Pandering To Our Audience

According to Wikipedia, “pandering is the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal.” We commonly think of this word in association with politics, but doesn’t it equally fit modern day religion and what many preachers do?

For example what about denominational preachers who won’t ever preach against divorce and remarriage (Matt 19:9) because so many of their members are in unscriptural second and third marriages, and they are afraid of offending them and possibly losing their preacher’s salary? It is true that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (I Tim 6:10).

And what about gospel preachers when they fail to preach “all the counsel the God” to their congregation (Acts 20:26-27)? Aren’t they protecting themselves financially just like denominational preachers (Rom 16:18)? It is okay for a college Algebra teacher to review multiplication and division for a day, but for the whole semester (Heb 5:12-14)?  How many Micaiahs (I Kings 22:8) are left who are willing to go beyond just “preaching to the choir”?

And don’t preachers holding gospel meetings do the same thing when they fail to warn their Christian audience (Ezek 3:18) of specific doctrinal truths they differ on? Why is it when we get a chance to preach at a Baptist church we should preach on something they need, but the same isn’t true if we get an opportunity to preach at an away church of Christ?  Have you noticed that many gospel meeting preachers do a real good job of preaching against denominational error, but never touch on anything needed by the audience actually in front of them? Perhaps they are preaching to be invited back instead of preaching to get their Christian hearers to heaven (Acts 20:31). Such preachers are aptly described by Luke 6:26 (“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets”).

And why do churches keep using these type “popular” preachers unless it is because members of those churches “will not endure sound doctrine,” have “itching ears,” and have turned “away their ears from the truth” (II Tim 4:3-4)? Many congregations today seem to be requesting – “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things.” (Isaiah 30:10).

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