Monday, April 25, 2011

Bloodless Preaching is Killing Christians

The preaching formula is “thus says the Lord,” not “I’m telling you!”
by Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

People filled with the Holy Spirit should be marked with the true features of witnesses. They neither dither nor dogmatize. They are sure of their aim but are not arrogant. They have the cool assurance of knowing that two plus two equals four with no need to prove it - no polemics. They are passionate but not pushy (with few exceptions). They let the truth speak for itself, not knocking people into submission. They do not wear boxing gloves. The preaching formula is always “thus says the Lord,” not “I’m telling you!” Witnesses just pass on what they had heard and saw. It is not their business to defend it or even to invite questions. It is the Lord’s responsibility to confirm the righteousness of His own Word.
Last night after Church I was in a rich conversation with Jon Byrd. We have both been disturbed by a bloodless preaching style. How much of what you hear in the public pulpit is either feel better about yourself, God wants you rich and well dressed, God needs a king on earth and you just might be him or don't worry your silly little head off about anything regarding the actions of evil on the earth, Antichrists, beasts, wrath, or judgments. Have an optimistic view of the end. It will make you feel soooo much better.

What we DON'T hear is the blood preached any more. The price paid. The propitiation for sin. The pain Jesus endured because of our rebellion.

I too would love to enjoy feel good sermonizing. Then there is Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1:18-3:3a. How much preaching is Pauline today?
Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom, a word from the Apostle Paul to Corinth
1 Corinthians:1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly.

I no longer can listen to much Christian Television or Radio. It grieves me. So much of what I hear is just milk...pap....empty. Jon told me he was listening to a CD by a famous preacher, one both of us have loved for a long time. It got such that his preaching got so far from the truth that Paul tries to explain above that Jon threw the CD out the window.

I understand that. I have yelled at the radio driving in my car because of preaching that is so far from reality to be not only useless, but harmful.

IF we want to see signs and wonders on the earth, we first must preach the cross and Christ Crucified. Bloodless Christianity is also powerless.

I heard the Lord Say:
My people have fixed their eyes on things below and not on things above. They no longer see ME high and lifted up. They are focused on who THEY are and not who I AM. They no longer glory in the cross..they glory in the world. Wherever their hearts are, that is the kingdom of whom they are a citizen.
Paul agrees:
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14


Allen allang777 at resurrection dot com said...

Excellent post, Gene. I would add another need: the born again Christian must be discerning in this last day. Many false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, bearing false doctrines are abroad (Matthew 7:22), making merchandise of the believers. Most modern day self-professed nationally famous and some locally famous teachers, apostles, prophets, etc., do not show the heart of God (Matthew 7:15-20) toward God, the church, or sin. The only test we have is Holy Writ; comparing what is said by the former against the latter. The requirement is for all of us to KNOW and UNDERSTAND the Word of God. Again, you are spot on with your assessment.

ANT said...