Jesus took God's word to the streets
CONTRIBUTOR Nick Ingram's thinly veiled scorn of God and Christian believers, preachers in particular, (November 26), calls for a line or two.
He took a lot of space to express his antipathy towards an open air preacher, who took little space, but, presumably, filled it with the fullness of the gospel.
I will now take "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6.17), and thrust it into Nick's swollen prose. The preacher's soapbox has become "the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45.1).
Jesus himself set the pattern for evangelistic outreach. He took God's message out of the synagogue, out of the building, onto the streets, out to the people, into the highways and byways: wherever people are found, that is where the gospel message belongs.
That is where we are commanded to go. "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16.15); that includes outside Tesco's, Mr Ingram.
The gospel message is not our opinion, not our ideology, not even our religious conviction, it is the word of God in all its grace and power, entrusted to faithful men and women – the 'laity'.
Not a class recognised in the New Testament, and not recognised by Christ, who drew his disciples from them, and ever delights to use the nobodies to the glory of God.
Preaching in our times seems to be unfashionable, and today's Church skills appear to be in 'not preaching'. Have we become too clever to be effective?