Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Charismatic Confusion

"The Lord told me___________." Did he? If he did, does it match the Scriptures already given? Already laid down for eternity? Already settled in heaven? Did it add to the Scriptures? Did it nullify a Scripture? Did it cast doubt on the Scripture? Be very, very careful little ones. Many will profess to have "heard" from God. Many who would have difficulty quoting portions of Scripture seem to have the mind of God all wrapped up.

I like what A.W. Tozer said on the matter:

"Some of my friends good-humoredly---and some a little bit severely---have called me a 'mystic.' Well, I'd like to say this about any mysticism I may suppose to have. If an archangel from heaven were to come, and were to start giving me, telling me, teaching me, and giving me instruction, I'd ask him for the text. I'd say, 'Where's it say that in the Bible? I want to know?'
And I would insist that it was according to the Scriptures, because I do not believe in any extra-scriptural teachings, nor any anti-scriptural teachings, or any sub-scriptural teachings. I think we ought to put the emphasis where God puts it, and continue to put it there, and to expound the scriptures, and sty by the scriptures.
I wouldn't---no matter if I saw a light above the light of the sun, I'd keep my mouth shut about it 'til Id checked with Daniel and Revelation and the rest of the scriptures to see if ti had any basis in truth. And if it didn't, I'd think I'd just eaten something I shouldn't and I wouldn't say anything about it. Because I don't believe in anything that is unscriptural or that is anti-scripture."

Wise words for our "sign-hungry" generation. How quickly we forget Matthew 12:39, "...An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;..."

Pastor Michael

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Vanity in the Pulpit

When a preacher enters the pulpit, there must be serious check of the heart motives. He cannot simply mount the platform with an aire of unconcern, or self-confidence. He must be broken, fearful and prepared. No amount of study can prepare the heart, only the mind. Self-examination, an exercise of humility and self-abasement must accompany him as well.

Then there must be a watch over the means. Just to have the words you wish to say prepared, and an attitude of humility is not quite enough either. Now I must know what I am to do once there. I am to exhalt Christ, not myself. I am to become nothing, that He might be every thing. I cannot distract with clothing, hair styles, music, or actions, I must be a vessel intent on funneling truth, in the most appropriate way into the ears of the hearers.

This is not easy task... in fact it is near impossible apart from the Holy Spirit working in the preacher.

Let our preaching meet his purpose for preaching. Our satisfaction in how things went during the message must be guaged not by our standards of what we deem as success, but rather the idea set forth by God in His Word as success. Charles Haddon Spurgeon expressed this best in this snippet from one of his sermons:

The Holy Ghost never sets his signature to a blank check...the Holy Ghost will only bless in conformity with his own set purpose. Our Lord explains what that purpose is: 'He shall glorify me' He has come forth for thsi grand end, and he will not put up with anything short of it. If, then, we do not preach Christ, what is the Holy Ghost to do with our preaching? If we do not make the Lord
Jesus Christ Glorious: If we do not lift him in the esteem of men, if we do not labour to make him King of kings and Lord of lords we shall not have the Holy Spirit with us. Vain will be rhetoric, music, architecture, energy, and socila status; if our own design be not to magnify the Lord Jesus we shall work alone and in vain"