The Seduction of the Pulpit

Probably more so than any other generation, there is a strong seduction to the pulpit. The attention, the technology, the lights and the production are all part of the paraphernalia of this addiction. Do it correctly, with some worldly advice and techniques, and leaders can easily have a cult-like following of gawkers who substitute popularity for purity, foolishness for faith, or entertainment for excellence. It is the ‘drug of choice’ by many ‘young guns’ in the church world.

**(I’m not referring to the piece of furniture we call ‘pulpit,’ but to the position of leading. It exists whether someone uses a stool, chair, table or music stand.)

What does this seduction look like? What are some of the earmarks of this addiction? Glad you asked. Here are a couple of them which my older and mature fellow Elders will recognize.

  1. Must have the Sunday Morning Service – The addict lives off of the fact that the crowd came to hear him preach. It gives him value. Yes, the TV and radio broadcasts always feature the same man. (Few escape this one.)
  2. When not present, pipe in messages via internet or live streaming – This is how the megachurch can become the biggest drug dealer. It allows the addict to continually get a fix by over-inflating their importance.
  3. Talk about you and your family’s adventures instead of Scripture – It’s the church’s version of ‘Ozzy and Harriet’ or ‘My Three Sons.’ After all, people need to know about your ‘smoking hot wife’ or your ‘funny little kids’ every week–NOT. Continue reading “The Seduction of the Pulpit”

The Strangest Question Jesus Asked

We do not know how long the man had been a blind beggar. Maybe since birth, or for a few short years. However, his story of meeting with Jesus brings out several important issues worth visiting. As Jesus was passing through his vicinity this blind man could hear the commotion of the crowd. He asked those nearby what was happening and was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. He began crying out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” (Luke 18:38) As some of the crowd attempted to quiet him down, the blind man only got louder. (Luke 18:39)

Finally, his crying out garnered the attention of Jesus and in the midst of this large crowd the Lord stopped. He commanded that the blind man be brought to Him. (v.40) I can’t imagine the excitement in his mind and heart as he realized that Christ had called for him. He knew this carpenter from Galilee was a healer. He must have wondered if his cry for mercy had moved the heart of Jesus to heal him. As others brought this blind beggar to Jesus and he stands before Him, the Lord asked what has to be the strangest question in all of the New Testament. Jesus looked at him and said,

“What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:.41)

Are you kidding me? It was obvious the man could not see. The Lord even commanded Continue reading “The Strangest Question Jesus Asked”

Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace

For the first time in American history, we have a president who openly supports homosexual marriage. His brazened humanism, though guised with words borrowed from Christianity, is another step by the privileged and elite to force the convictions of the few upon and against the convictions of the majority; and against the moral foundation of our nation. This is certainly tragic and it reveals the slippery slope of moral decay our country has been on for several decades.

But really, how bad is the thrust of homosexual openness in our country? As more and more come ‘out of the closet,’ does it lead us to another step of social apostasy? Were we really better off when the “Billie Joe MacAllisters” of this nation just ran and jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge! (For the young readers, google ‘Ode to Billie Joe.’)

How would we see it if we stepped back and gave an honest look at the situation from a larger context? What opportunity does it offer to the Church? Continue reading “Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace”

The Good Physician…He Has Never Lost A Case

Preparing for suicide, I set the steering wheel for the bridge rail. The pain of brokenness had to stop, and this was the easiest way. Satan showed me my own funeral…all the flowers, the eulogies, the friends. All were coming to pay respects as they were saddened by my death in a car accident.

Only one thing was missing; Satan never showed me the eternal damnation I was facing. The pain of my young life had overwhelmed me. Everything around me seemed broken. I had broken the hearts of many friends, my own heart, the moral law, the social law, and my own expectations. I was only 18, yet my inward life was in shambles. It was time to ‘go out’ under the guise of an accident.

Then, as certain as the still small voice spoke to Elijah, the Lord spoke, piercing the deception of the enemy and the darkness of my heart. He convicted me of my sin and offered me hope and forgiveness at the same time. I cried out to Him…repenting of my sins and surrendering my whole heart and life to Him as my Lord and Savior. Continue reading “The Good Physician…He Has Never Lost A Case”