London Men's Convention ended a few hours ago. The subject was "Faithful". And, apparently, the Faithful One is me. Or at least that's how so much of it came across (the opening of Rico's talk excepted).
Men leaving the Albert Hall could be divided into those saying "Grrrrr" and those saying "Grrrrr".
The vast majority of Grrrrrs were resolutions towards godliness. And this time they really, really, really mean it. My Grrrr was frustration. A day spent together with men who want to hear the word of Christ. What glories we could have been singing about on the train home.
Instead, all the conversation was about ourselves - "Gosh, that was convicting." And all the tweets I've read have said "Tough", "Hard-hitting", "Challenging", even "Super-challenging." I found it none of those things. It is not tough to tell conservative evangelicals they need to repent more. It's really not. To tell bible guys who have paid good money to attend a conference called "Faithful" that they need to smarten up and get serious for Jesus is not challenging. It is boring. It is predictable. And it is the safest preaching imaginable. It is 100% guaranteed to be lapped up by all.
Preaching the free grace of Jesus for sinners - that would be challenging. Mega-challenging I'd say. That would get the tweets in a flutter. That would produce resistance and angry opposition. But it'd also get people talking about Jesus.
If you were there, you might disagree with my assessment of the day. You might disagree with my theology. But my one plea is this - even if you want to argue that men need pep rallies like this in order to be "faithful" - don't pretend that it's brave to preach like that. It is not brave to preach law. It's brave to preach gospel.