I heard this in a sermon on a recent Sunday. This is the state of the Evangelical pulpit. Actually the congregation I was attending would probably qualify as more of the Fundamentalist variety. Evangelicals would probably be more likely to talk about the vocation of Border Guard and how special they are in God's eyes for doing that holy task.
Recently we've been attending many different churches and the one thing that is most striking.... and there are many things that are striking... but the one that keeps hitting me is that no one is actually teaching the Scripture.
In every case we keep hearing a topical sermon wherein a Scripture is utilised as a 'springboard' for whatever topic(s) they want to talk about that day.
The Nehemiah passage devolved into a long conversation on child rearing, husband-wife relations, alcohol, dressing right, politics, In God We Trust, Ronald Reagan, your prayer closet and a few more topics.
I may have agreed with the man on a few items of practical concern but in the end it wasn't an exposition of Scripture. It was merely his opinion.
There's nothing wrong with offering an opinion. I'm offer mine on a regular basis.
But teaching Scripture, actually believing the Scripture is God's Word involves expositing it and teaching through the actual God-inspired text.
These people love to talk about how much they love the Bible, follow Scripture and think Biblically. But I find they don't know it. They read devotionally. There's nothing wrong with that, but they never study and learn.
Sitting under years of that kind of preaching begins to slowly starve them.
I question the preacher's reverence for the Word. I question whether we ought to take his claims seriously.
If his exegetical and hermeneutical depth is reduced to Nehemiah built a wall, so we can build one to protect America, then I really just don't know what to say.
"Where's the Devil on Sunday morning?" he asked at one point.
"In the pew," one man answered.
"That's right," the preacher replied. "Maybe that's why it's always empty!"
"The Devil doesn't have to worry about all the people at home. He's already got them! This is the place he wants to be, to attack us and distract us from hearing God's Word. The Devil is in the Church on Sunday Morning!"
I totally agree. He wants to distract and lead astray. But I would also add that more often than not, he's in the pulpit.