Thursday, December 22, 2005

For Christmas We Need...

Preachers With Courage.

There is a famine in the land - not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11).

Today I begin my Christmas Wish List with a plea for Pastors with Courage. More than ever we need African-American preachers who claim to hold to biblical, reformed theology to stand up, preach up, man up and say so. Often it is popular when in the company of reformed brothers and sisters to say you are reformed. However, when the time of testing comes, that is the time of preaching and teaching, there is abject failure. In too many churches where the preacher claims to be reformed, we find little to no reference to the Doctrines of Grace. We find little to know reference to the historic confessions. We find little to no emphasis upon the glories that are the sovereignty and supremacy of God. There is little mention of the depths of human sinfulness. The notion of Christ's atonement being particular and therefore truly efficacious is foreign and far from serious consideration. And though mentioning that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone would get a hearty "amen," the fact of the matter is that few would understand or articulate it biblically so that grace is sovereign grace, faith is the gift of God, and Christ is Lord.

Many would offer the excuse that they would not want to offend anyone in their congregation. They would say that while they hold to these truths privately, it would not serve them nor their church to preach them in public. While I have some sympathy for this position, after all this man is double-minded and therefore unstable, I must challenge him to believe God and stop doubting (James 1:5-8). For such men not only lack wisdom, but ultimately they lack the faith necessary to stand bold and even die for Christ. If we hold the conviction that reformed theology is the truth of the revealed Word of God, then to preach anything else would be an utter abandonment of God's calling. Understand, we all have been in positions where standing firm upon the truth of God has made us uncomfortable. We all have had times when we thought discretion in matters of theology was the better part of valor. Nevertheless, I have found that when reformed theology is presented with gracious, loving, biblical clarity very few African-American Christians flat out reject it. And those who do find it unprofitable, it is the message they reject and usually not the messenger. For if the truth of God offends, then let God be glorified. But if the truth teller is offensive, then let him be ashamed.

Brothers and sisters, "the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trust in the Lord shall be safe" (Prov. 29:25). This hour is calling for Pastors With Courage. We need men who will not fear men, but will graciously preach the truths of Scripture and live out the implications of these truths in worship without apology. Creflo Dollar does not apologize for preaching prosperity because it his conviction both in public and in private that prosperity is the truth of Scripture. Why should we, who hold to the historical and biblical understanding of Reformed Theology, be so apologetic and apprehensive in our convictions. As Hank Hannegraf would say, "Are we willing to do for the truth, what Creflo does for a lie?"
May we find under our tree this Christmas, men who have the courage of their convictions and give a clear, distinct sound that their people may rightly be prepared for battle.

1 comment:

curtlove said...

I must say that this blog is right on time. Especially after just finishing "A Potrait of a Black Puritan"

We must as Afro-Americans Preachers build up our resolve for Biblical Truth. We must leave a legacy for those to follow us, not a legacy of prominence in athletics, or in business or in entertainment,(however important they are) but our legacy must be that of Deuteronomy 32:46-47. We must not forsake the Word for it is not empty it has in it our very life. Afro-American preachers for the sake of Glorifiying God for the sake of the race we must lay hold to Biblical Truth and never let go. For when we do this faithfully our children and their children will have been left a legacy that far surpasses that of the temporary things aformentioned.

Amen Pastor Carter! Praise God for your words.