Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Honor, Sobriety, and Fear, and Shockers
Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
That is where we live. We love to shock people. We love to be shocked. We need a jolt to keep us focused. In fact, some energy drinks have played on those names to let people know what they are in for if they drink one.
The radio hosts "shock jocks" that tell dangerously profane stories that cause the FCC to study close what they have said to insure it can be broadcast for the public ear. The host's know, it sells. People clamor for it.
The pulpit, I am afraid is not immune to this type of marketing. Preachers all over this country are adopting a "shock jock" mentality and it draws crowds. I don't know if it draws more sheep or goats. But it draws a crowd.
Many have lost the ability to blush because they have become so innundated with worldliness and crudeness. So, preachers move to more "shocking" words and statements to titillate the crowd.
Jer 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:
A.W. Tozer said “We should and must learn that we cannot handle holy things carelessly without suffering serious consequences.”
The text from Malachi declares that if God is a father, then where is the honor due fathers? That falls limp on our modern ears, because fatherhood is not honored as it should be. Mocking dad, ignoring his counsel, and pretty much relegating him to just another voice in the crowd is the common thing in society. He is just another person you can choose to agree with or disagree with and do so without any honor. God teaches us that it will NOT be well with the person who does this.
Deu 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
But Malachi even draws the illustration further by God comparing himself to a master, that deserves fear. Again, modern society cringes at the term of "fear" equating it to some poor oppressed person, groveling before a task master bent on whipping the person into obedience.
This is far from the biblical picture of godly fear toward those in authority over us, but we know when something is said long enough and loud enough, it is believed.
May the preachers that mount the pulpit remember, the holy thing that we deal with is to be taken with sobriety: not a comedy night production attitude.
The holy thing we do is godly edification and instruction: not a whipping post for my latest soapbox.
The holy thing we do is for the glory of God: not the promotion of ourselves, our ministries, or favor of men.
May I remember this when I preach this Lord's day.
To God alone be glory.