There’s a lot of media coverage lately on that Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright.  The talk shows, of course, are playing audio over and over with Wright saying “God D—n America”, blaming AIDS on the government, promoting racism, etc.  This is a man who is supposedly a teacher and preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, one who should be engaged in helping and leading his people to higher levels of righteousness. 

I would like to contrast this Jeremiah Wright to Elder David Bednar and make some observations.

First, I would like to talk about the manner of speech.  Jeremiah Wright shouts, and curses, and I’m sure waves his hands fanatically (I have never actually seen him “preach”).  His voice is loud and strong and causes one to listen whether he wants to or not.

Elder Bednar’s voice is your average speaking voice, clear, precise, and strong.  In the 4 hours I listened to him this weekend, I never heard him raise his voice once, but he spoke in clear, animated language devoid of offensive words.  His voice, quieter than Wrights, causes one to listen because he wants to.

Elder Bednar’s words are those of the gospel of Christ.  They are uplifting words from the scriptures.  They are full of explanation and education.  When Elder Bednar speaks, he conveys the power and authority of God and invites the Holy Ghost to bear witness of his words.  The words of rebuke are spoken plainly, then followed by instruction on what should be done for correction.

In contrast, Jeremiah Wright speaks words that are demeaning and harsh.  Instead of power and authority, we hear anger, fear and sometime hatred.  It is difficult if not impossible for the Holy Ghost to be present.  Instead of learning truth and testimony, the people are whipped into a frenzy.  This is not worship as the Lord would have us do.  Instead, the people have become mindless and blind, following a voice that will not lead towards bettering themselves.

Now, after much of Wright’s sermons have been publicized and criticized so much, he is explaining and defending his actions in very public forums.  He does not renounce much of his fanatical preaching.  Instead, he uses these forums to promote the very things he preaches and declares it representative of the so-called ministers and churches of his race of people.  In the course of his defense, he says he was misquoted and taken out of context.  Yet, his own words stand as a witness against that defense.

I don’t see Elder Bednar wanting or even needing to defend the things he spoke about for nearly 4 hours this weekend.  The doctrines and principles he spoke about were given in plain and simple language.  His words were bold yet gentle, and never once was there hateful or foul languag.

Having been to a few meetings at other churches, I must say that I have not encountered one where the pastor has been on a tirade of Wright’s proportion.  I must also say that I have found those services empty, without meaning or passion, and entirely lacking of the spirit.  Few even bothered with the sacrament or communion.  All were happy to pass the plate and collect the money.

I suppose that I could go on and on, but the point of this little piece is to simply show that those who properly teach of Christ do so with meekness and clarity, rebuking when necessary, then showing forth that increase of love as spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants.  Their words lift and inspire, instruct and edify, showing the love of our Father and our Savior.  They speak with the true power and authority of God, inviting the spirit to testify truth.  What a blessing it is to have the true gospel.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 5th, 2008 at 6:39 pm and is filed under Church Meetings, Elder Bednar, Older Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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