No Fluff Preaching
One of the saddest spectacles in North America today is the demise of sound biblical preaching. It has long been the custom in dead traditional churches to be long on ceremonies and short on preaching, but in the last fifty years there has been a shift away from preaching even in evangelical churches. Preaching has been replaced by drama, comedy, interviews, dialogue, therapy sessions, motivational talks, small groups, and such things. More and more believers are being deprived of hearing the word of God expounded.
No-fluff preaching is preaching that first of all recognises that it has been unfaithful to its task if it does not proclaim the whole counsel of God. That means that there can be no trimming of those doctrines that might be offensive to hearers. It is the Word of God that is being proclaimed to sinners, and it always has and always will cause offence to many. Its central message is that all people need to repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It boldly declares that there is a literal Hell to which all who are outside of Christ will be tormented forever, and that there is no other way to be saved than through faith in Jesus Christ. It looks to the Holy Spirit to work through the preaching in the hearts of those who hear.
No-fluff preaching also realises that preaching is the central feature of New Testament worship. It is the primary means that God has appointed for His people to grow in grace and gratitude, and it is never to be relegated to second place status. God’s people need more than mere snacks—they need well-prepared full course meals of preaching. Its goal is to take what God has said in His word and apply it to the hearers. It does not speak in its own name, but speaks as a herald of the Most High God. It takes seriously the fact that it will incur a stricter judgement if it should misrepresent Him.
No-fluff preaching is also preaching that is done by men who are called by God, and set apart in His church by the laying on of hands by the presbytery. The presbytery is simply the elders and ministers from other churches who examine men that aspire to be ministers as to their soundness in the faith, their godliness, and their ability to expound the scriptures. The presbyters are not to lay hands on anyone unless he meets the scriptural qualifications. Preachers are not to appoint themselves, nor is anyone to casually take it upon himself to minister the word. Only those who are called are to preach.
There are many believers in Halifax that have expressed their dissatisfaction with the decline of preaching in their congregations. This is no trivial matter. Whenever the church has seen days of reformation, it has always been through the sound exposition of the scriptures, just as it was in the early church. The Lord deals very severely with shepherds that do not feed the sheep. It is true that sound biblical preaching will not attract goats (those who are not Christ’s sheep). Goats have to be entertained, but the Lord of the Church has not appointed His ministers to care for goats. He has appointed them to feed His sheep, who hear His voice and come to Him.