Monday, November 9, 2020

The Gift of Prophetic Insight Imperative Today Pt.1

 Tozer raises a HUGELY significant matter in this week's reading. It might be paraphrased as:

He likens today's pulpiteers' sermons to mechanized expositions of scripture devoid of contemporary contextualization. I find this to be spot on as I review pastor after pastor who does nothing more than "follow the lectionary passage for this week" and then try, sometimes desperately, to force the "theme" into a fabricated potential contemporary application.  Gone are the days, or so it seems when: men of God - proclaimed the Word of God - to the people of God - so as to enable them to become the righteousness of God.

These days, it seems that pastors are far too comfortable in their "presbytery protected pay packaged profits" customized just for preaching a soft and fuzzy, warm and affirming, encouraging and endorsing, counselor type message.  The hell fire and brimstone, the judgement which begins with the household of God;  the "sit down, shut up and listen" preachers have given way to the sin-affirming, culture conforming, scoundrel supporting  consultative, huggy feel goods permeating and feminizing our pulpits with messages of the 1960's hippy "god loves everyone" sing-song that sends people on their way to hell feeling oh so good about their choices. We seem to have the form of godliness without the power [2Timothy 3:5].

If you accept the ordination of women to preaching positions, then where are your Deborah's?  If you don't then where are your Isaiah's? I'm not talking about someone who is no more that a mouthpiece for the government, a nationalist, federalist, idolater (who loves laying their hands on the president and affirming his ever-so-less-than-righteous-lifestyle because it so closely matches their own profligate prosperity gospel) but one who would preach the same message to their sons and daughters, their jailers, their accusers, their employers, and those holding guns to their heads, knowing that the church of Jesus Christ is ALWAYS and forever above and beyond earthly judgement, that prophets need to tell any person in leadership to "sit down, shut up, and listen to the word of God without respect to their office. Done, of course in Christian love and appropriate deference, because God is no respecter of persons [Acts 10:34]

We need new kind of religious leader. 

He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. He will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce, and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.

There are leaders out there like this, but too few. They rarely appear in pulpit finery, and even more rarely in denominational settings.  These are the ones that refuse to compromise the gospel for income, refuse to soften the Word of God for popularity, who refuse the counsel of the "friends of Job" that so often make up denominational commitees and boards.  These are the ones to whom we need to look and to listen.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12]

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         November 23-27, 2020 for Thanksgiving!