The more the general society rejects, spurns, and ignores the biblical pulpit, the greater the preachy culture expands.
Starbucks' recent attempt to turn a coffee cup into a communion chalice is an example. The "communion" signified upon the cup was not about humans and God, but about humans "communing" with one another regarding race.
The company, a denomination within the religion of Neo-Progressivism, launched its "Race Together" campaign to get us all set right on human relations. The PR didn't work, and so Starbucks had to dismantle the "Race Together" pulpit. However, that won't halt its preachiness. Jim Olson, a Starbucks executive, said the corporation wanted only to be a "catalyst" for getting us into a conversation about race. Now, rather than the coffee cups summoning us to such a gabfest, sparked by the bright-faced barista-evangelists, Starbucks will carry on its crusade through forums, USA Today features, and plant more mission stations – that is Starbucks stores – in needy neighborhoods (where people can afford pricey coffee).
We should rejoice. Think of what this new dimension of the preachy culture is opening up.
Perhaps Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby could use bags reading, "Let's have a conversation about the Judeo-Christian roots of Western Civilization." Bible-believing bakers, bed-and-breakfast keepers, and florists could include on their product descriptions, "Let's discuss traditional marriage."
Such is not likely. The preachy culture has already declaimed conveyors of messages like that as hate-driven deliverers of hate-screeds. The proprietors and their enterprises would be forced out of polite company and forbidden entry into the public square.
Oh, I forgot: They already are.
But the preachy culture will keep thundering, needling, worming, confronting, engaging, inviting, and cajoling us all into a "dialogue" on its cherished doctrines. And if we don't freely enter in, eyes bright and ears attuned, they will find a way to strip our licenses, shut us down and silence us. Actually they don't want a "conversation" but compliance.
"Don't preach at me!" shriek the guardians of secular culture when someone suggests their belief systems might lead to disaster and their moral theories to disease and death. I don't know about you, but I get preached at by the preachy culture constantly. Take, for example, a physician's waiting room. Though an evangelical, I am convinced there is a Purgatory, and it is the doctor's waiting room where you linger until called in for an appearance before the great judgment-seat of the diagnostician. While in limbo you are forced to watch whatever TV show dominates the tight room.
We are pounded at restaurants, gasoline tanks, and ticket counters by rap music that preaches philosophies many of us find abhorrent. Parents have to hide their children's eyes at supermarket checkout counters where magazines allow the celebrity proclaimers to declare their newly developed profundities about life and behavior, their scant clothing symbolizing the moral emptiness of their messages. Diners at restaurants become captive audiences to guests on Jerry Springer extolling the glories of their personal sexual ecstasies, talk show gurus presenting New Age expositions, and Ellen sermonizing about sexuality.
There is no escaping the preachy culture.
So you can expect to hear more from the corporate and institutional sermonizers of the Religion of Neo-Progressivism. Preachy folk and their messages will remind you what a sinner you are for not embracing the full magisterium of the green movement, or for refusal to "coexist" in a lamblike state with wolfish ideologies destructive of human beings and society (meaning they can preach at you, but you cannot preach to them, or anywhere, for that matter, in the "public square").
Ironically, many who have left the traditional church because they did not want to be "preached at" have become the class that preaches loudest of all. A brief scan of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media proves the point.
The preachy culture proliferates because of something called the "moral law", which C.S. Lewis thought to be among the surest proofs of the existence of God. Moral beliefs (even if they are immoral on someone else's scale) lead to "oughtness" and "oughtness" leads to preaching. Everyone has a vision for how others "ought" to behave and how society "ought" to function. Such interaction use to occur healthily in an environment called "free speech". But after the free speech movement at Berkeley and other 1960s locales, strangely, free speech has diminished, and mostly what we have is political correctness and the preachiness emanating from it.
If there is no appreciation for the true pulpit then everything becomes a pulpit. It's because we have this relentless compulsion for the "ought". Even the atheists are compelled to preach their oughtness.
The more the biblical pulpit backs off its message or is neglected by a society uncomfortable with the message, the more will be the proliferation of other pulpits. Starbucks is a case in point.
I'm just glad this column is never preachy.