My concern here is not primarily with selfie snapping teenagers however. Instead, I am concerned with the selfie culture in the pulpit. The Apostle Paul exhorts believers not to be conformed to the world (Rm. 12:2). If you had a word for the bottom, the irreducible core of what is wrong with the world it would be selfishness. Pride is the birth-mother of all sin. Therefore, if a world is awash in self then it is self that we need to be sure that we are not being conformed to. And, judging by how many preachers go about their sermons the warning to not be self-consumed should ring loudly in the preacher’s ears.
I want you to beware of the “selfie-preacher”. Here are some of his “tells” that he is one of the club.
For years I’ve pondered the topic of lament. This is partially due to my melancholic nature; I once read a book called Against Happiness—and enjoyed it. But my wife, Becky, is the main reason for my scrutiny of this topic. A gifted writer and editor, Becky had been bedeviled by a bevy of chronic illnesses, each year worse than the year before. None were fatal. All were miserable. They handed down not a death sentence, but a life sentence. It was ailment upon ailment without respite. We lamented as we sought relief.
Kevin DeYoung offers good advice for those considering seminary.
If a leadership team does not have a plan to teach “our beliefs and values,” the leadership team doesn’t really believe what they say they believe. And if a ministry or organization does not really believe what they claim to believe, the culture is weak. In other words, if you don’t have a plan to teach those on your team the shared beliefs and values, the shared beliefs and values really don’t mean much to you. If leaders are really passionate about beliefs and values, passing them on to others is deemed essential.
God spoke and galaxies stood forth. At his command, and by his very word, oceans and microscopic nanobes, mountain peaks and macadamia nuts, the blue whale and Texas wild flowers all burst onto the scene with the order and deference of a military unit dutifully carrying out a command from the ranking officer, yet, with the delicate movement and artistic gait of the ballet dancer’s pirouette imaging precisely the choreographer’s vision. Power and beauty; order and majesty, all taking center stage as a giant mirror reflecting the opulence and grandeur of the glory of God.
But before all that, God knew you. He chose you before the foundation of the world.
And finally, this is just fun: