or her life to the ministry (which is unto the Father on behalf of the people, not unto the people on behalf of the Father), and who knows the Word better than anyone else on the field…
God forbid they ever come out of the dugout, scream and yell and get all ‘red in the face’ after their passion, to ‘call out’ and question the position or direction of people on the opposing extremity who are trying to keep members of the winning team from advancing forward…
It’s ok to get all pumped up and competitive, just so long as it ‘stays on the court,’ right?
Well, let’s remember when it comes to men's souls we are not playing games any longer. It is a matter of eternity. So, let’s watch out for our own inconsistencies. Let’s quit condemning others as 'judgmental' when we ourselves are judgmental when it’s convenient for us and when we’re convicted - and let’s be concerned with what’s right.
Preach preacher – get in my grill if you’re right and proclaim what thus saith the Word of the Lord - even if you have to yell and scream and get all red in the face about it!