by Robert Earl Houston
March 8, 2015
There is a trend that is brewing in the Body of Christ and specifically in our pulpits that is troublesome. It is this new attempt to be “bold” and “brave” when it’s really no more than a sorry substitute for preaching. It’s the idea of using the pulpit to condemn, “put on blast” or destroy another pastor and his or her teaching.
Many of us who have seen Preachers of Detroit have become disturbed at seeing ministers openly look into a camera and say what other preachers are not doing or not saying and it’s not just reserved for those who have cameras following them. I was aghast to see what has become a popular preacher in the evangelical community film “responses” to several nationally known preachers, denominations and labeling all of them either heretical or to pronounce them, just because of their worship methods, of “going to hell.” This must stop.
I’ve discovered that you don’t even need a pulpit of significant size to make these bombastic charges. All you need is a keyboard, a computer, and an internet line, and you too can become one who can become an ad hoc member of the Sanhedrin Council. Sadly, many of those who demonize ministers, especially those with large or mega congregations, are wallowing in a sea of failure themselves. Their “message” is not popular, their preaching is not potent and it’s disguised with the phrase “people won’t come here me because I preach the truth.” That’s funny. Jesus seems to endorse “truth” as setting people free, and it looks like that kind of freedom would become popular.
In the past I have seen ministers, almost on a kamikaze mission to discredit, dissuade and define other ministers gleefully and cheerfully attack another minister, sadly, WITH other ministers. That kind of behavior would frighten me personally because if you will talk about another minister to me, you’ll talk about me to another minister. Further, some of these ministers are not looking to exercise Matthew 18 and go speak to someone in private to clear up misunderstandings. Instead, they have the Ahab complex – they just want to have bragging rights that they stuck a spear in the side of the “great fish.”
Sometimes the biggest critics are also some who get it wrong themselves. One critic of the modern church, who has publicly gone after preachers and denominations, himself has shrouded the fact that he has espoused doctrines such as “Christ’s sonship as a role he assumed in his incarnation” or “Lordship Salvation” or “Hyper-Calvinism.” Not to mention to suggest that the Charismatic movement be damned and that gifts ceased after the conclusion of the ministry of the Apostles.
I just think that there is more that unites us than that which does divide us. I’m determined to seek, support and find the best in ministries and preachers. I don’t have time to be mentally and spiritually poisoned by the Church Police. The struggle is not against my brothers and sisters in the Lord – it’s against Satan and his imps. But I will not sit by idly and continue to watch those who should know better take pot shots and uplift themselves as the paradigm of biblical understanding when even Paul said “we see things through a glass darkly.”
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