It’s time for some to begin to thump the tub!
“What on earth are you talking about?”
Well, in the 17th Century the pulpit of nonconformist preachers was called a “tub.” And, so, preachers were designated “tub thumpers!” The problem is that we don’t have enough tub thumpers today.
“Oh . . . but why do you want them to “pound the pulpit” as the expression seems to be today?”
There is too little preaching with conviction. So many preachers have lost all the authority of the office. No wonder people see no urgency in doing what God says. I know there are some who overdo the matter of hitting the pulpit with their fists. I’m not talking about that. What I have in mind is more preachers who will unequivocally state biblical truth with all of the authority of the Scriptures themselves.
“I see. But what do they do instead?”
All sorts of other things.
Using weak words like “share.” When you share, you only give people a part of what is shared. If I share my pie, you only get a slice, not the whole thing. So, too, weak preachers convey the idea that it is not only they who have e something to say, but that the members of the congregation will also have something to contribute (share) as well.
“Is that bad?”
Yes, when it comes to preaching. In the pulpit a man is to set forth God’s truth—the whole truth—and not add either his ideas or those of others. People today are getting thin, watered down, stuff instead of the thick beef noodle soup that they deserve. Listen to Paul: “I didn’t hold back in declaring anything that was beneficial to you” (Acts 20:20). Some preachers need to get an Acts 20/20 vision of preaching!
“Are you talking about the lack of authority in preaching?’”
Yes. We must proclaim the truth of God as such—and when we do, we must do so with all the authority that it possesses. Nobody ever nailed a preacher to the door for “sharing.” It is when he declares, proclaims, and so on, that they go after him! Preachers are afraid to take such a stand for fear they might be criticized for doing so.
“Do you think they ought to literally . . .uh . . .thump the tub?”
Not too often—but their preaching should be powerful, and as authoritative as is the truth of God that they ought to be preaching.
“Doesn’t that mean they will always go about insisting on negative things?”
Absolutely not! They should authoritatively proclaim the wonderful, comfortable, truths of the Bible with as much vigor and conviction as they do when preaching about the need for repentance. No wonder the pulpit has lost its authority when preachers “share” instead of proclaiming. They are in the tub (I guess you could say) as God’s representatives, ordained to confront people with truth that will change their lives.
“If they stop using the word ‘share’ will that solve the problem?”
No. That’s just one example of weak preaching. It is symbolic of the larger problem.
“So, they need to change their pulpit practices across the board?’
Yes, if they are caught up in the attitude conveyed by the word “share.”
“And preach with authority what God’s Word teaches.”
Yes. It would make quite a difference in many congregations.