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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Does Your Preacher Preach the Truth?

I have sat under a number of preachers. Most have been honorable men. They have tried their best to live the lives they lifted up from the pulpit. However, I have found praise for preachers with growing churches who do not live Christian lives.

I have heard a preacher who consistently said he believed every word in the Bible but did not let the Bible speak when he preached. His sermons came from other books he had read. The text that was read each Sunday morning had a vague connection to what he would say. I concluded he didn't have much use for the Bible. His talk of believing the Bible was just rhetoric.

I have heard preachers praised for their church's growth. Even their actions are praised. They came, fired staff maliciously and set a new marketing approach for the church. People flocked in from everywhere because of the preacher's drive and ambition. He was great entertainment, too. What does "love your neighbor as yourself" mean when you have treated others harshly? Isn't he just a clanging cymbal without love?

I have seen preachers tell staff members that they will be resign and get several months salary if they will simply tell the people that "God is leading them (the staff members being fired) to something else." Unfortunately, the staff members accept the lie because they want to provide for their families. Heaven help them if the truth gets out. How do you preach "Thou shalt not lie" when you have encouraged lying?

I have known preachers who would tolerate sin in the church because the sinner was a great giver or a prominent person in the community. These preachers did not address these sins as Paul instructed. They overlooked them for the sake of the money or the ripples of condemnation. (It's amazing but you will often be condemned for standing up for righteousness.) They sweep the sins under the carpet and do not let them out when the Bible says they need to be brought into the light.

I don't need to tell you how many preachers who have preached against adultery while committing it or against homosexuality while molesting little boys.

My purpose is not to bring suspicion on your preacher. I want people to recognize what they have. Those who do not preach the truth need to be helped to succeed at another profession. Of course, I am not saying your preacher must be without sin. I am asking you: Is he characterized by this sin? If he has done this several times there is no repentance.

On the other hand, you have a real gem if you have a preacher who lives what he preaches. You should commend that preacher. You should take a little time today to thank God for him. You should send him a note of gratitude.

Success as a Christian is living a life that is becoming like Christ. It is no different for preachers.

God bless preachers who truly preach the truth!

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