Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 “Thus Saith the Lord”

‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

Good morning Everyone. This is the Day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Lately, I have noticed a trend that, quite frankly, I find at least, a bit unsettling , and at most, quite disturbing. More and more frequently, those whom God has called to proclaim the gospel and who bear the most honorable title of “Reverend” have interjected themselves by virtue of their respected position as well as their renown …and dare I also add the descriptive word “ego”…into hot-button situations, political issues, social debates, and the like. Were I asked to express an opinion on such issues (and rarely am I), I would respond as far as my particular understanding and expertise would allow, but would not hold myself as some sort of an expert on such affairs, for I am not. What I have noticed, however, is the growing tendency of some within the religious community to pass themselves off as authorities on issues that go far astray of the great task of the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind. The proclamation of the Gospel is a high calling indeed, and one the world desperately needs to hear. Those whom God has anointed for that task do well in diligently carrying out that mission. This is not to say that those so called by God should not be socially involved or not opinionated or idle as agents of change, but that they understand their primary call is the preaching of the Gospel as it is delineated in scripture. One of my mentors, the late John Gerstner wrote,

“If preachers insist on competing with psychiatrists as counselors, with physicians as healers, with politicians as statesmen and with philosophers as speculators, then these specialists have every right to tell them how to preach.  If a minister’s message is not based on “Thus saith the Lord,” then as a sermon it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of the specialists in the department with which it deals.”  

Were you to come to me with a car problem, it would be irresponsible of me, and most unfortunate for you, were I to attempt the repair of your vehicle. That is better left to a mechanic. Were you to come to me with a health condition requiring surgery, I would pray for your healing and recommend you seek out a skilled physician rather than take a scalpel in hand and attempt the surgery myself. If I were to stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning and preach my opinion on some topic based on something other than God’s Word, I would be deserving of ridicule. Much worse, it would be a scandal to the Gospel, for scripture warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Pray that the Lord will continue to raise up bold men and women who unhesitatingly stand on the Word, proclaiming it passionately. That is a message worth hearing. Let’s pray!

Holy and Merciful God; Plant your Word deep in our hearts, and may our mouths overflow with Your praise and Your love, for this we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

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