If we want to be popular preachers, there is a very simple formula in Luke 18:9-14. Tell people to be confident in their own righteousness and that they deserve honor above others. Flatter them that they are not like other people, extortioners, adulterers, evildoers or even others who pray with them. Beguile them that they are the best people in the best nation on earth. Let them them believe that their religious deeds and offerings have granted them God’s favor. All this boot-licking flattery will cause them misery in the end, but you want to be popular don’t you? Telling people to ask God for mercy on our many shortcomings will not get you popularity, but you will be doing your job, as long as you realize that you are also in need of our Father in heaven’s forgiveness.