Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mouth Piece For God

During a lecture at the Westminster Chapel in London, Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones made this statement: “The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and the most urgent need in the Church, it is the greatest need of the world also.” Steve Lawson in 2003 wrote a book called Famine in the Land, where he stated: “If the doctor’s diagnosis is correct, and this writer believes it is, then a return to preaching – true preaching, biblical preaching – it is the greatest need in this critical hour. If a reformation is to come to the church, it must be preceded by a reformation in the pulpit. As the pulpit goes, so goes the church.” Having recently visited a “Christian bookstore” (which by the way, I call Holy Hardware stores), looking for a book on a “Christian book publishing house” website, and finally, having a member of my Adult Bible Class ask about a particular series they wanted to do in their ladies bible study, it is obvious that exegetical, expositional, and contextual preaching is not being promoted today. We are fostering an environment of consumer oriented “Christian-etts” who have no idea of biblical understanding. Pep-talks, how-tos, do it yourself guides have replaced solid, biblical convicting application of the word of God. It is simply amazing and heart-breaking that in a country where more and more people are claiming to be “Christian,” those same people state that they do not believe the bible to be a divinely written source for life. Not only do they not believe the bible to from God, they do not believe it to be true in many areas. A Gallup survey from 2007 related that: About one-third of the American adult population believes the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally word for word. This percentage is slightly lower than several decades ago. The majority of those Americans who don't believe that the Bible is literally true believe that it is the inspired word of God but that not everything it in should be taken literally. About one in five Americans believe the Bible is an ancient book of "fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man." A Barna survey also from 2007 shared this interesting but tragic fact: "On the one hand we have tens of millions of people who view these narratives as reflections of the reality, the authority and the involvement of God in our lives. On the other hand, a majority of those same people harbor a stubborn indifference toward God and His desire to have intimacy with them”. "It seems that millions of Americans believe the Bible content is true, but are not willing to translate those stories into action. Sadly, for many people, the Bible has become a respected but impersonal religious history lesson that stays removed from their life." J. I. Packer in his book God Has Spoken said this, “The true idea of preaching is that the preacher should become a mouthpiece for his text, opening it up and applying it as a word from God to his hearers, talking only in order that the text itself may speak and be heard”
God, give us more preachers who will accept and operate the true task of their calling by being a mouthpiece for the text so that we can hear from God. We need to address this issue of a famine in the land immediately!

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