Sermon Illustrations

Tony Campolo Confronts Congregations Lack of Compassion

If you can be concerned about something as trivial as a plant, should I not be allowed to be concerned about something as important as these people-not to mention their livestock? Jonah’s resentment had distorted his perspective and it will do the same to us.

This part of the story reminds me of a statement made by Tony Campolo at a pastor’s conference in Maryland a few years ago. As part of his message he angrily said, “Yesterday 30,000 children around the world starved to death and you don’t give a ’blankety blank about it.” And the pastors that were there admitted that they were thinking, “Oh Tony, you shouldn’t have said that. You’re only going to get us mad at you.” And many of the pastors admitted that they were indeed angry at his cursing. But then just as all of them moved up to the edge of their seats in sort of a defensive posture Campolo said, “The sad thing is you pastors are more upset that I said ’blankety blank’ than you are about 30,000 children who starved to death yesterday.” Silence descended over the room and they said that almost in unison all of the pastor’s slunk back into their seats thinking, He’s right! O God, how did our priorities get so mixed up? When did we become so calloused to human need?

From a sermon by Travis Markes, The Pouting Prophet, 11/10/2009

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