Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Desire to Impress

"Brethren, we shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God's grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible.

...We make no mistake here; we shall not watch our congregation to take our cue from it, but we shall keep our eye on the infallible Word, and preach according to its instructions.

Our Master sits on high, and not in the chairs of the scribes and doctors, who regulate the theories of the century. We cannot take our key-note from the wealthier people, nor from the leading officers, nor even from the former minister.

How often have we heard an excuse for heresy made out of the desire to impress "thoughtful young men"! Young men, whether thoughtful or otherwise, are best impressed by the gospel, and it is folly to dream that any preaching which leaves out the truth is suitable to men, either old or young. We shall not quit the Word to please the young men, nor even the young women.

... If any of you wish to preach a gospel that will be pleasing to the times, preach it in the power of the devil, and I have no doubt that he will willingly do his best for you. It is not to such servants of men that I desire to speak just now.

I trust that, if ever any of you should err from the faith, and take up with the new theology, you will be too honest to pray for power from God with which to preach that mischievous delusion if you should do so, you will be guilty of constructive blasphemy.

No, brethren, it is not our object to please men, but our design is far nobler."


--Charles Spurgeon, from "The Preacher's Power, and the Conditions of Obtaining It"

8 Comments:

Blogger Hank said...

This section makes me think of Christ's words to His disciples in Matthew 16 after the religious leaders came to him demanding a sign. Jesus tells Peter after Peter makes his statement of faith that Jesus was the Son of God, "flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." I fear that all too many do not realize that sin is the reason people hurt and there is poverty and starvation. We seem to have a propensity to be willing to trade the Holy for the profane and do so in the name of Humanity. I suspect that is the reason Adam and Eve were willing to trade there birth rite as it were for their version of Esau's bowl of lentil stew. I see the person of Christ and those HE chose to relate His Scripture through and then see contemporary man redefine His law for the sake of a misguided love of humanity. I understand because of my own foolishness their desire to bless their fellow man but can not justify the reinterpretation of scripture as anything less than rebellion. Gertsner said liberalism was only another version of humanism. I believe todays movements are often a mere resurrection of these old ideas that the glory of God resides in man's comfort rather than in God Himself. It is not evil to love one's neighbor but it is foolish to think you can love him at all without pointing him to God through God;s only choice of Savior Jesus. I stand amazed when finite foolish man thinks he can out smart or out think his Creator.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

Dear Hank and Kenny:
Your observations seem quite astute to me. Liberalism and humanism seem to be espoused by some of the same people. I hope Eleazar is doing well at his new job. His study of ECE makes him a computer dude also. Clearly, sin is the reason for much poverty, since the Earth produces more than enough food for 120% of humanity alive today, as per 2006. See you later Kenny and Hank.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

I wanted to make a brief comment and question in regards to this part of Spurgeon's statement. ...We make no mistake here; we shall not watch our congregation to take our cue from it, but we shall keep our eye on the infallible Word, and preach according to its instructions. I do not think this should be either or but both and I ask for your comment. I would hope we would pay attention to the congregation to hear what God is saying to and through them. Not that we can accept their words as truth unless we compare from the Scriptures, but that we know God calls and gifts all of His people to service and the job of the leadership is to equip them for those works He has called them to do. Ephesians 4:11-12, Ephesians 2:10, II Timothy 2:2 and Luke 22:24-27 are just a few of the texts that speak to this issue.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Hank said...

Oh by the way thanks Dan.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

Dear Hank,
Receive this as a personal greeting again, since I consider you my friend. Lets make Scripture primary, and the lives or experiences of fellow Christians secondary. Some believers are more emotional than others, making them more easily deceived. Anecdotes or feelings are not on par with Scripture. Helping the poor and cultural sensitivity are not on par with Scripture. The Absolute Truth must be our rimary pursuit. Everything social, romantic, economic, emotional, developmental, familial, etc. must be secondary. Brother sharpens brother only if the Truth is in the relationship. Simply getting together with 'nice' people every Sunday can never be Absolute Truth. This postmodern generation needs to hear that message, put Truth first.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

Dear Hank,
You are welcome for the compliments. Please greet Eleazer in my name. I know that recital went well also, since Benjamin the Cellist told me about it, even though I did not attend in person.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

I agree truth first. I am convinced by Scripture that each believer in Christ is what he or she is because of the Holy Spirits indwelling. Read Ezekiel 36:25-27. Romans 8:9 is a passage from the NT that corroborates that as well. Therefore the truth is in them If leaders ( see Ephesians 4:11-16) are not in relationship with the rest of the Body' how can they lead or equip them as Scripture commands. I believe there needs to be a working of the Body that verse 16 speaks of. We read of this in I Corinthians 12, 13 & 14 also. Leaders must lead as the Spirit through the Word speaks but all of Christ's people also have that Spirit of truth and if I read these passages correctly He speaks to all His people. They may ignore and grieve His Spirit but the Church is there to sharpen and hold accountable the family.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous dpazos said...

Dear Hank,
We must always put Truth first.
The body image is fine. Leadership also is a valid concept. These concepts of community, cooperation, and leadership are all good in a postmodern age. However, the concept of Truth in an absolute sense has fallen out of favor in recent years. That is why I am stressing it, because that is exactly what the postmodern world does NOT accept. All the socialist or community or involvement bogus they like! So for churches to support that is simply going with the tide. I guarantee you will go against the postmodern tide when you assert absolute truth, to the exclusion of other 'views', which it logically follows must be LIES!
My blunt assertions are sincere, and I emphasize this because I know the contemporary mind, with its likes and dislikes. We recognize which positive traits of the Bible are embraced by the culture, but also which ones are purposely omitted or even hated by the cultural context of one's place and time.

2:28 PM  

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