Saturday, March 17, 2012

Truth-The Responsibility of the Pulpit

Truth, by its very nature, is confrontational.  It is such because it is absolute and concrete.  Therefore it is unassailable, unshakable, unrelenting, immovable, and unchangeable.  Truth is always a force to be reckoned with.  Truth is the most powerful moral force in the world; in fact, truth is what makes morality moral, it is the under girding of all morality.  Truth is discriminating as it reveals all that is not true.  

The inherent power in the Scriptures is that they are true, they don't merely contain truth, but are truth in and of themselves.  Jesus asked the Father to sanctify His disciples in the truth, and then went on to say, "Your word is truth." (John 17).  Psalm 119:160 tells us, "The sum of Your word is truth."  Psalm 12:6 says, "The words of the Lord are pure words; like silver refined in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times."

This is why the Bible is confrontational, it is truth.  It shows us the truth about God, the truth about ourselves, the truth about life, and the truth about eternity.  Because it is confrontational, it is also controversial.  It is why it is attacked, mocked, and derided.  It is why someone like Piers Morgan can keep saying to the Christians he has on his show, "Shouldn't the Bible be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century."

Because of its confrontational nature, because it raises the ire of those to whom it shines the light of truth upon, because when confronted with the truth people will typically fight or flee (John 3:18-21); many who occupy the pulpit will not preach the word in all its fullness, seeking to make it more palatable to those who hear.  Such preaching neuters the word, and promulgates a form of godliness that denies the true power of the gospel. 

Those who occupy the pulpit have a responsibility to preach the whole counsel of God, to preach the word in all of its fullness, to preach so that the sharp edges of truth are not blunted, to preach so that the truth is not veiled, to preach so that the truth of God is brought to bear on the minds and the hearts of those who hear.  This understanding, this sense of responsibility, this allegiance to the truth is the great need in the preaching of our day, and indeed, if you follow church history, the great need in the pulpit in every age.  This never has been nor ever will be a position of great popularity; but to those who love the truth (which are those who are saved, or will be saved- II Thessalonians 2:10), those who preach as such are much beloved; not only by those to whom they preach, but also by the One for whom they preach.

Let those of us who occupy the pulpit pledge our allegiance, our fidelity, to the One who is the truth; and as such preach His truth...unashamedly and unapologetically.

The following is from Tom Ascol, in his blog at www.founders.org.  I will let him have the last word.

"Discriminating, expositional preaching is a great need in our day. We must be willing to show from the text what God says is right and true and then distinguish that from all of the counterfeits that plague the world and church today. Failure to preach and teach like this leads to a mongrel religion that may fly under the banner of Christianity but has missed Christ altogether. It is a frightening prospect. Where there is no discriminating preaching, it has been and remains a tragic reality."
Scriptures taken from the NASB.

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