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Should a pastor be vulnerable and confess his own sin from the pulpit? How much honesty is too much?
In this video from the Gospel Coalition, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission offers both the dangers and benefits of being transparent in the pulpit.
Risks - Sin - Pastor - Pulpit - Sense
He sees two risks; first, revealing a sin that the pastor struggles with from the pulpit can convey a sense of excusing or appearing to excuse the sin. Moore says the pastor can be tempted to portray the sin as an area where he struggles and is simply a part of who he is. The message received from the congregation could be that the pastor excuses the sin because none of us can keep God’s standards.
Second, in admitting the sin, the pastor might tend to reveal only a small part of the vulnerability. Moore understands how that can happen. The pastor would not want to appear to be falling apart. In some cases, the details might not be appropriate for a group of people. The result, the part the pastor decides to talk about is probably the more mild aspect of the sin. He won’t mention the real scandalous things.
Message - Congregation– - God - Grace - Sins
The unintended message delivered to the congregation– God provides grace for mild sins, not for the serious ones that many are dealing with.
His advice for pastors that do present sins to the audience; speak in broad terms to convey that God’s grace is available to all.
Benefit - Transparent - Pulpit - Moore - Pastor
The benefit of being transparent from the pulpit according to Moore is the pastor is revealing that the gospel is not coming from him–...
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