Obamacare—officially known as the Affordable Care Act—is all over the news these days. Fox News thinks it’s an abomination, MSNBC thinks it’s the second coming, and the folks at the Cartoon Network are wondering if Sponge Bob qualifies for coverage.

What has been labeled as “health care reform” certainly has been controversial, starting with a website that didn’t work. Then it turned out there were a few million people who thought that if they liked their health plans they could keep their health plans, but they failed to read the fine print indicating this guarantee only covered left-handed people of Lithuanian descent living in one county in rural Arkansas. Both of those guys are really happy with it, by the way.

For the rest of us, it appears the only “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act may be the bandages we get after banging out heads on the walls of the now-closed doctors’ offices. Actually, I did overlook the free birth control pills I now qualify for, which is a big load off my mind. I’ve been meaning to renew my prescription.

The whole thing reminds me of Little Hope Baptist Church where I once served. (They thought I was probably the right preacher for a church without much hope.) I remember my first month, when I discovered the church website didn’t work too well. I discovered the Sermons tab took people to John MacArthur’s sermons instead of mine. I complained, but because his sermons were better than mine, the deacons weren’t inclined to fix it.

One Sunday, I announced a new preaching plan. For just a small increase in their tithes and offerings—OK, it was actually a lot, but they weren’t very good at math—I’d keep preaching their favorite sermons. You know: If you like your sermon, you can keep your sermon. I thought this would be a great outreach tool, but it turned out the people who liked my sermons now couldn’t afford them, and the people who hadn’t been coming to hear my sermons still didn’t come…except for a few folks the deacons paid to come, to help fill the pews on those Sundays when the deacons went hunting.

Needless to say, my sympathies are with the president, whose reform plan doesn’t seem to be working much better than mind did. In fact, I may just send along a couple of those favorite sermons to the White House for him to enjoy. If he likes the sermons, he can keep them!

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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