Is the Message of the Cross Foolishness?

Of course, we know that the answer is “yes.” I Corinthinans 1:18 says:”For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

If we’re actually presenting the message of the Cross, and not some watered down feel-good message, then many out in the world will scratch their head and say “what are they talking about?”

There was an interesting discussion recently on the Singing News message boards on this topic. [EDIT, 11/6/10: Regrettably, the link seems to be broken, so it has been removed.] When I referred to the message of the Cross being foolishness, someone asked if I meant by that to imply that the Gospel should be presented in a foolish way.

Of course, that’s not what I meant.

What I meant was that we need to keep in mind that no matter how “attractive” we make it, unregenerate people think the message of the cross is foolishness. The job of those who sing Southern Gospel songs (or in my case, write them) is to communicate what appears to be foolishness in a way that leaves room for the Holy Spirit to touch a heart and open it to hearing the message of the Gospel through Song.

No matter how fancy the soundtrack, choreography, or video display may be, when you get down to it, the message of the Cross is foolishness to someone who has not been touched by the Holy Spirit. God can use anything to reach a sinner, but a song that touches their heart can help to prepare the way.

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2 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Great synopsis! It is my prayer that SG music will ALWAYS strive to open listener’s hearts and make them receptive to the drawing of the Holy Spirit

  2. We often read words differently that the writer meant them to be and this can confuse an issue. This was clear and to the point and states very well the difference in a person seeing the cross as foolishness from a person who presents something in a foolish manner.