My Thoughts After a Visit for Myself
I originally posted this on my own blog on July, 28, 2005. I have edited it slightly for presentation here:
I was at the First Baptist ChurchÂ of HammondÂ last night and, WOW, I have never heard such horrible preaching.Â Maybe I shouldnâ€™t say never, but if I have, itâ€™s been a long time.Â The message was supposed to be about the will of God and the lust of the flesh.Â Most of it was about the will of God and most of that came from nowhere in the Bible. It was hardly even a motivational speech.Â What made it worse, was the terrible twisting of Scriptures.Â Â Dr. SchaapÂ did yell a lot and threaten that if you didnâ€™t follow him, you would be in big trouble (because youâ€™re not in the will of God).Â He also said the way to follow the Spirit of God is to follow someone who is following the Spirit of God.Â I wondered, â€œWhere does that end?â€Â (How does the one that’s following the Spirit of God follow the Spirit of God?) Iâ€™m not against pastoral authority or example, but when does someone begin to follow the Spirit of God for himself?Â He also said (and this is a classic) that he had more mercy than God did!Â I donâ€™t know if the over 2,000 present there caught that, but it was a shocker to me.Â I didnâ€™t think anyone could come close to the amount of mercy God has shown.Â Well, the preaching was very shallow â€” no teaching, except falsehoods, and lots of yelling, threatening, and persuasion.
RealÂ preaching must have teaching in it to be preaching.Â Just repeating ourselves loudly wonâ€™t â€œcut it.â€Â As a preacher, I can only stand on the authority of the Word of God.Â Just because Iâ€™m in the pulpit doesnâ€™t give me more or any autonomous authority.Â My authority comes from the Word of God, therefore, I must speak/preach from it.Â If there is no teaching of the facts of the Word, I cannot make claims and application?
I decided that I must return sometime in the future for the entertainment factor if for nothing else. I haven’t been back yet, but it’s still on the long list of things to do.Â Â I would add, going thereÂ challenged me to always Preach the WORD, not just always to PREACH.