Both/And

I like watching things with ministers in them. From Ted Crilly to Adam Smallbone, from Pastor Dave to Reverend Fordwick, I enjoy fictional preachers. One of my favorites, though, is the Rev. Ford from Pollyanna. I just have to feel for him. A little girl shows up and turns all of his sermons upside-down, and he goes from fire and brimstone to "826 happy passages."

I think most preachers fall on one of those two sides by default. Many of us are quick to preach hellfire, and many others will only talk about how God wants us to be happy. The people in Pewville (as one professor used to say) leave feeling either like worthless wretches or like perfected saints. One of those applies more to earth and one more to heaven, but neither on its own is sufficient for the whole scope and message of the Gospel. It's a both/and kind of situation.

"Both/ands" make most of us uncomfortable. Humans are, for the most part, a very binary lot. We say things like, "If not A, then B," and, "Y is never X." As much as both we (and God) live in a black-and-white world, there are occasionally times for us to blend the two. Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of those times. We should always share the love of God and His justice, heaven and hell, joy and pain, forgiveness and guilt. None of those means anything without its counterpart.

As we share the gospel and give our testimonies, let's remember to share the full story: we are sinners saved by grace. We are a people in need of a loving Savior.

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