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When Sin Won't Let Go

The great Christians have had great besetting sins.
— Mark Galli

He had been preaching in his church for years, but the longer he preached, the more discouraged he grew. People just didn't get it. They gladly heard him, but instead of rising to discipleship, they slithered into lethargy. Everyone praised his preaching, but he complained, "No one acts accordingly, but instead the people become so crude, cold, and lazy that it is a shame."

For instance, he started teaching that worship is primarily an act of gratitude to God. Attending worship, he said, did not earn points with God. People loved the new teaching. And worship attendance dropped.

At one point, he was so fed up, he announced he would no longer preach to his congregation; he went on strike.

The "necessity of preaching" couldn't keep him away from the pulpit for long, but anger and resentment dogged him his whole life. A year before he died, while on a trip, he decided not to return to his home town or church. He wrote his wife, ...

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