Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Famine in the Land

From William D @

A friend of mine has been searching for a church for quite some time, and he often tells me about his experiences when he visits them. It is becoming rarer to find a church where the Bible is being preached expositionally, or where it is being preached at all. Another believer told my dad something like this: "I usually can only find the Bible really being preached in the smaller churches. If they're big, they have probably compromised something to get there."

When I listen to Christian radio, look on the shelves of the Christian book stores, and watch the lives of the average Christian, it becomes more and more apparent that there is a famine in the land. Not a famine of food, or information, but a famine of Biblical teaching and preaching. This is not only the case in broader evangelicalism, but especially in fundamental churches. Of all places, a fundamental church should be the richest of Biblical, theological feasts. The fundamentalist holds to the supremacy of scripture, believes in the foundational doctrines and practices of the Christian faith. These beliefs should drive the fundamentalist to a deeper study of the Scripture, its original languages, the correct hermeneutical methods, and the most God-exalting form of delivery in the pulpit which draws attention to Christ and not to himself.

But what are we seeing in Fundamentalist preaching?

-The Bible is left on the pulpit while the speaker walks all over the place, speaking from his spontaneous thoughts and all the attention is centered on him.

-A verse or two is read out of its context and then the preacher's imagination runs wild and totally butchers the text.

-Application is immediately delivered without explanation which usually renders the application invalid.

-Illustrations and stories that back up an invalid application take up most of the sermon time.

-Theatrical antics such as screaming, jumping, kicking, running, walking on pews, picking up and dropping random items on the platform, and waving hankies get the crowd more excited than arriving at an exegetical understanding of Bible truth.

This issue of pulpit abuse has become by greatest concern. As the pulpit goes, so go the people. It is a crime to stand before people who think that you are a spokesperson for God and then tell them things that God didn't say in texts where God didn't say it. This should scare you to death if you are in that kind of church.

Jeremiah 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

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