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The Persecuted Church


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Pastors who compromise their call

What is the purpose of Church? Is it a religious form of entertainment? Is it a God flavored social gathering? And what is the purpose of the sermon? Is there an urgent message to be given? Or, should pastors only say comforting and “positive” things?

One author suggested that, "The church is certainly not suffering from an overabundance of forthright preachers; rather, it seems glutted with men pleasers” (see: Galatians 1:10). Many churches have substituted entertainment for bold and forthright preaching? Not surprisingly, these same churches have seen an increase in attendance? Does this, however, mean that these churches and preachers have been successful? One author questions their success: “When a sinner wanders into the church and sits through skits, mimes, interpretive dances, and the like, and yet never hears a clear, convicting message about his dangerous and tenuous spiritual situation-- that he is a depraved sinner headed for an eternal fire because he is a daily offense to a holy God, how can that be called successful? You could achieve the same level of success by sending a cancer patient to receive treatment from a group of children playing doctor. A sinner must understand the imminent danger he is in if he is ever to look to the Savior.”

These words are strong and hard to accept. Labels like “narrow minded” and “religious chauvinism” are used to help people escape the possibility that such analysis might be true. Yet such concern has firm grounding in scripture. If scripture is true in its teaching about judgment and hell, there is reason for urgency and forthrightness.

In the eighteenth century, the man who was later called the prince of preachers echoed a similar concern, “I fear there are some who preach with the view of amusing men, and as long as people can be gathered in crowds, and their ears can be tickled, and they can retire pleased with what they have heard, the orator is content, and folds his hands, and goes back self-satisfied.”

“Now observe, brethren, if I, or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give our account at the last great day we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned? Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire and swallows up the soul unsaved? Of what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the judge, and if still, "Depart, ye cursed," shall be his portion?'" (C. H. Spurgeon).

This is the popular church-growth trend today. The strategy focuses on attracting and keeping the un-churched. For what? To entertain them? To get them to attend church meetings regularly? Merely 'churching' the un-churched accomplishes nothing of eternal value.”

Scripture speaks with clarity and directness about sin and salvation; godliness and ungodliness; heaven and hell. You are welcome to reject such teaching or to try to make it a matter of personal interpretation, but one day you will answer to God for offering a revision of His truth. There is a great need today for pastors who refuse to compromise their call to speak the truth in love.

Steve Cornell
Senior pastor
Millersville Bible Church


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