Posts Tagged 'expository preaching'

Grooming The Golden Goose

golden egg

Last week, ABC’s “Nightline” program aired a story about yet another parent who is grooming their child for future employment in a particular vocation. The video below depicts yet another soccer/little league mom and dad pushing their kid to fulfill a fantasy that they could not fulfill for themselves. The only difference is that these guardians are pimping their kid to peddle the Gospel:

There’s not much to be said after that display – the footage says enough. While some will accuse the bedeviled “mainstream media” for “blowing this out of proportion”, you can’t deny that these nutty guardians provided the wood for the fire – an innocent child, a child that is clearly adept at mimicking the stage craft he’s seen most of his life.

Sadly, at this age, Terry Durham has no idea about how to soberly preach or teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ – instead, he has an idea of how to put on a religious show. Even sadder, young Terry (who doesn’t want to perform for his handlers for the rest of his life, by the way) will probably be handed off to a high-profile pulpit pimp for further grooming.

Sick indeed… 

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A “Minstrel Free” Zone ***UPDATED***

gospel-coalition1

Chicago was a virtual “pulpit pimp/minstrel free” zone this past week (well, parts of Chicago, anyway) because The Gospel Coalition brought sound biblical teachers to the city! Men like Driscoll, Carter, Anyabwile, Carson, Dever, Piper, and many more descended on the Windy City to present the pure Gospel – devoid of fluff, “kick your neighbor in the gut and say…”, sacrificial conference offerings, and other mess:

The Gospel Coalition – The Gospel for All of Life

We are a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures. We have become deeply concerned about some movements within traditional evangelicalism that seem to be diminishing the church’s life and leading us away from our historic beliefs and practices.

[…] We have committed ourselves to invigorating churches with new hope and compelling joy based on the promises received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. 

The sermons are simply too plentiful to add to my Sermon RSS feed Section (on the right side of this page), so please bookmark this article so that you can return to access the sound preaching recorded at this year’s conference:

The Gospel Coalition – Conference Resources

Also, for those of you who use Twitter (and I am slowing becoming proficient in the art of “tweeting”), you can follow many of these pastors yourself (which is how I found out about the conference in the first place).

***UPDATED*** Thanks to those of you who alerted me of Mark Driscoll’s “preaching style” (i.e. His crudeness). I humbly accept your godly rebuke. Unfortunately I just learned of Driscoll’s afinity for lewd preaching last night (I read MacArthurs article “The Rape of Solomon’s Song). I have tremendous respect for Pastor John, and I will not endorse Driscoll’s preaching as pure gospel. Again, thanks for caring enough to weigh in…

Minstrels In The Pulpit

minstrel

I’ve written previously about the need for serious biblical teaching from pulpits today. For too long, the church has been “entertained” by flashy showmen who have the stage presence of a Broadway performer and the speaking cadence of Muhammad Ali in his prime (you know, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”…).

The bottom line is this: there are too many minstrels in the pulpit today.

Call me a stoic legalist if you wish, but you can hardly distinguish the pulpit of the church from a stage in a nightclub these days. While the sheep are rolling in the aisle laughing at the minstrel’s latest joke (based on a movie he saw last night) or nodding their heads in agreement with the blatant scripture-twisting that goes unchallenged because of the lack of biblical astuteness in the pews, their souls continue to lack the very meat of the Word of God that can sustain them during perilous times.

I know, I know…the sheep are supposed to read the Word BEFORE they get to church, but since they rely SOLELY on the minstrel to “feed them”, they end up starving – and many of them don’t even know it.

I have become an ardent supporter of expository preaching, specifically because expository preaching is different from topical preaching in that it concentrates on a specific text and discusses topics covered therein. Conversely, topical preaching concentrates on a specific topic and references texts covering that (or those) topic(s).

There is nothing wrong with topical preaching, or even narrative storytelling for that matter – even Jesus spoke in parables when encountering those who couldn’t understand the clarity of His Gospel message. My concern, however, is that most minstrels use topical preaching or storytelling to support their flawed eisigesis (generally taking half a verse from various parts of the bible to support their personal philosophy) instead of exegeting the text by succinctly and objectively uncovering what God has already said about a matter.

I can hear the minstrel’s ardent supporters now:

“My pastor is relevant. He preaches on current events so that we can apply the Word in our daily lives”

So a pastor should preach a “relevant” sermon using popular movies as the foundation of his text so you can see the relevance of the Gospel in your everyday life?

“That deep preaching takes too long. Pastor says you don’t have to be deep to get the Word in your heart”

No, your pastor wants to entertain you and then get you out of the “sanctuary” because he has 2 more services he has to “preach”. He doesn’t want to “get too deep” because (in most cases) he can’t. He doesn’t want you to learn the Word so that you can be sustained by God alone, he wants you to get “just enough” so that he can sustain you from week to week. So rather than taking several months to walk through the Book of Job verse by verse, he introduces a new topic every Sunday and Wednesday (supported by 1 or 2 scriptures taken out of context).

“You gotta go to seminary to learn how to get deep like that, and pastor said that ‘seminary ain’t nothing but a cemetary’! Our spiritual daddy was called to ministry by Apostle Jones, and he speaks what God puts in his heart!”

No, your pastor has (yet again) puffed up his own “street credentials” by completely dismissing formal seminary study. While seminary attendance doesn’t make you “more holy”, it does school you in important aspects of study and structure of ministry service. In fact, courses like Homiletics, Hermeneutics, Apologetics, Systematic Theology and others are vital components of any teaching preachers experiences.

Tim Challis beautifully sums up the heart of expository preaching by stating (emphasis added):

Traditionally Protestant churches have focused on expository preaching in which pastors would seek to exposit the Word of God to their congregations. They would often preaching through a book of the Bible verse-by-verse, seeking to illuminate the words of the text to their congregation and then apply the Scripture to their lives. The greatest benefit to expository preaching is that it forces a pastor to open his heart before God and allow Scripture to change him. Every week he must dig deeply into the Bible to see what it truly says in a given passage. When research and exegesis is done properly, it is difficult to present false teachings.

Yeah, it’s hard to lie on God when His Word is clearly laid out for all to see.

Having said all of that, I present these videos to highlight a few sound expository preachers (I know, these videos are not as exciting as those of your local minstrel, but these teachers painstakenly present the core of the Word):

Are you still awake? Have you opened another tab and started cruising another blog while playing the videos above? Alright, alright – since you want to be entertained, here are a few minstrels to keep you awake:

Please note, I am not against reverently expressive worship sessions. I am, however, against empty emotionalism that comes from the pulpit. The lady sitting next to you in church can scream and roll all over the floor while singing Peaches & Herb’s classic hit “Reunited” all she wants – she’s not the elder who is accountable for the flock.

The elder, however must be soberly vigilant to ensure that he presents the mystery of the Gospel as though he will be accountable for the souls of the sheep in his care – because he will! An elder cannot rely on his “showmanship” to teach the word:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (New American Standard Bible)

1And when I came to you, brethren, I (A)did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you (B)the [a]testimony of God.

 2For I determined to know nothing among you except (C)Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

 3I was with you in (D)weakness and in (E)fear and in much trembling,

 4and my message and my preaching were (F)not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of (G)the Spirit and of power,

 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on (H)the power of God. 

The sheep must not rest on the flawed “wisdom” of a preacher – the preacher should simply open up the Word of God and preach it as it is. The minstrels in the pulpit should stop relying on their keen ability to entertain, and start relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you sit under a minstrel who likes to keep serving milk on Sundays and Wednesdays (Hebrews 5:13), then you might need to find a sound bible teacher who is serving the true meat of the Word (Hebrews 5:14).

Related Posts:

  • “Why Aren’t More Blacks Interested In Reformed Theology?”
  • A Perfect Example Of The Need For Expository Preaching
  • Biblical Teaching Vs. Motivational Speaking
  • Hold Fast To The Faithful Word

    Last week, our brothers over at ProclaimHisWord warned us to stay away from the Ministers of Satan. This week, they highlight men who apply sound biblical doctrine in advancing the TRUE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:

    ***The video is no longer able to be embedded, so please visit ProclaimHisWord’s youtube channel and select the “Holy Men Of God” video***

    If you’re unfamiliar with any of the men featured in the video, I highly recommend that you Google them and look into their theological works – especially if you’ve recently escaped the Word of Faith heresy or the bondage of a scripture twisting pulpit pimp.

    Folks like RC Sproul, Albert Mohler, John MacArthur, John Piper, Michael Horton, Paul Washer and others are on the front lines defending AND contending for the faith. As a black man, I’m ashamed to say that I would’ve never heard of these men – or read any of their work – because my pimps were paranoid of exposing us to anyone other than them and their ilk (“you shouldn’t be eating off of other people’s plates when you’re fed the Word by the shepherd here!” they’d say).

    Now, I not only read the works of doctrinally sound men of God, I even bought a John MacArthur New American Standard Study Bible (my new favorite translation).

    Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul explained TRUE Christian leadership to Titus:

    Titus 1:7-9 (New American Standard Bible)

    7For the (A)overseer must be above reproach as (B)God’s steward, not (C)self-willed, not quick-tempered, not (D)addicted to wine, not pugnacious, (E)not fond of sordid gain,

     8but (F)hospitable, (G)loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

     9(H)holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in (I)sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

    If your pastor is unable to hold fast to the faithful Word of God, exhort you with sound biblical doctrine AND refute the enemies of God with His Word alone, then you need to pack your bible and move along.

    The Word of God and the works of the theologically sound men mentioned in the video will help you continue to develop as a mature Christian until you find your next assembly.

    A Perfect Example Of The Need For Expository Preaching

    I don’t post this to call out this “child preacher”, but it further illustrates the point that I continue to make: the Body of Christ is in DIRE NEED of sound expository preaching:

    Christians love to be entertained. We like the “purr” of the Hammond organ, the preachers gravelly voice when he shouts “Y’all don’t hear me!”, and the circus-like atmosphere of people jumping over pews, spinning on their heads, and speaking in “tongues”.

    There have always been “baby evangelists” in the Pentecostal church, but to me, this kid (also known as “Baby TD Jakes”) is a product of the hyper-emotional business model of Church Inc. – the modern day Body of Christ.

    When you explore the tenets of expository preaching, you’ll see how far off base this phenomenon is. As I wrote previously, according to Wikipedia:

    Expository preaching differs from topical preaching in that the former concentrates on a specific text and discusses topics covered therein, whereas the latter concentrates on a specific topic and references texts covering the topic.

    Noted expository preacher John McArthur emphasizes the need for sound biblical teaching even more explicitly:

    Well first, because it is a biblical mandate. It doesn’t fluctuate with culture, with expectations, with times or seasons. Expository preaching is the best way to preach the Bible. If every word of God is pure, if every word of God is true, then every word needs to be dealt with. And expository preaching is only way you actually come to grips with every word in the Scriptures.

    Secondly, expository preaching familiarizes people with the Scripture itself instead of simply giving them a speech, as true and as reflective of biblical teaching as that speech may be. With expository preaching, people become familiar with the Scripture. They can go back to the passages that have been addressed, and they can be reminded by the text itself of what it means. So you give people the Word of God in a way that has long-term impact, because it makes them familiar with Scripture.

    Thirdly, it makes the authority unequivocal, and that authority is the Scripture. That’s very clear no matter how powerful or gifted the preacher might be. In consistent, expository preaching, the people always know what the authority is. It’s not about homiletics. It’s not about personal viewpoints and insights. It’s about relentlessly affirming the true authority of Scripture, which is the most critical thing that anybody can ever learn. It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great sermon?” It isn’t about, “Wasn’t that a great outline? Wasn’t that clever?” It’s always about, “What did the Word of God say?” And that makes it truly authoritative, because the Word is from God. No other preaching paradigm does this.

    What does a child know about the Doctrines of Grace? What does a child know about salvation through the Blood of Christ alone and not in works? What does a child know about regeneration, the Doctrine of the Trinity, or the parallels between the Books of Daniel and Revelation?

    I believe that they don’t know any of those things. But, they’ve watched enough TBN, The Word Network, and their own pastors to know how to wear the funny suit, sing/talk, and “pull it” at the end.

    Folks, this isn’t a teaching opportunity to proclaim liberty through Jesus Christ and discipleship of men – it’s a joke. And the joke is on the Body of Christ – the folks who take this stuff seriously.

    And please save your defense of “Jesus said that we must become like children in order to receive His message, these kids are called by God” – because you show your ignorance lack of biblical knowledge when you misquote Matthew 18:3.

    When you look at Matthew 18:2-4 in context (I know, it’s boring to expand scripture instead of chopping it up into convenient chunks), you’ll see what Jesus really said:

    2And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,

     3and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and (A)become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

     4“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    So, Jesus didn’t say that “only children will enter the Kingdom” or “only baby preachers will enter the Kingdom” – He said we must be like children…or posses faith in Him that hasn’t made us cynical. We must posses child-like, trusting faith in Him.

    So, this is pretty, um, “interesting” to watch – but does this display make the unrepentant sinner stop cold in their tracks to seek the Reedeming Blood of Jesus?

    I don’t think so.

    Oh, and somebody please change this kid’s nickname – I don’t think the world could take another “TD Jakes”…

    Biblical Teaching Vs. Motivational Speaking

    Many of the saints are deceived by charismatic and theatrical preaching because it tickles the ear and satisfies our desire to be entertained.

    I’m of the firm belief that many folks enjoy watching their pastor hoop, sing a bible verse, prance back and forth across the stage, and lay hands on people on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings.

    “My pastor sure can preach” or “Bishop Jones is a bible teacher!”, they’ll say to their friends and coworkers while encouraging them to visit their church.

    In reality, if your pastor relies on theatrics, philosophical illustrations, or the “Holy Spirit” to “fall” during service so that he “can’t even preach because the glory is so heavy” – then he neither teaches OR preaches…he entertains.

    Many people are even deceived by the “easy going” and “welcoming demeanor” or Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. These guys barely ruffle a feather when they preach, but they sure do reel you in by “motivating” you to live your “best life now” or be driven by your “purpose”.

    The tragedy is that the sheep have been entertained & “motivated” for so long (many for most of their lives), that they would consider expository preaching to be “too boring”.

    Here’s an accurate description of expository preaching from Wikipedia:

    Expository preaching differs from topical preaching in that the former concentrates on a specific text and discusses topics covered therein, whereas the latter concentrates on a specific topic and references texts covering the topic.

    In other words, many pastors eisegete the Word of God instead of properly exegeting it.

    The video below does a great job of explaining the basis of sound bible teaching, and how far the pimps have strayed (and stayed) away from it by only quoting a scripture to use it as a basis to preach their personal philosophy:

    Some of the voices you hear in the audio portion of the video are (surprise) Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, and Fred Price.

    Yet another reason to study the Word of God for yourself and avoid wolves, pimps, and hustlers who attempt to misuse His Holy Word to fleece you.

    ***hat tip to Real Christianity for the video***


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