Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick Was A Preacher

Depending on your circle of friends, most would associate St. Patrick’s Day with going to an Irish bar or any bar and drinking several rounds of beer.  There is no doubt that local police and sheriff’s departments will be out on the streets pulling people over left and right for DUIs.  For others, St. Patrick is associated with parades and wearing green.  When you look around, you would think that St. Patrick was all about Irish Pride.

In reality, St. Patrick was a preacher.  While I use the term preacher, a more accurate statement would be an evangelist.   In his day, St. Patrick preached to the people of Ireland and many turned away from their pagan religion and turned towards Jesus Christ.  Not only did St. Patrick preach the gospel in Ireland, but he preached against an environment that was hostile to the gospel.  Dr. Russell D. Moore provides the following thoughts on the legacy of St. Patrick:

Any evangelical seeking to kindle a love for missions among the people of God will benefit from this volume’s [St.Patrick of Ireland:A Biography] demonstration that the Great Commission did not lie dormant between the apostle Paul and William Carey. Patrick’s love and zeal for the Irish may also inspire American evangelicals to repent of our hopelessness for the conversion of, say, the radical Islamic world—which is, after all, no more “hopeless” than the Irish barbarians of Patrick’s era.
See, An Evangelical Looks at St. Patrick.  So next time someone suggests that St. Patrick is associated with heavy drinking, you can tell them that St. Patrick was a preacher committed to the Great Commission.  


Vicky Hunt said...

Nice post. Thanks for the reminder of the Gospel work of St. Patrick.
Vicky Hunt/ Reason2BelieveHim

Rich Bradford said...

Thanks for the comment, Vicky! I will have to remember to tweet this next year. I may rewrite the post for next year because some details were left out, like Patrick's place of birth and why preaching in Ireland was such a difficult challenge.