In an article on “Preaching and Applying Truth” in a past issue of Preaching, Bob Russell wrote: “A wealthy businessman in our community who had pledged a million dollars to our building fund came to me before it was collected and asked me to perform his wedding–his third wedding. Because of the circumstances surrounding his previous divorce, his situation didn’t fit into our marriage policy. It really was tempting to try to find a way to accommodate his request, but I decided to follow the policy. (Partly, I confess, because I was afraid the elders would fire me if I didn’t follow their guidelines!)
“There are times in every church when the leaders are tempted to water down the truth. There will be influential people you want to accommodate. There will be brilliant, likable theological liberals you want to impress. There will be arrogant, angry conservatives you wish you could debate, because even though you may agree with their stance, you hate their demeanor. There will be seekers and believers you won’t want to alienate by taking an unpopular stand on a controversial issue.
“Despite the real temptation to say just what itching ears want to hear or to say nothing at all, it is imperative that the church be a place where the truth is unashamedly proclaimed. As Paul said, ‘If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?’ (