Friday, October 4, 2013
How many different preachers do you know? Of how many do you approve?
October is Preacher Appreciation Month here in America. Is your preacher appreciated? Has he been told that he is? A lot of the time, Paul wasn’t – and isn’t to this day.
Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
When I read these verse, I can’t help but think of the Westboro church that I pray would remove Baptist from their name. Their doctrine of hate and disparagement also makes me think of mill stones and a deep ocean as they turn people away from the gospel message of love. Paul saw contention and insincerity, but he also saw Christ preached with love.
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1:15-18 KJV)
That’s why I so strongly advocate measuring any preacher’s words up against what the Bible says. That requires becoming acquainted with the whole Bible, not snippets, quotes, verses or buffet selections that sound good. Remember, Paul advocated and preached:
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)
… not just the stuff people wanted to hear. Sometimes, when today’s sermons give all the counsel of God, people feel offended. Thus some preachers will shy away from controversial matters. Some would never preach on these verses:
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:3-6 KJV)
Christ’s answer went to the root of the question. There is no divorce in God’s original plan with male and female becoming one flesh, joined by God. Mankind altered that plan by their own request:
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. (Matthew 19:7-8 KJV)
Does your preacher give God’s word to the congregation? Milk, or meat? Are the sermons prosperity-focused, secular in nature or explanations of God’s word with where/when/why discussed in detail and applicable to our lives? That is to be appreciated.
We need to tell our pastors how much we do appreciate hearing God’s word from the pulpit. We need to let them know if there’s something we didn’t understand, discuss with them what they’ve given us to digest. Do not think regular attendance will let them know, that could simply be habit. Share with the preacher the good things in life!