A pastor and avid Corner reader shares his thoughts on Huckabee’s remarks. He speaks of the serious obligation taken on by those who preach in Protestant churches, where the focus on preaching is much greater than in Catholic churches:
The focus of the worship service is the sermon. The congregation is expected to meet Jesus not in the bread and wine, but in the spoken word. In most cases, the theology of the sermon is that it is in fact the word of God. It is not part of a “discussion” but a “declaration” of God’s word and received as such.
In this view, the sermon cannot be the mere flippant, crass, light, or half-considered thoughts of the moment. It is a frightfully serious thing to mislead the people of God…the judgment on those who do so is severe. I tremble at it when I must go up to preach on Sundays, praying always that God will not let me mislead his people…That Mr. Huckabee & Mr. Wright believe these considerations to be outweighed by the need to create, or get caught up in, an emotional moment is itself very disturbing…
One does not toy with the things of God.
Update: Several Lutheran readers write to take exception to the first paragraph. The error is mine and not the good pastor’s. I should have used the term “Evangelical” instead of “Protestant.” Forgive this Catholic for being denominationally challenged.