To be blunt: the ignorant, the shallow, the skeptical, the despairing, the hard-hearted, and the stubborn out there will not receive the seed, will not hear the Word if they look at us and see ignorance, shallowness, skepticism, despair, hard-heartedness, and stubbornness. Nor can they receive the seed, hear the Word if they see us coming at them with disobedience, infidelity, dishonesty, dissent, anger, and quarreling. And why should they? Who in their right mind wants to hear whining dissent or wounded bawling from those who are supposed to be flourishing in rich soil!?Read it all.
I’ll end with this question: assuming that you (that we) are broadcasting the seed, spreading God’s Word, are we also preparing the soil to receive it—are we ourselves noticeably thriving in the rich soil of the Father’s will, producing good fruit for others, and tending His fields with fidelity?
That's only common sense, but how very often it's forgotten! It sometimes seem that Christians can't stop wallowing in their own faults and trading recriminations long enough to reform themselves as they would have the preaching of the Gospel reform others. But the needed joy and strength are unattainable without unity, and the requisite unity is unattainable without common obedience to the ecclesial authority that Christ has put over us. Still another reason why I say that "authority is the issue."