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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peace on Earth to All Men!

Very few who take to the pulpit in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney could be called Preachers. They are more aptly to be called Teachers. We are not in an age blessed with men who preach with power and unction. However, there are certain principles which ought to apply equally to Preachers and Teachers.

What Maurice Roberts, former Editor of the Banner of Truth journal, had to say on "Acceptable Service" in the July 1989 edition of the journal has as much importance to Teachers in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney today as to Preachers in any age. He said this:

"Preachers, more than all other Christians, are to be concerned with faithfulness in their service. They are stewards of the gospel 'mysteries' [1 Cor. 4:1] and hence they are to remember above all men that 'it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful' [1 Cor. 4:2]. To become a preacher is to become, at least in principle, a martyr. This must be so because the preacher's duty is to say to men what they most need to hear but least wish to hear. Men are intensely sensitive about their religious sins and they deeply resent exposure in those things in which they most flatter themselves that they are acceptable to God.

The preacher's task is to take the lion by the beard and the wolf by his ears. If the preacher is not courageous enough to do so, then he can hardly be said to render acceptable service to Christ, his Master. Shall Christ be faithful unto the death of the cross and yet his servants be too craven to annoy men's sleeping consciences? No preacher should let sleeping dogs lie nor sweep respectable religious sins under the carpet for others to deal with twenty years later. 'Fight the devil where you find him', is the motto of the true prophet.

It must be a sign that reformed preachers are rendering acceptable service when they are resented and resisted by the carnal in their congregation. This is not meant as a defence of ministerial indiscretion but as an encouragement to ministerial faithfulness. A young preacher is apt to blame it all on himself when the principal men and women of a congregation are aroused against him. It may indeed be that he is partly to blame. But the greatest sin might rather be in those who rise up against him because his application of God's word is all too true. Religious sinners, when cut close to the bone, can react with incredible fury and they can spit like fire at the hand which wields the sword in the pulpit.

When truth is applied faithfully, it is deemed by God to be acceptable service and a 'sweet savour of Christ' [2 Cor. 2:15], even when - indeed especially when - it brings unjust wrath upon the head of the preacher.

What a far cry from the 'club' mentality prevailing in Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney. Into the church come the goats with their carnal ideas of the world along with errant Christians clinging to carnal ideas of the world. Each fashion their own view of God. It is these who dictate the direction and order of the church. It is to these that Pastors and Teachers bow at the expense of the truth of the Word of God. There is no discomfort to be brought to their mind, no provocation of their senses. Harmony and ease of relations is the priority. The Word of God must take second place to an agreeable gathering of souls.

In ninety-five percent of the churches of the Diocese a suggestion of having someone speak to the congregation who holds to the Word of God on Origins, who maintains the position of the Reformers and Puritans, who honours the Office of Jesus Christ as Creator, is rejected as a device for division. Forgotten is the biblical principle of the Word being a sword which divides.

Peace on earth in the church is the goal, not the integrity of the Kingdom of God.

These Pastors and Teachers have forgotten what acceptable service to God is for their desire is acceptable service to men, men who submit to the world instead of to God and His revelation of Jesus Christ in Creation.

And so it is that the church continues its march to removing any distinction between itself and the world.

Sam Drucker

1 comment:

Farel said...

"As God can send a nation or people no greater blessing than to give them faithful, sincere, and upright ministers, so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world, is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm, and unskilled guides. And yet, in all ages, we find that there have been many wolves in sheep’s clothing, many that daubed with untempered mortar, that prophesied smoother things than God did allow. As it was formerly, so it is now; there are many that corrupt the Word of God and deal deceitfully with it. It was so in a special manner in the prophet Jeremiah’s time; and he, faithful to his Lord, faithful to that God who employed him, did not fail from time to time to open his mouth against them, and to bear a noble testimony to the honor of that God in whose name he from time to time spake."
George Whitfield
The Method of Grace.
Jeremiah 6:14, "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people
slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace."