Author Topic: Sound Biblical Preaching  (Read 12686 times)

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Offline Booty

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« Reply #105 on: Wed Mar 27, 2002 - 22:41:18 »
Bob,

How can the church of Christ be anything but a church of forgiveness?  If it is Christ that we follow, then we are by definition a church of forgiveness.

There is no group that is without problems, nor were we ever promised there would be. And the grand commission we received was rather inclusive, we are to go to all nations baptizing in His name. Somehow I do not see where that means we only go where no problems or problem people exist.

I believe a church of Christ should have a mission statement which reads:

 "We have some people here, perhaps all of the people here, with some serious problems, but God is gracious and we are committed to letting him work on all  of us. If you require a perfect church, please continue your search elsewhere, and if you do find it, please do not become a member, as you will ruin the whole thing."

Dios te bendiga

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« Reply #105 on: Wed Mar 27, 2002 - 22:41:18 »

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #106 on: Tue Apr 02, 2002 - 23:24:13 »
I just picked up a used book at a book fair. The Meaning of Saints by Lawrence Cunningham. He explains how we continue the dehuminzation of martyers by sainting them. This elevation of the human capacity for uncommon self-sacrifice prevents us from recognising the holiness of those mundane martyers in our daily lives. I think Kathleen Norris continues this thinking in her writings ... and also Alfred Noyes in The Unknown God.

Offline Skip

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« Reply #107 on: Wed Feb 13, 2002 - 21:35:38 »
All,

This topic may reveal a deep problem within the CofC. I confine myself to the CofC because that is my current 'frame of reference'.

I say, "may", because the problem is alleged, and I have no good way of checking it out.

The problem is a lack of Bible knowledge within the CofC as compared to the NT church and as compared to the CofC of times past. Many preachers who have been active in the church for several decades claim that there has been a significant decline in Bible study and Bible knowledge over the last few decades. As I have said, whether this is true or not is probably beyond our ability to measure. However, based on the availability of recreation and entertainment in the USA, I strongly suspect that Bible study time has badly suffered here.

Is this statement true?
"Few Christians spend very much time in serious Bible study, Bible reading, and Bible memorization."
I hope not, but how many of you readers can claim, say, 10 hours a week of time in the Word (outside of church services)?

How much study time is enough?

Some have made observations about preaching in posts above. Take on a Biblical perspective - the mindset of a Berean (Acts 17:11). Take notes during sermons. Study the passage or the topic through for yourself. I think that you will find that even the best speaker can just barely scratch the surface in 30 minutes or an hour.

Read and study the Bible for yourself, too, because if you just listen to sermons and classes and read articles or books on the 'net or in print, you've put a filter between yourself and the Bible. The writer chooses the topic and presents the ideas from their own viewpoint, choosing the topics and verses that are considered. A preacher or writer probably does not intend bias, but which person is truly impartial?

Continuing in study of the Word,
Larry Skipper

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« Reply #107 on: Wed Feb 13, 2002 - 21:35:38 »

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« Reply #108 on: Fri Feb 15, 2002 - 05:46:36 »
Several things.  1) all Christian religious studies have indicated that college age people know progressively less each year.  The "average" is now around the secular humanist level.  
2)  there are "facts" and then there is "meaning" and then there is "application".   We used to have differences mostly over application.  Now it is even over "facts".  (such as 14 clean animals, 2 unclean on the ark, and that was bigger than a tug boat.)  
3)  Topical studies along with book studies are a good combination.  1Cor. 15 is a topical study about the resurrection of the dead for example.  Why?  Because people didn't believe in it and Paul showed them "all" about it.
4)  Out of context, or misuse of scripture is not only bad and dangerous, (ie, David Koresh) but if someone reads it for themselves, you and all you believe will be discredited.  I have even heard and read "famous name" preachers that often and continuously pulled verses out of context... both liberal and conservative.
5)  Read 1 John about the 23 things we CAN KNOW.
6)  I have written the editor for several answers about his statements of the purpose of the magazine and he has said to post them here.
7) What is the difference in an "open progressive Christian" and a New Testament Christian?
8) What doctrinal issues did the apostles not agree on?  The ones you cited actually prove that they DID agree... the other was over personnel on a mission tour, not doctrine or even method.  Why do you equate this with "not having the right answers" and "theories" etc.?
9) The other 6 or 7 questions are similar.

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« Reply #108 on: Fri Feb 15, 2002 - 05:46:36 »

Offline seekr

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« Reply #109 on: Wed Feb 20, 2002 - 20:11:28 »
I think to have discussions with others and to meet them where they are, and not starting off necessarily with a list, is what reaches people most. To go empty and allow the Spirit to lead, and yet having something relevant to teach, is maybe what it should always be. I think that the early church mostly met in homes and everyone shared what the Spirit led them to share--it wasn't about just one man leading but brothers communicating in relationship and meeting each others' needs. If the discussions lead away from the original passages then maybe that is what is best. I believe preaching is not about things we've heard and passed down for years, but what the Spirit reveals to us as we lean on Jesus. It took God opening my eyes to realise how much we just "think" we know what scripture is saying and question each other--when in relationship to Him, he reveals what it is saying. If we don't know (and we won't have all the answers, we're not supposed to) then we just wait on God's timing or hear what the Spirit reveals to someone else. "Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said."1Cor.14:29. I KNOW my "opinions" on things--but I need to find out Gods'.

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« Reply #109 on: Wed Feb 20, 2002 - 20:11:28 »



Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #110 on: Wed Mar 06, 2002 - 04:25:55 »
The discussion has been useful for me, and I appreciate the input from differing angles. One of the problems I have with a certain type of topical preaching is where generic statements are made that are then backed up by citing or quoting numerous scriptures. I know, for certain persons, this is biblical preaching to its core. Still, if you think about it, say the preacher says, "Be baptized!" And then says, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:4, Col. 2:12, Gal. 3 etc. etc. Then it all sounds wonderfully scriptural but such preaching actually empties each verse of its context. For example, if I just quote Acts 2:38-39 to support the generic point then I leave out the gift of the Holy Spirit. If I just quote Col 2:12 to support the generic point "be baptized" then I leave out the incredible idea of God's power operating in the faith encounter of baptism, and so it goes. Preaching from the text with respect to the context leaves the entire thought intact. Thoughtless topical preaching leaves us with a grab bag of generic propositions, since little attention is paid to the particular treasures in each passage. They are being used as mere footnotes to the point. If the topical preacher can avoid this pitfall some great work can be done with this type of sermon. Over the years some real atrocities have been done to texts by this approach. How many times have you heard the preacher say; "We must work out our own salvation! Phil. 2:12" ? Even a casual glance at Phil 2 reveals that vss. 12 and 13 are two parts of one sentence, and that the second half radically modifies the interpretation reached if only 2:12 is quoted. "...for it is God who is at work in you both to will and accomplish..."  If this type of topical preaching were avoided, some good insights could be provided.
As to topical being harder than textual, I disagree. Working through a text with all the attention that must be paid to language, the meaning of the pericope, and all the accompanying thought forms found in the epistle or gospel requires much more discipline than settling on some topic and finding texts to support it. That is my experience anyway.

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« Reply #110 on: Wed Mar 06, 2002 - 04:25:55 »

Offline Nicholas

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« Reply #111 on: Sat Mar 09, 2002 - 03:39:42 »
Greetings everyone,

One of my major reasons for advocating book by book preaching is that this method may galvinized the bench warmers to READ the Word.  We would not walk into the sancturary wondering which text will be used today.  Uninvolved, Uninformed, Unconcerned waiting patiently for the next dose of Gospel from the pulpit weakens the believer.  Knowing the text up front can change the entire viewpoint of the audience.  Feedback please.  Maybe I'm wrong about this?

Nicholas......saved by grace

Offline Barry

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« Reply #112 on: Sat Mar 09, 2002 - 21:23:31 »
As I read the last few posts in this thread, I am praising the Lord I am not the pastor of your congregations. What encouraging folks you are. Instead of lifting up your pastor, who if like most, is probably putting in 60-80 hours per week in service to you for little pay, you choose to negate God's ministry through him/her by calling their sermons 'banal' and calling them a 'postulator'.

If I might make a suggestion? Quit treating your preacher like a dog, and start showing him/her some appreciation. Both his/her messages will improve, and your attitude probably will too.

I've been on both sides of the pulpit, as a congregant, and as a preacher, and I can tell you, it is people with this kind of attitude that detroy ministries.

In Christ,
Barry

Offline mike

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« Reply #113 on: Sun Mar 10, 2002 - 03:47:30 »
Patricia,

I also appreciate great teaching and recognize that it is both a gift and a lot of work. I do think that one advantage of a local pulpit minister is that he or she can spend time in prayer for the message, seeking to know what God intends for them to deliver to the congregation. Local ministers can do this better than traveling ministers, IMO. However, I enjoy hearing great speakers and teachers at lectureships. I wonder if some hybrid system might work? Maybe even a simulcast message by a renowned teacher every few weeks, with follow up class discussions, and local ministers to preach on other weeks. I don't know if this would be accepted by many people, but it is an intriguing idea to me.

Mike
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« Reply #113 on: Sun Mar 10, 2002 - 03:47:30 »

Offline Booty

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« Reply #114 on: Mon Mar 11, 2002 - 19:26:27 »
All too often the congregation forgets that the responsibility for a healthy church resides with them every bit as much as it does with the pulpit. We all hear complaints over the quality of the leadership, the quality of the sermons, the quality of the programs.

Yet who holds the ultimate responsibility for the quality of the congregation, but the congregation?  We are responsible for the "System" that exists. Each time we sit on our hands with our lips sealed as injustices occur before our very eyes we are lending sanction to Satan. Each and every time we accept legalistic contortions of the love presented to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, we deem these distortions acceptable and negate the very existence of our Lord.

In Luke our Lord responded to James and John when they asked if they should call down fire as did Elija,   "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy lives, but to save them."  Yet all too often, congregations of today sit by as figurative fire is called down from the Heavens on those who do not meekly comply with the leadership of their congregation. Yes they sit by with their only thought being relief at having escaped sanction themselves, THIS TIME.

How many times do we stand up in defense of our brothers and sisters when they face the wrath of those with whom they do not comply? And how many of us feel deep and sincere shame when we hear a preacher who has been removed from the pulpit for not denying the Lord to follow men.

All well and good to complain of the church, that is until we realize that we are the church!! If the church is bad, then what are we?

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #115 on: Tue Mar 12, 2002 - 04:42:07 »
n.b. I meant to add; "God does not command success; he commands faithfulness."

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #116 on: Wed Mar 13, 2002 - 19:13:35 »
oops! Sorry!

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #117 on: Mon Mar 11, 2002 - 01:26:23 »
Booty,

Please listen.

I am not bitter toward the profession of preaching.

I have not condemned "a whole group." Therefore there is no need for me to forgive a whole group.

I have never thought that preachers are more sinful than other sinners. But neither do I believe they are more vulnerable.

I do not hold preachers up as having salvific power... or any kind of power. They are not superior or inferior to anyone else in the body. I do not pray for the preacher more or less than any other Christian unless he has made a specific request.

I do not support a man as a preacher just because he wants to preach.

Pointing out flaws in the modern American profession of preching is not a sin.

I hope I have not offended.

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #118 on: Thu Mar 14, 2002 - 18:48:05 »
Bill,

I see this discussion as productive. It has helped me to see that I am not alone in my observations of what Bob calls "militarisitc" and "commercial" models of the modern American church. There are a few books circulating out there about this problem. One book (which I own and have read) is "Thin Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think And What To Do About It" by Os Guinnes (sp?) the other which I have not read, but intend to is "Love The Lord Your God With All Your Mind" (maybe someone can help me here, I have lost the author's name). These books are important reading for Christians.

Bill, I was raised in missionary churches in Italy. I have so much respect for the church of my childhood, but things have not been the same since I returned to the states. I guess commercialism, the invasion of American style politics in the church and an unhealthy interest in "models of success" (if it works for someone else, we try it) are all ingredients to the overall problem, which are so deeply imbedded in our culture, that it is difficult to see these deeper issues as problems.

Of course I talk to my church leaders about this stuff (many of them are my very best friends) ... and they stare at me with blank eyes and tell me that if I would just go to more Bible classes and church meetings the problem would work itself out. I ask how this could possibly be since the Bible classes are non-participatory (they are only a more didactic sermon) and I am not able to attend church in the evenings because of my work... and even so how would my attending church give me more influence than I have now? I am a woman and my influence is of very limited value in these deeper issues of leadership. In my church past, I have attended all of the classes, taught children's classes, organised women's retreats, worked professionally in the church for seventeen years and still I did not have the ear of the church leaders anymore than I do today! The fact is, there is nothing I can do or say to help the church leaders to see a problem. They are on the treadmill, and their own momentum is working against them.

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #119 on: Sun Mar 17, 2002 - 04:49:37 »
This exchange has brought me much profit spiritually. A few years ago we had a pedophile in our congregation. He led singing and acted about as spiritual as anyone I knew. My wife constantly said; "There is some terrible secret he is keeping."  I would ask her, "Do you have any evidence?" She apparently had some gift of discerning spirits, at least I do not know how else to explain the fact that in short order he was discovered in the very act of abusing a child. He spent several years in prison and is now out, acting out the same evil desires. We understand Jesus died for him as much as anyone else. He constantly tried to take advantage of this truth by manipulating others to "forgive" him so that he could have another opportunity to abuse their children. What are we to understand about Jesus' statement to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves?" I see no obligation in my Christianity to be manipulated and used by abusive persons. I can offer someone a choice, but I cannot make it for them.

Offline mike

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« Reply #120 on: Tue Mar 19, 2002 - 06:52:51 »
Patricia,

You may be right. In fact, you probably are right. Certainly, it would be terribly wrong to allow someone to be in a leadership position when they have demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy and abusive. It makes it easier for the offender to sin further, and exposes others to abuse. Although it may sound harsh, it is simply not profitable.

My only hesitation to go along with you completely is that I haven't thought through every possibility where something like this might present itself. Thus, I hate to take a stand and say there could never be an exception. But, I do agree that these exceptions would (if they exist at all) be rare, and that the mantle of leadership could not be acquired (or reacquired) except after a long passage of time. For example, what would you do with someone who was guilty of rape or child abuse or criminal assault, and then years later became a Christian and led a transformed life?

We do have freedom of will regarding our actions, but don't have freedom regarding the consequences of those actions. So a forgiven sinner frequently still has an earthly price to pay for a particular sin. This is not a point on which we disagree. Nonetheless, although probably a naive hope, it just bothers me that the church has to deal with these people so similarly to the way the world deals with them. I don't have a solution to offer. As I ponder this, I may post further on the topic. I just hate to see the church placed in a position where the leaders have to notify the congregation about the sins of other members, and warn them to be wary. What kind of fellowship is that? Maybe I'm just being impractical. I do place a huge value on protecting the weak, I'm just hoping that there is a more Christlike solution out there. Any ideas?

Mike
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Offline Booty

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« Reply #121 on: Wed Mar 27, 2002 - 00:00:15 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (patriciaredstone @ Mar. 16 2002,2:39)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--][!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]The very thought of child abuse makes my skin crawl. Down here abusers do not survive prison. Machisimo demands their extermination.

But now I have a question, Patricia you obviously are in prayer for the abused children and I join you. Will you join me in prayer for the abusers? Will you go visit the ones in prison and witness to them of our Lord's love and forgiveness? They and their fellow abuser were in the congregation, they are your brothers in the faith. Do they not deserve our prayers just as any other lost sheep?

Or do they simply serve as examples so your horror story might be more horrible than mine? The Lord loves you Patricia and so do I, relax in His perfect love and learn to love others including your enemies and difficult as it is, child abusers as well.

Dios te bendiga,
Booty[/quote]
Booty,

Your concern for the children and the child molesters is a wonderful response, born out of the Christian's unique work and passion for reconcilliation and redemption.

Your response also seems to weigh of suspicion that I might be exploiting my experience for attention. This response, I believe, is a complicated misapplication of the Christlike need for reconcilliation and redemption. This was the same logic which was used by those who forgave, embraced and welcomed the molestor back into fellowship and chastised me for "bringing up the past."

Churches are entering a new era. Things that were swept under the carpet will be brought into the light. This dirty work will be done by the world if it is not done by the church. I think this new era will be the era of listening. Good leaders will not hush up things just because they are unpleasant. Skill in discernment is most important these days. Leadership and Christianity Today Magazines reveal that sexual addiction among preachers is an increasing problem. I think it is interesting that two sexually addicted ministers I have known were exceptionally hard on women in their sermons. Accusing the women of the church with being obcessed with appearance ... dressing suggestively ... being a negative influence on our husband's spirituality through our worldliness ... It made so much sense when both of these men were discovered.

No. I do not visit the molestors. Neither do I intend to visit them. I will leave that work to the men. I do visit girls in juvinile dentention though.[/quote]
Patricia,

Sorry I have been off line for way too long. We had a virus that wiped out both harddrives on the laptops and the dinasaur of a desktop had a modem that the ISP would not accept, too slow.

Interesting way of putting it that my post "weighs of suspicion". It does of course and I am.

I will repeat my question to you, realizing that you do not choose to visit the molesters in prison, Will you join me in praying for them?

Patricia, the Lord never promised us it would be easy, in fact He promised us quite the opposite. But He did instruct us to love our enemies. And by His example He showed us how.

We must learn to forgive if we are to be forgiven. We also must learn that when repentance is sincere, He forgives ALL. All, Patricia, includes child molestation. Honestly I do not understand how He can forgive such a despicable act, but then I cannot understand how He saw fit to forgive me.
No, we do not close our eyes to ongoing sin in our congregations. But we also do not focus in it to the point of losing sight of His perfect love for us.

Dios te bendiga,
 Booty

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #122 on: Wed Mar 27, 2002 - 22:11:08 »
It is interesting to see how our thought has evolved from sound biblical preaching to the place in the discussion we now occupy. Now, please don't think I am some person obsessed with "staying on the subject." Actually, I think we are staying on the subject because sound biblical doctrine covers all our behaviors and attitudes in respect to God and our fellow humans. Now, having said this, I am fascinated with the idea of a church that takes forgiveness seriously and yet is prudent about not enabling predators to continue to prey on potential victims. A child molester in a youth program would no doubt find the temptations overwhelming. But, and here is the rub, I have found most church members, of course there are exceptions, want to be in a church that doesn't have many problems or any problem people. At least, if they do, don't talk about it! Which is probably why no one really wants to talk about deviant members. This drives people away, and also sets leadership up for legal hassles. So, most leaderships  I have been around just hope the offender goes somewhere else. And when they do, seldom, if ever, is the new congregation warned. This of course results in even more suffering and pain as the new congregation finds out the hard way about their new member.
If ever there was an area where leadership needs to be in prayer and serious ministry, it is this area. How do we get there? What would a church look like that would have a mission statement that included this idea: "We have some people here, perhaps all of the people here, with some serious problems, but God is gracious and we are committed to letting him work on all  of us. If you require a perfect church, please continue your search elsewhere, and if you do find it, please do not become a member, as you will ruin the whole thing."?

Offline Booty

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« Reply #123 on: Tue Apr 02, 2002 - 23:44:19 »
Bob,

If I ever started weeping, I am not sure how I could ever stop. And I do know that weep is exactly what Satan would have me be doing. The lesson is in the book of Job.  

But how can I weep when each morning I awaken to a world of opportunity the Lord has presented to me? How can I weep when each night I go to sleep under His stars to dream of the day when  I will be called to His side.

Bob, sorry but I do not agree with you. I believe part of our problem and part of Satans victory is the time we spend weeping. The Lord never promised us a heaven here on earth, But He did promise us an eternity in Heaven with Him.

We all receive our blows in His name. We all have our horror stories. But why dwell in the horror when His love abounds in our lives? Accept the blows with the glory of having received them in His name and move on! There is too much to be done to spend time in misery.

Bob, in my veins is the blood of misery. In the U.S. you merely disfellowship each other for differences in faith, in Ireland it is taken quite a bit further. Read the tragic history of Patrick and his disciples, there is a story of misery and horror. First rejected by Rome and later scourged by england. To this very day people of faith are killing each other because their beliefs, their interpretations, their doctrines differ.

Should I fill these pages with those stories of horror?

No brother, no. Joy in the Lord, joy in His love and grace.

And may the blessings of the Lord fill your hearth with the sheer joy of life.

Brojees

Offline jmfair60

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« Reply #124 on: Thu Feb 14, 2002 - 14:51:33 »
while a student at Sunset School of Preaching in the early 90's I had a wonderful instructor named Abe Lincoln (no kidding, that was his name).  Although we disagreed on many areas of theology, he once said something I remember till this day...He said a preach should preach a topical sermon once a year, and should immediately repent for preaching it...LOL.
I agree that Biblical preaching is exegetical in nature...most of the time.  How's that for equivocation?  I am not so sure about the premise that the Scripture says exactly the same thing now as it did then...Scripture after all is real and living.  Need to examine that one closer.

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« Reply #125 on: Wed Mar 06, 2002 - 16:59:21 »
Bob,
I would not disagree that much topical preaching is substandard, but it doesn't have to be that way at all. My point that topical preaching is harder stands true, only if the proper research for the topical sermon is done first. For example, not only does the good topical preacher/teacher need to know the context/background/etc... of one block of Scripture, but of every Scripture he quotes. If one just does the typical "Concordance" sermon, then I would agree with you.

I still think it is a misnomer to call Expository preaching "Biblical Preaching", though. There is not one example of such in the Bible, so why should we call it Biblical?

In Christ,
Barry

Offline seekr

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« Reply #126 on: Sat Mar 09, 2002 - 23:03:52 »
Barry

Do you understand the concept of pastor? You talk of sevice--maybe i'm just a little naive, but I hear about service and see performance. In Ezekiel 34 it talks about the "shepherds who feed only themselves" and maybe you are not that way, but this is what is prevalent in most of the "churches" I've been to. So now my shepherd is the Lord and pastoring has taken on a whole new significance. It is fine to "talk" about the Lord, another to live for Him. Do you need examples of what I've seen done in the name of Jesus by so-called pastors? Is this just a few bad experiences and now I'm bitter? None of this was a personal slam against anyone--but a rebuke for those who equate traditions passed down with relationship. My point is that the "church" has lost its focus and is bound up in the red tape of religiosity. There are pastors out there called by God, and some started out right with a heart for God, but the system is made to induce (seduce) pride by making the assembly focus on one man's perspective. Would I treat anyone like a dog by speaking the truth of what is happening in our society today? We are all just brothers with Jesus as the head of the church. Most pastors today are businessmen looking to appease the faithful tither. I did not create the system and neither did our Lord. Sorry if this offends but I know many people have seen the same and left discouraged. And I do pray for those caught up in it and blinded by a subtle enemy.

seekr

Offline Booty

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« Reply #127 on: Sun Mar 10, 2002 - 22:27:31 »
Do we condemn the group because a few are weak? For that matter, who are we any one of us to condemn anyone? Who here is qualified to launch the first stone, certainly not I!

I am sorry to hear of the disappointments you have received from those who fill the pulpit. I pray I may never disappoint one of my parishioners in a like manner. But I opray even more that not a single one of my parishioners looks to me for their faith and salvation. I pray they look only to our Lords, Jesus Christ.

Yes the temptations of the pulpit are strong, very strong. I never would have imagined just how strong they can be. And many fail, the devil is constantly at work and what greater target than a man teaching the word. But the noly way to counter him of darkness is with faith, prayer and love.  Love of our Lord and love for one another.

I know my congregation prays for me on a daily basis, I feel their prayers at work in my daily life in so many ways.

And I hope you feel my prayers for you in the pain and bitterness you are expressing towards the pulpit.

FORGIVE US?

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #128 on: Wed Mar 13, 2002 - 02:01:43 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (nerdneh @ Mar. 12 2002,1:44)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Nicholas, what I meant by a cheerleader message is that one of our leaders was heavily influenced by a commercial model of church leadership in which the bottom line was the most important consideration. He expected sermons to be pep talks exhorting people to go out and make more "sales." (not real sales of course, but the sort of approach one would use if one were selling a product.) He was supported in this by another leader with a deep commitment to another model of leadership which I will style as "military." The sermons desired were similar to the ones mentioned above, except there was to be a commitment to the system rather than to Christ. This meant textual sermons were not valued as they were viewed as demanding too much from the congregation which apparently needed heavy-handed fussing and lots of "oughts, musts and shoulds." I hope this gives you some insight into what I meant.[/quote]
This sounds like my church. Some days at church I feel like I've walked into an Amway meeting. The "should's", oughts and musts" abound! All of this is to serve the institution and not the individual.

Everything is a marketing strategy. We give ourselves a party for giving the most money to a benevolence project! People are labeled at birth, compartmentalised and herded in our own exclusive demographic right to the grave, "New Borns" "Toddlers" "Pre-Kindergartners" "Kindergartners" "Grade Schoolers" "Pre-teens" "Teens" "Singles" "Young Marrieds"  "30 Something's" "40 Somethings" "Single Parents" "Widows" "Leadership" "Ministers" "Golden Years Group"

I know these projects and programs and strategies were born with good intentions but the message seems to be, "stay in your place" "don't cross the lines." I have been an evangelist for forty years but the new Evangelism Minister will not allow anyone to teach one of the church contacts without first taking his  Evangelism Training Seminar! so we can "properly" teach these contacts "how to obey the gospel."

Offline Booty

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« Reply #129 on: Thu Mar 14, 2002 - 13:26:32 »
Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to have noticed a trend here that disturbs me. I have found myself sitting here at my screen joining in a very negative chorus. Forgive me Lord, my flesh is weak and I am a sinner.

Reviewing this topic and a few others I notice what appears to be a proclivity to criticize and complain of our individual congregations. Summarizing the review I did I see an overwhelming negative balance.

I believe we are taught when we have something in contrary with our brother we are to go to him with our problem first. So my question would be, "Those that our criticising their individual congregations, have you presented your constructive criticism to your brothers first before coming here to share these critiques?"

Once again, the responsibility for a sound and healthy congregation lies within the congregation. In loving your neighbor as yourself you are charged with resolving issues amongst yourselves. Our Lord Jesus clearly expressed a desire for unity amongst us and clearly laid out a plan where we first approach our offending brother or sister.  Like all else He taught us, He did this in love and wisdom.

Forgive me if I have offended anyone here, that is not my intent.

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #130 on: Sat Mar 16, 2002 - 03:42:15 »
I agree that individuals should move on. The three individuals I mentioned did move on and, as far as I know, are doing quite well. But I think it is wrong for the institutution to move on. If church leaderships do not stop everything once and a while and evaluate their efforts, they will pay the consequences later on. I'm sure the catholic church regrets that they moved on and gave a fresh start, and put discreetly behind them the actions of those preists who continued to molest the children of the church under the the protection of institutional denial.

Forgive the horror story but it happend in my town too. There were three child molestors in my church at one time! No one would believe us. We could not believe the denial. The leaders of the church accused us of being unforgiving. So we finally left and the man molested two children of the church and was ultimately convicted. The other pedifile is in prison at this time for molestiing a child outside the church and the other moved away with his family and as far as I know is still at large. At this same church the preacher was sleeping with several of the  women at the church.

Horror stories are sometimes a way to put the past in front of us so that we will not make the same mistakes others have made. Let us use them well.

Offline patriciaredstone

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« Reply #131 on: Wed Apr 03, 2002 - 01:23:37 »
Booty << Bob, sorry but I do not agree with you. I believe part of our problem and part of Satans victory is the time we spend weeping. >>>

Booty, I'm not sure if I am correct, but it appears to me that you are saying that weeping is evil or sinful or at least contrary to God. I do not agree with this (if that is what you were saying) and I think the Bible is clear that God weeps and laments and grieves over sin. Do you think his people should not weep with Him?

Booty << The Lord never promised us a heaven here on earth, But He did promise us an eternity in Heaven with Him.
We all receive our blows in His name. We all have our horror stories. But why dwell in the horror when His love abounds in our lives? >>

I agree that God's love abounds, Booty. But "there is no light without some darkness in it, there is no joy without some pain" St John of the Cross. We cannot avoid or even really acknowledge one without the other. This is the paradox of the Christian life that we have been trying to discuss.

Booty << Accept the blows with the glory of having received them in His name and move on! >>

Perhaps it is a philosophical difference, Booty, but I respectfully dissagree that I should "accept" blows. I do not believe that Jesus taught us that we should be passive to abuse. His surrender to punishment, abuse and the mortification of the Body was to redeem us from ourselves. To help us to see our own ugliness and sin. Through Christ our eyes are opened to the ugliness of the human condition and our response to that new sight should not be to close our eyes. It should be action, action that heals.

Booty << There is too much to be done to spend time in misery. >>

Booty, do you think I am miserable? or in "misery"? If so, what have I said to give you this impression? Most of my friends think of me as a pretty jolly kind of person
 :D -- a little deep maybe -- but jolly  :p

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« Reply #132 on: Thu Feb 14, 2002 - 20:17:34 »
Skip--do you believe there is a general decline in people's willingness to read and study the Bible on their own (sorry for the awkward phrasing)?  I definitely see this where I am, but wasn't sure this was widespread.  I've just seen it as another symptom of this congregation's apathy.

I can understand if this is a widespread problem. Over the last decade plus our culture seems to have become more and more shallow.  There is too much out there; there are too many distractions.  Serious study would take too much of a commitment.

And where I am, sometimes I think even forming an opinion would take too much of an effort.  Sorry to be so negative.

Offline peck

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« Reply #133 on: Wed Mar 06, 2002 - 05:50:13 »
Brother Bob,
I know you are a man of much wisdom.A preacher and teacher.

 Do you think we need to examine Acts 2 with a little more open mindedness than in the past.

 It seems reasonable to me that the message of the gospel in verses 14-36 was the message intended to begin the church of Jesus.Peter included all the pure thoughts of the death,burial and resurrection.After Peter declared Jesus to be Lord,the sermon ended.Some say he was interrupted.

Then a response was heard.Someone wanted to know how to respond.

Would you say that the gospel was preached in verses 14-36 and obedience was preached after some responded?

Would you say that 2 subjects were included in Acts 2.One being the gospel and one being obedience.

Personally,I can't see repentance and baptism being a part of the gospel.I see it as being the response to the gospel.

It seems that the gospel is pure when it contains only the D,B,R.Also Eph2:8 reflecks that.

I wonder what your thoughts are.

God bless,Charles

Offline Barry

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« Reply #134 on: Sat Mar 09, 2002 - 23:50:33 »
Hi Seekr,
I realize that there are bad pastors out there, but such sweeping statements like "Most pastors today are businessmen looking to appease the faithful tither" are an affront to the calling itself. I personally know hundreds of pastors, and only a couple of them would come even close to fitting your description. If you're going to make those kind of statements, start including some names so we know exactly who you're talking about. If "most pastors" are this way, surely you should be able to list a dozen or so, some specific ways that they have fulfilled your statement, and then list some ways that we could help them to get back on track. Don't you think that would be more productive than simply insulting all of God's servants that have been called to pastoral ministry?

Offline Bill

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« Reply #135 on: Sun Mar 10, 2002 - 21:58:36 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (patriciaredstone @ Mar. 10 2002,09:30)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Bill, I appreciate you and your work. Still, you must realise that many individuals who do not call themselves "preachers" or "pastors" also labor as you do 60-80 hours a week for the Lord.[/quote]
Patriciaredstone - These are the true "pastors(Shepherds)" of God.

Offline Arkstfan

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« Reply #136 on: Wed Mar 13, 2002 - 02:26:50 »
Thank you Patricia. I am sick of age/marital status determing what is "the best" class for us to attend. What we need is classes geared to people with different spirtual needs and different life needs. A couple in their early 40's may be late in life parents and be better off bonding with couples with similar age children instead of the folks counting the days till the kids go to college.

A 25 year old may have a similar spiritual maturity of a 55 year old at the church and they may benefit from the same class.

At my former congregation I was running late one morning when my wife was on a business trip. Instead of going into the 30's class I slid into the auditorium (blue hair class). They were starting a book a week study of the Bible. I ended up staying in there, my wife joined me for it and as the year went on the "blue hair" class was getting younger and younger as more of us 30 and 40 year olds drifted in. Before it was over, I was teaching the class a good portion of the time.

I'll take that over blind assignment due to age.

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #137 on: Thu Mar 14, 2002 - 07:56:30 »
Please nail it on right next to those 95 theses from that other guy.

Offline nerdneh

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« Reply #138 on: Sat Mar 16, 2002 - 03:22:57 »
I like the idea of abandoning horror stories as an ongoing testimony, for they do keep you imprisoned in the past, in the victim stage. We must move on with the strength of the LORD, and there is strength in moving forward. At times, we encounter a fresh victim who has been terribly spiritually mugged,  and it pulls us back and reminds us of our horrible experiences. We may share these with the new victim, but we don't become bogged down in them, nor do they become normative for our Christian experience. May God give us the strength to focus on his healing grace!

Offline Booty

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« Reply #139 on: Wed Apr 03, 2002 - 05:47:20 »
[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote (patriciaredstone @ April 02 2002,7:23)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]Booty << Bob, sorry but I do not agree with you. I believe part of our problem and part of Satans victory is the time we spend weeping. >>>

Booty, I'm not sure if I am correct, but it appears to me that you are saying that weeping is evil or sinful or at least contrary to God. I do not agree with this (if that is what you were saying) and I think the Bible is clear that God weeps and laments and grieves over sin. Do you think his people should not weep with Him?

Booty << The Lord never promised us a heaven here on earth, But He did promise us an eternity in Heaven with Him.
We all receive our blows in His name. We all have our horror stories. But why dwell in the horror when His love abounds in our lives? >>

I agree that God's love abounds, Booty. But "there is no light without some darkness in it, there is no joy without some pain" St John of the Cross. We cannot avoid or even really acknowledge one without the other. This is the paradox of the Christian life that we have been trying to discuss.

Booty << Accept the blows with the glory of having received them in His name and move on! >>

Perhaps it is a philosophical difference, Booty, but I respectfully dissagree that I should "accept" blows. I do not believe that Jesus taught us that we should be passive to abuse. His surrender to punishment, abuse and the mortification of the Body was to redeem us from ourselves. To help us to see our own ugliness and sin. Through Christ our eyes are opened to the ugliness of the human condition and our response to that new sight should not be to close our eyes. It should be action, action that heals.

Booty << There is too much to be done to spend time in misery. >>

Booty, do you think I am miserable? or in "misery"? If so, what have I said to give you this impression? Most of my friends think of me as a pretty jolly kind of person
 :D -- a little deep maybe -- but jolly  :p[/quote]
Patricia,

I said "the time we spend weeping". The greater the time, the greater the victory for Satan. And I do not mean weeping is a sin. But it is a victory for Satan, as the time we lose in weeping, is time we could spend witnessing for our Lord.

Yes and there is no cold without hot nor in without out nor up without down, (Philosophy was a favorite subject of mine as well.), but what is important is the time we spend down versus the time we spend up.

It certainly is a philosphical difference and I would be quite respectful in your disagreement. It is not I with whom you disagree.


Luke 6:29
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:39
But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Patricia from the first post of yours that I read I have seen pain so deep it forces me to shudder. Beloved sister I wish I could take this pain from you. I can not. He can. I have been praying steadily that He will as I have seen in you a deep intellect, considerable wisdom and a profound knowledge of the Word.

I just finished a book that I would love to share with you with your insights and your historical knowledge, but Patricia you are continually recounting one horror tale after another. Yes I know you have had differences with the leadership of at least one congregation over a pedophile, but Patricia there is so much more to God's church and God's love. Not all leaderships are like the one or ones you have told us of. Some leaderships are so caring and grace filled they put you in awe of His Spirit in action.


Dios te bendiga,
Booty