This is part of the instructions given to people who would dare stand behind the pulpit of God. It explicitly states that the man of God must hold firm to the trustworthy Word of God for two very specific and different reasons. First of all to give instruction in sound doctrine. Sound doctrine includes heaven and hell. Good and evil. The need to fear the Lord. The coming judgment. All things that could make someone think twice before taking another life. But these are simply not topics preached anymore. They have been deemed by Purpose Driven theology to not be "seeker friendly." Instead we have pulpit time wasted by topics better suited for Wednesday night classes or counseling sessions. Sunday pulpit series on fixing broken families or discovering your purpose. How to improve your marriage or finding your importance within your community. Meanwhile, the only thing that has the power to save men, the Gospel, is placed on a shelf.
If you have the stomach to watch the seven minute video Elliot Rodger made you will notice over and over again he asserts that what he is about to do is justified. That the victims deserve what is coming for them. On more than one occasion in the video he claims what he is about to do is "only fair." With the lack of a moral compass in his life he decided to make his own. The church is supposed to provide that moral compass. But what does the world see when they shift their gaze our way? Greed and avarice running wild. Preachers in million dollar homes taking "offerings" from the poor. No serious discussion of sin, let alone the repercussions of sin. No - it's all greasy grace and a smiling face. You no longer "come to Christ." Now you come to the altar so you can be better processed into church service.
The second reason for holding firm to trustworthy doctrine is so the man of God can rebuke those that contradict it. We have seen instead an explosion in "Kumbya Christianity"; where if someone spells the name of Christ correctly they are deemed a brother or sister in the Lord. Absolute nonsense! Our unity is in Christ alone. In fact, the Bible teaches that division comes from false doctrines! But we don't seem to care when what is false is portrayed as Christianity week in and week out. What's the big deal when Joel Osteen leads hundreds of thousands of people each week to hell? Do you think Elliot Rodger felt this was his best life now? What's the big deal if Joseph Prince absolutely mangles the Word of God to prop up his false gospel every week? Do you think Elliot Rodger felt like he was destined to reign? You can plug in any other false teachers name here. Anyone who preaches a relevant gospel. Anyone who preaches a purpose driven or seeker friendly gospel. Anyone who makes the gospel about you when it always must be about Him. Anyone who calls themselves a man of God but refuses to preach about sin, repentance, heaven and hell, the cross, the blood or anything else deemed offensive to the unsaved. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to those who defile the Gospel we claim to love.
I do not know if any of this could have changed things in Santa Barbara this weekend. What I do know is that given the overwhelming changes in our society, which will only continue to get worse as we slip further into the end times, the church is our only chance to save some. That is why it gets so frustrating sometimes to watch the church flail away at the carnal world with spiritual lip service and equally carnal solutions. Churches backing political candidates like Washington DC has the words of eternal life. Churches quick to preach against abortion but turn their backs to the world once infancy has begun. Churches that try so desperately to look like the world and succeed so much that one can no longer tell the difference. Churches that have no problem looking at the Elliot Rodger's of the world as a product solely of the world. That refuse to look inward and see what we contribute to the problem. How we can change what we do to help alleviate the problem. The answer is not in gun laws and evil medication. It is not found in focus groups and grief counseling. Beloved the only one who has the answers is God and the Gospel is His Word. It has power over the enemy and this world. It breaks yokes and shatters strongholds. It takes what was weak and makes it strong. It takes what was wrong and makes it right. It exposes the innermost parts and discerns between good and evil. We need to stop trying to save a fallen world and get back to what we were called to do - preach the Gospel. We need to stop trying to be relevant to an evil culture and get back to what we were called to do - preach the Gospel. We see things like Elliot Rodger and correctly surmise that the problem is out there. The solution however is not. It is within the walls of the church. We need to put down the seven steps to a more greedy Christian and the cheap grace of a better sinner and get back to preaching the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, who has been named the judge over the living and the dead. Only in there can one find the fear of God again. Only in there can one overcome the culture of death we live in. Only in Jesus.
Reverend Anthony Wade - May, 26, 2014