Darrow Miller and Friends

Truth and Love: It’s Not Your Father’s Pulpit Anymore

Pity the pastor who has to consider what could happen if he speaks the truth.

Time was when the preacher set the tone and the church shaped the community. Now it’s more like the other way around. As Darrow has said, If the church doesn’t disciple the nation, the nation will disciple the church.

So today, the cry from the pew sounds much like that from the public square: Don’t offend. Show tolerance in your speech. Don’t be hateful!

Christians who care about speaking the truth in love—no matter which side of the pulpit they stand on—feel hard pressed to find the way forward. It’s sink or swim in the soup of political correctness. Christ-followers who want to think carefully and well about their witness, who want to earn a hearing among their neighbors and still faithfully confess Christ … well, it’s all so complicated!

Or maybe not. Challenging, yes. But not so complicated.

Many of our readers have no doubt read these words from an earlier time (words usually attributed to Martin Luther but see this):

If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.

Stonestreet on speaking the truthOur friend, John Stonestreet has elaborated the same thought with a very helpful video commentary, The Walk Plus the Talk: Why Truth and Love are Inseparable. As noted on the video page, John “issues a dire warning to Christians: If you’re eliminating portions of Scripture that offend modern sensibilities, you are making a bargain with the devil.”

Gary Brumbelow

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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. Jon

    April 15, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    I agree very strongly with this.

    It is alarming how many of the next generation appear to have bought the lie that it is “unloving” to speak the truth.

    • admin

      April 16, 2014 - 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Jon. I feel exactly the same.


  2. Gene Jones

    December 26, 2014 - 2:27 am

    There are 4 young people in Heaven right now singing God’s praises because they had such faith, a faith that we don’t see much of in this country. They were bold and didn’t back down. If these children took such a stand knowing it meant certain death. We have no room to cower. God help us if we don’t speak the whole truth and nothing but the complete word of God. Leaving out nothing. Praise be to God and thank God for children willing to be martyred.

    • admin

      December 27, 2014 - 6:20 am

      Yes, Gene, the situation of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East certainly adds important perspective for our own witness to the truth. Thanks for your comment.

      Gary Brumbelow