The Greatest Sin in All the World
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
The accusation is often made that the present-day pulpit is weak and uncertain. Furthermore, it is charged that instead of being "a voice in the wilderness," the modern pulpit has settled down comfortably to become a sounding board for the whims and wishes of the multitudes with itching ears. If the charge is true (and it is), it is because the pulpit is reluctant to grapple with the great issues of life. This hesitancy is born of a desire to escape criticism, and it is a dread of becoming offensive to the finer sensibilities. More often it is due to a cowardly fear to face the raw realities of life and to wrestle with the leviathan of living issues. Instead, the pulpit quotes poetry and sprinkles rose water.
The theater, movies, monthly magazines, weekly periodicals, daily papers, radio, and television all deal with life stripped of its niceties. These instruments for reaching and teaching the masses take the gloves off and wade into the problems faced by men daily. As a result, these agencies are more potent and effective in molding the thoughts of folk.
For those who have sat under the shadow of such a pulpit and for those who have lived such sheltered lives in our churches, the prophecy of Hosea will be shocking and startling. However, I do not want you to be unduly alarmed, for I will not go beyond what is written. For the sake of some timid souls, I shall pull my punches a wee bit. Nevertheless, I am giving this message in the full consciousness that only those who will be offended are those who should be offended. Years ago when I was a boy living in a little town, I recall hearing a country preacher deliver a very homely illustration that was very much to the point. "You know," he said, "when you throw a rock into a bunch of dogs, it is always the hit dog that hollers."
The story behind the prophecy of the Old Testament Book of Hosea is the tragedy of a broken home. And to make it worse, it's the ...
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