Preachingby: Dr. Bruce Goddard

I remember hearing Dr. Hyles talk about moving up north and finding the culture awkward. He was a preacher, but they were familiar with a very formal, sedate service; he was anything but formal or sedate. Calm and sedate church services are not new in our society; they were a problem in the late fifties when Dr. Hyles moved “up north.”

When John Rice started the Sword of the Lord, the banner across the top said that he opposed formalism. He was, as other soul-winning preachers of his day, opposed to a calm and sedate service.

In 1982, when we started Faith Baptist Church, I was “preaching” from the very first day. I was excited. I was thrilled to be a preacher, and wanted the preaching to be exciting and upbeat. I was not a “pastor/teacher” type. The valley was filled with people from different religious backgrounds. Between the ten thousand people in Lake Elsinore and the one thousand in Wildomar, there were four other Baptist churches. So in 1982, a “preacher” showed up, and he was something entirely different from the teacher-type of pastor with which they were familiar. People like preaching. People like excitement; they like excited sports announcers; they like excited coaching; and the fact is, they like exciting preaching. It is the work of the Devil that brings preachers to calm, quiet, teacher-type lessons instead of old-fashioned preaching that changes lives. (Of those four “teacher type” Baptist churches 32 years ago, none have grown, two dropped the name Baptist, and somehow ours has kept reaching people.)

It is funny to me that Americans love singers who “feel” the music; but when it comes to the Word of God, they want someone who acts as though the Bible is a math book or some college literature course of which none of it really matters for eternity. Why not have a preacher preach as if everything he is talking about it true and literal? Why not preach as if you believe what you are saying.

After decades of marriage, some will cease saying, “I love you,” while others say it with little or no emotion. Honestly, is that the kind of preaching we want in our churches? So we want words to come out with no feeling or emotion attached?

When I first began attending in Bible college, I heard a teacher say there were Bible teachers up north and southern “theatrical” preachers. He was mocking the over-zealous actors of the southern style of preaching. I thought much about it and decided that I would rather be someone who speaks like he believes what he is saying, not as some dead lecturer who recites facts and bores the audience.

Texas-IBSA fake is someone who believes in Hell, but speaks of it as if it is not real. He is a fake who says he believes in Heaven but can speak on Heaven without joy or smile.

I’ll not be a fake! I’ll be excited about Jesus, happy about Heaven, broken over Hell, and passionate about serving the Lord. You can have your fraudulent “speakers” who teach from pulpits and transfer emotionless information to crowds seeking a head knowledge with no heart attached.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” It doesn’t say the lecturing of the cross, but the “preaching of the cross.” God continues in verse to say in verse 21, “…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” It is always preaching that changes lives, not dead, emotionless teaching. Give me preachers!

Dr. Bruce Goddard
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA