Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

DID HE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?

GOD chose the foolishness of preaching as the tool to communicate the truth of His Word. Preachers, pastors, and pulpiteers are admonished by Paul in his writings to a young preacher named Timothy to “preach the word.” Through the years the emphasis has been placed on PREACH the word. I believe the original intent was to place the emphasis as preach the WORD!

Every preacher will give an account for what he presented as Thus Saith the Lord!

We have become impressed with style over substance … entertainment over enlightenment … flash over foundation. No one wants to be bored. This is the visual generation that communicates through texts and quick video messages on iPhones. This is the generation of entertainment. Our politicians speak in sound bites and their commercials are catchy, quick and go viral on youtube. So goes much of the preaching today.

But in all fairness … not just today. Every generation has had flamboyant pulpit personalities that captured and tapped into the heart and emotions of the masses of their day. Whether it was a gun carrying circuit riding preacher named Sam Jones or a baseball player turned preacher who would slide across the platform like going for third base as did Billy Sunday or the hell fire and brimstone thundering voices who wrote sensational books and preached on radio and TV programs on everything from Armageddon to Abortion. Today’s electronic preachers are like Dr Phil self help life coaches with verses and light hearted stories and illustrations.

But that is not the purpose of this article. We have all heard things from pulpits and out of the mouths of preachers that may have surprised us, dumbfounded us, or wowed us. What about when what they’re saying crosses over from being sensational hyperbole to the bizarre and even blasphemous? Sometimes it is the result of poor theological training. Sometimes it is the result of false theological training. Sometimes it is the result of … SIN.

Scripture tells us the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart. When a preacher cloaks his sin and tries to hide it from prying eyes … it will come out in his preaching. A pastor or preacher who has a serious problem with his temper and disposition will always seemingly preach mad about something and twist every passage to make God appear eternally mad as well. What about deeper sins?

When you are living a lie and expounding the Word that Word will expose your heart to you. You will do one of two things: Repent or Rethink. Repent means you yield to the Holy Spirit as He convicts you with His Word and you change your behavior. Rethink means you begin to twist or justify and manipulate the scripture to suit your dogma.  So instead of confessing the lie you present a message to people like: Did you know God uses lies to further His will? You then lace it with biblical illustrations that seem to support that application: “Jacob stole his brother’s birthright, deceived his father into giving he the blessing and not Esau, and that lying deceiver received God’s blessing and was renamed Israel.” You fail to mention that Jacob himself was later deceived at the marriage altar and how Israel paid a price for the deception involved in its formation as a nation.

If a pastor uses profanity laced rants in staff meetings … there’s a problem. If a pastor turns passages on the Lord’s supper and intimacy with Him into sexual, sensual applications … there’s a problem. People sometimes wonder how can a preacher sin and then walk to the pulpit. He learns to justify the behavior and even tries to convince himself that what HE is doing is not sinful. In light of what has happened in Hammond (Jack Schaap) I think we can make some fairly accurate applications here… a pastor becoming too intimate with a teenage young lady can justify it in his mind by believing his act of “intimacy” is a reflection of how God desires to be intimate with us. You say, “that’s sick!” Agreed. Absolutely. Actions follow beliefs. That’s how they justify it within themselves. Thus, wrong doctrine will lead to wrong behavior. “As a man thinks – so is he” Let me pause here (not to make excuse as some accuse me on internet forums but rather to offer education and insight into what has happened in recent days) Satan drives this. If you don’t think demonic spirits don’t deceive and warp a man’s thinking … think again. It becomes a stronghold that requires more than determination to break.

Sometimes confrontation is the cold water that slaps a person back to reality. Or becomes the first step back.

When people hear messages that seem off and uncomfortable but don’t ask and don’t speak up … the messenger becomes more comfortable in the presentation and becomes convinced he’s right.When Eve was confronted by the serpent in the garden … what did the serpent  do? Questioned the Wordhath God said?  Changed the Wordye shall not surely die! Corrupted the Word in that day ye shall be like God! Someone can be in sin but convinced they are being godly.

Now, take a man like Jack Schaap preaching that God desires to be intimate with you and uses John 15 to insinuate that Jesus was being sexual when He said “If I abide in you and you abide in me…” has actually taken the picture of our Heavenly Father and turned Him into a “pedophile” desiring “incest” with His own children! I am sure that may not have been Jack’s initial intent but that is the literal application of that blasphemous teaching.

This should have been a warning … a red flag that either their pastor was in error or stupid or in sin. Now, maybe this did trigger questions and the beginning of looking into things but it was certainly not the first time statements like these were made. He published a book that made one feel dirty to take communion. Each time the messages on intimacy with God went a bit further. Why? The messenger was getting more comfortable. The demonic stronghold more powerful. Who knows where it could have ended? I am sure Satan had an idea or two.

I was Jack Schaap’s friend. If he wants my help I will try to help him. That does not deminish what he did and that he needs to do some serious repenting. Nor does it excuse him from any punishment or judgment rendered by our judicial system for his abuse. But for those of you who wonder … how could this happen? There is no such thing as a fall into sin. It is always a walk. Adrian Rogers said, “Blow outs are always leaks that were missed.” There were warning signs. There was a need to speak up … boldly-clearly-compassionately

The next time you scratch your head and wonder, “Did he really just say that?” Go ask. Maybe you’ll learn something. Maybe you could be the one used to keep things from going someplace they should never go.

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