Anglican Morning Devotion for 5 August 2021 Anno domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.” 1 Corinthians 14:8-9 (KJV)
XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the people understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people.
It certainly makes no sense to speak in any language that others whom you wish to teach do not understand and, especially even the one speaking. That is jibberish or babbling – a term originating at the Tower of Babel. But a known language is also one that should be known to the simplest of understanding. To use great theological terms of man’s invention may make one appear sophisticated and learned, but it also reveals a grave ignorance of the purpose of speaking and preaching. If the building is on fire, we need only proclaim, FIRE! We do not need go into a sophisticated explanation of how combustible materials, combined with an oxidate combined under great heat to cause flame.
I have been invited onto a number of theological sights and responded in the poor judgment of joining. No one convinces another of their point on such sights. The Holy bible is seldom used as a reference. More likely, it will be such names as Keil and Delitsch, Hans Küng, Swedenborg, or some other such commentator for whom I have less respect than I have for the undiluted Word of God. Great arguments are made over small points while the weightier matters such as Scriptural truth go unattended. Inordinate time is spent on trying to determine the EXACT point at which a molehill becomes a mountain.
Jesus spoke in terms that all could understand – the language of the farmer, the fisherman, the traveler, the sick and afflicted, and even the dead or dying. Even in the simple language of the Lord, the educated clerics (Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees) pretended not to understand while the simple farmer was convinced immediately. Our mission is not to impress of our eloquence, but of the beauty and truth of God’s Word. The following poem says it all:
THE PREACHER’S MISTAKE
“The parish priest
Climbed up in a high church steeple,
To be nearer God,
So that he might hand
His word down to the people.
“And in sermon script
He daily wrote
What he thought was sent from heaven;
And he dropped it down
On the people’s heads
Two times one day in seven.
“In his old age God said,
‘Come down and die;’
And he cried out from the steeple,
‘Where art Thou, Lord?’
And the Lord replied,
‘Down here among my people.’ ”
~ William Doane