STOLEN THUNDER

They are saying what we should be saying.  Millions have seen their videos.  They are credited for starting a revolution of thought in North America.  Here’s the rub: they are stealing our thunder.  They are putting preachers to shame.  They are Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. 

You may be the last human in America who hasn’t seen their confrontations and then eliminations of post-modern secularists.  They tackle every hot button issue from transgender, abortion, gun rights, feminism…in short, everything your pastor may be afraid to preach on.

Here’s the thing—they do it with an aplomb that devastates their opponents.  They produce clear facts and irresistible common sense to show how ancient morality is key to sanity.  In other words, they are doing our job.

There is one audience that is especially resonates with Jordan Petersen: young men.  This is a key demographic that the church has almost entirely lost. 

Ben Shapiro destroys the case for abortion in take-no-prisoners style on the most liberal college campuses.

Jordan Petersen champions free speech in a way that you are not hearing in any pulpit today.

What they are, is what preaching used to be in America.  What they have done, is destroy our great excuse: the lie that young audiences do not want to hear classic morality. And they have destroyed the sister lie that if you take on the false arguments of the left you will be shot down in flames.

The fact that they don’t preach the Gospel or refer to that many Bible verses only increases our embarrassment.  That’s because, they are still closer to the counsel of God than most celebrity pastors.

While most mega church pastors seek the non-offensive sermon, these two wade into the fallacies of sin and atheism.  They prove that there is a vast young audience for moral absolutes.

They prove what I have long declared: it is time for sermons with content.  Paul said he did not come with the excellency of man’s wisdom but the demonstration of the power of God.  That does not mean he was not compelling.  We are not compelling because we are so afraid of telling people where they are wrong.

There was a day when a Jordan Petersen and a Ben Shapiro would not have been such a novelty.  We used to have preachers who were anointed with content that exposed the bankruptcy of secular culture.

Billy Graham was such a preacher.  He stood unapologetically before lost souls, of all races, and educational levels, and declared the Word of God.  He left nothing out. 

The notion that he was a simple preacher is misleading.  He once said, “the new morality is nothing but the old immorality.” A simple yet profound observation that is more at home in a meeting with Jordan and Ben than our present churches.

Billy  seized headlines, current events and never shied away from explaining why sin destroyed and Jesus offered peace that passes understanding. 

Today the church is talking to itself because it does not know how to talk to modern minds.  We do not change hearts and minds.  We are not adding daily to the church such as should be saved. 

You know I believe in miracles.  However, those who continually offer the world emotional experiences are missing the great power of preaching like Jesus promised, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom that your adversaries will not be able to gainsay or resist.”

On the other hand, those who leave out the power of the gifts of the Spirit—that are a sign to the unbeliever—are equally crippling the Church’s power to transform lost souls.

This dynamic duo of gifts of power with piercing preaching was embodied by Paul the Apostle.  Until Paul, the church was led by Peter.  Peter had fire but not the trained mind of Paul the Apostle. 

When Paul told the initiative his dual gifting of heat and light caused the Gospel to spread to all the known world.  It can be that way again.

It is not enough to tell harmless stories to the already converted.  We need to penetrate those who never darken the door of a church.  It is not enough to dazzle them with logic as Jordan and Ben do.  They need both a convicting declaration and the confirming signs of the Holy Spirit.

Jordan and Ben have done the heavy lifting.  They proved our shallow sermons are unjustified.

Maybe we needed to be shamed into action by two men who have proven that millions—many who we thought wanted nothing to do with Christ—are hungry for truth.