Richard Bargas addressing the 2013 annual meeting of the Evangelical Homiletics Society said, "Nowhere does the Bible command ministers to seek God's unction for empowering the preaching of the Word." He concluded by stating, "When Christ is preached from the pulpit with prayer, passion and precision, there is power."
Let me respond with a thoughtful theological Christian response: that's stupid, idiotic, and downright dangerous. I hope that was dignified enough for my readers. Once again we have a supposed contemporary church expert devalue the work of the Holy Spirit. If you don't understand unction, it is simply the empowerment of the Spirit of God to the preacher in order to supernaturally accomplish what he humanly speaking cannot. Thankfully Mr. Bargas did not eliminate prayer from his prescription for preaching with power. He did, however, totally exclude the Holy Spirit.
I will not defend my assessment of his proclamation as stupid or idiotic except to remind my readers that Jesus Himself was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) and He instructed His disciples to wait for power before beginning their preaching ministry. (Luke 24:9) That power came in Acts 2 with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
I will explain my assessment of his proclamation as dangerous. This way of thinking, and it is growing, is replacing a dependency on the Holy Spirit with passion and precision. Young pastors are entering into pulpits today having been taught that one preaching method is superior to another. They are being influenced by people they respect to eliminate emotion from their preaching and worship services. I for one have to say that there are times when I enter into a time of preaching with very little passion. I have to turn to the Spirit of God just to give me strength to preach. In many of these instances God shows up in the message in ways that results in sinners being saved, bondage being broken and people being delivered. I have entered into preaching on other occassions when I thought that the message was precise and powerful because of its content. I have often left for home on those Sundays asking why the message fell on deaf ears.
If the next generation of preachers is characterized by precise, passionate, yes even prayerful preaching, without the Spirit's empowerment then we will be left with an empty faith that has been replaced with lifeless orthodoxy. We will have beautiful empty buildings. Perhaps Europeans will visit out great cathedrals so that their admission price can pay to maintain our buildings.
Romans 8:10 (NKJV)
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.