Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quotable Quote of the Day

"For there is nothing so boring, stale, flat and unprofitable as holy things retailed in the absence of the Spirit. This is one of the devil's most cunning tricks, to cause the Word of God to be dispensed by lazy, sleepy, moribund creatures, who find preaching the most burdensome part of their work and cannot help showing it. I have heard people praying, preaching and teaching and have been so desolated and my heart has been so opposed to the whole depressing exercise, that I almost wished the things they said were not true so that I could refute them. The whole soul of man, even ungodly man, cries out against the Word of God as a dead thing."

--William Still in "The Work of the Pastor", page 26.

Something about this quote resonates in my soul. There is little that is more tragic than men preaching the great truths of God's Word in a way that sounds like someone reading the stock quotes from the Wall Street Journal. Since these truths are reality, we ought to preach with some fire, some passion, some unction. It's part of Satan's deception that men who preach false doctrine preach with more passion than those who have the truth. It's part of their appearance as "ministers of righteousness" who are nothing more than ministers of darkness (2 Cor. 11:14-15).

It is more than just preaching passionately, but from the springs of living water that one draws from one's own well. I have heard street preaching which is as original as an infomercial and perhaps just as spontaneous. It is very carefully choreographed and rehearsed because it is the same message that has been preached 100 times before. Many times, it is a collection of random one-liners and zingers collected from other street or pulpit preachers forced into a template. To hear this stuff, one would think that Jesus and the Apostles always preached stock sermons and never varied. But in the gospels and Acts we see the exact opposite: nothing but variation depending on the circumstances. The content was always solid exposition of truth, but what truth was used depended on the leading of the Spirit, who in His wisdom, applied the truth to the circumstances.

Spirit empowered preaching comes from the preacher's time in the Word and prayer. The other kind of preaching can be taught to a well trained parrot.

Food for thought. --JS

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ten Commandments for Evangelists

1. Thou shalt not engage in shameless self promotion, as if you deserve the glory that God alone deserves.

2. Thou shalt not make an idol of evangelism. God deserves worship, not His work.

3. Thou shalt not give the enemies of God occasion to blaspheme. Reaping the results of being a jerk for Jesus is not persecution, it is defamation of God's character by your actions.

4. Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy by taking opportunity to rest, worship and serve in the local church. This means your local church, not someone else's.

5. Submit to authority. This includes police officers, local church leadership, and the leadership of evangelism teams that you agree to submit yourself under by joining their outreaches, accepting their hospitality, etc. If you cannot submit, you cannot (and should not) lead.

6. Thou shalt not murder a heckler in your heart. He is not your enemy.

7. Thou shalt not preach against sexual sin while you are looking at internet pornography, having sex before marriage or cheating on your spouse. Yes, it needs to be said. In this case, hypocrite is spelled Y-O-U.

8. Thou shalt not steal time from your family to devote to evangelism. If you care more about the souls of strangers than you do for your family's, you are worse than an infidel.

9. Thou shalt not lie about the size of your crowd, the work of your ministry, the number of conversions, or your time with the Lord.

10. Thou shalt not covet a full time evangelism ministry. If God wants you to have it, He will give it to you without sending you into debt.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Monumental Video

I am blessed to know and call "friend" Marcus Pittman who did the production of this video for Monumental. I have already written a review of this movie, but I like this creative overview by IV His Son.