For those of you who think American evangelicals already harbour an unhealthy obsession with the fires of Hell, it may come as some surprise to hear that Southern Baptist preachers are being urged to place more emphasis on warning their congregations of the ultimate dangers of sin.
At a three-day "Empower Evangelism" conference Pastor Bob Pearle, president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, urged preachers to up their game in warning sinners of the eternal punishment that awaits them on the other side. Speaking to Reuters, he explained the reasons behind this:
“A lot of times today, it seems that in the modern church you don’t find as much preaching on heaven and hell. [But] the whole thing that we’re about is preparing people for when they stand before God in judgement. There are still many, many Southern Baptists that faithfully preach what the Bible teaches about heaven and hell. But you have a lot of them that are a little hesitant about talking about that, about talking about sin, about talking about judgement.”
If this blog does have any Southern Baptist readers, be warned, your Sunday mornings may be about to become even less cheerful. I'd leave the kids at home if I was you...