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Faith Perspectives – September 6, 2017

By Scott T. Sharp, Pastor
First Baptist Church Nashville

In the old comic strip Pogo, one of the characters made this statement: “We have seen the enemy and he is us.”

The same could be said about many churches today. The most harmful opposition to the church today is not what’s happening outside its walls, but rather what’s occurring within them.

Pastors have abdicated their responsibility and their calling to preach the gospel of Christ and the word of God.

How so?

By attempting to paint God as a benevolent, loving grandpa who never gets upset at anyone or about anything and whose only important character attribute is love.

Fearing the possibility of upsetting someone in their congregation, pastors deliberately stay away from certain subjects.

God’s chief character attribute of holiness, along with other attributes like His holy wrath, His righteousness and His justice are topics seldom mentioned.

And the topics of sin, judgment, accountability and hell certainly have no place in the sermons many preach today.

Prominent theologians have labeled the last 50 years the “Decades of the God-Shrinkers.”

Due to the heretical preaching of pastors and their unwillingness to preach the harsh realities of God’s Word, church-going people no longer see God as the omniscient, omnipotent, all-present God of the universe and they no longer consider the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible word of God.

Thus, the God of the universe and the principles of His word have been reduced to just another possible deity one might worship and just another book one might consider if it happened to fit their lifestyle.

Almighty God and the concept of absolute truth no longer carry much weight with many church-going people because God and His word are considered too harsh and too narrow minded.

To the true believer who knows God and trusts the authority of His word, this comes as no surprise because God prophetically declared in His word that pastors would eventually become weak and fail in their calling over 2,000 years ago through the Apostle Paul.

Inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote the following words to Timothy:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 

– 2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV

Pastors have two options: they can preach the truth or they can tickle the ears of their members, but they can’t do both.

Do you know the difference between the two?

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