Support the Café

Search our Site

Preachers and the Great Recession: What to say?

Preachers and the Great Recession: What to say?

Okay, pulpit-ascenders and sermon-attenders: Read the following and tell me if it’s anything like your experience:

Three years after an implosion of the nation’s financial system helped push the country into its worst economic nosedive since the Great Depression, pastors are still trying to figure out how to address people’s fears from the pulpit.

But first they have to deal with their own fears, some pastors and scholars say.

Though millions of Americans are angry over the economy, little moral outrage seems to be coming from the nation’s pulpit, they say. Too many pastors opt for offering pulpit platitudes because they are afraid parishioners will stop giving money if they hear teachings against greed …

… like, say, The Rich Man and Lazarus.

CNN BeliefBlog writer John Blake visits with some preachers, including the outspoken Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, whose current sermon series “Recovery Road” is said to point to everyone as sharing blame for our current woes. Rev. Robin R. Meyers, senior minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, has, however, proffered something a little more, err, pointed in his homilies.

“It’s good to pull people out of the river when they’re drowning, … but it’s also good to go upriver to see who’s throwing them in the river.”

In the epilogue to his book The Virtue in the Vice: Finding Seven Lively Virtues in the Seven Deadly Sins, Meyers writes:

None of us can ignore the basic human condition, or pretend that we have been granted some special exemption from it. We are born selfish, and our entire journey is spent thinking mostly of ourselves…. [W]e live mostly at the center of our own universe. Left unchecked and untreated, selfishness is the real mother and father of all human sin.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rod Gillis

The video presentation on “recovery road” doesn’t grab me. I find this kind of thing much more compelling.

John D. Andrews

There won’t be needed change until pastors quit playing it safe. The pulpit must not be a safe place. The pulpit must be a place where pastors aren’t afraid to speak the truth to challenge the congregation’s comfort, calling them to action, to live out the gospel.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café