"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." These words by Mark Twain were brought to mind when Sherard Burns took up the challenge at the Pastors' Conference in Miami to expose the fallacious hermeneutic of the Prosperity Preachers. I am always encouraged by Sherard's courage for truth and his love for the church. With a pastor's heart and a theologians eye, Sherard dissected the folly of these preachers and their approach to the Bible. He reminded us of the seemingly unending repetoire of anecdotes and unimaginable interpretations of the Bible that flow from the pulpits of the proponents of "Word-Faith" teaching. We were curiously amused and even shocked by some the quotes Burns set before us. However, I hope we were moved by what I considered to be his most important points.
First, we should lament and have compassion for those brothers and sisters in Christ who are so deceived by these Prosperity Preachers. Every Sunday, genuinely regenerated men and women sit under the influence of false teachers. Most of them have never been exposed to true biblical Christianity. They have been duped by the charisma, eloquence, and appearance of these teachers. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Do we have compassion for them? Are we willing to walk with them and lead them to the truth? As we blast the false teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing, let us be careful to seek to mend and help God's true sheep.
Secondly, as men of God, we must have the courage to take up the charge. Perhaps more than any part of Burns' message, this one seemed to prick the conscience. Burns reminded us that it was time to "Man up!" He reminded us that Paul, in Acts 20, as he leaves the Ephesian elders in charge of the church in Ephesus, Paul charged them to be diligent. He knew that after his departure "fierce wolves" would come in among them twisting the truth and drawing men and women way. Nevertheless, Paul was confident that this would happen after he left, because he would not let it happen while he was there. Or as Burns put it, "Not on my watch!" Are we letting the fierce wolves twist the truth because we fear speaking up and calling them out for what they are? Are we asleep both theologically and homiletically as the sheep are being lead astray by every wind of doctrine? Men, it is time to "Man up!"
Apparently, Brother Lance Lewis is seeking to heed the call and calling the rest of us to do the same. You can read his latest comments in A Call To Action.