|Preach the Word!|
In my lifetime, I have come under the influence of many of the most powerful Pentecostal preachers of the 20th Century, both as a Trinitarian in my younger years, and as a Oneness Apostolic for the past 32 years.
In this, my 51st year of preaching, the state of preaching and preachers today - compared to what I saw and heard as a younger man - is a lot like comparing Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. I should not have to elaborate on that point.
Long ago, preachers were not politically correct. They had utterly no idea what political correctness was. They said what they meant, and meant what they said; and they didn't much care WHO thought WHAT about it. They preached what they saw in the Bible, and expected wise men to take heed.
For the most part, they were not stupid. Most of the preachers who influenced me in the first half of my life were men who had great, great mastery of the Bible, and were men of frequent fasting, regimented prayer, and were powerful, powerful men in a pulpit.
Men like David Wilkerson, C.M. Ward, Leonard Ravenhill, and B.H. Clendennen were role models for me in the first half of my life. All of them were GIANTS among Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Pentecostals in their day. I sat under, and was personally influenced by Wilkerson, Ward, and Clendennen. All were men who were known around the world, and who personally influenced many millions of people in their lifetimes.
All of them were fearless men of great conviction and passion, and were extraordinarily single-minded about the ministry. They were not men of sports and entertainment. You could scarcely find a frivolous cell in their bodies. They had no interest in wealth, or entertainment, or being culturally compatible, or having the world's approval. They lived and breathed ministry.
But when the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Charismatic Renewal took center stage in "Christianity," men of great conviction were silenced almost overnight, and WIMPS took over.
Nobody was allowed to speak their mind anymore. The teaching of DOCTRINES became the worst taboo in the history of Christianity. It was the birth of GENERIC religion; come-as-you-are, do-as-you-please Christianity. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. GRACE. GRACE. GRACE. GRACE. GRACE. That's all we ever heard.
The "Holy Spirit" ceased being the "HOLY" Spirit I had known and read about in the Bible. The new "Holy Spirit" winked at sin and approved of just about any and all behavior. The new "Holy Spirit" did not care if you drank, or smoked, or cursed, or went to dirty movies, or looked and acted just like you always did before you "joined" the "church."
In the 1960s and 1970s, the age of rebellion, the sexual revolution, free love, dope smoking and hallucinogenic drugs, I dare to say that a preacher who preached real Bible DOCTRINES was committing - in the minds of that new generation - a worse taboo than one who slept with strangers, or tripped on acid.
I observed that the Church I had read about in the Book of Acts (at the age of 10 years old), was being totally re-invented.
In my youth, I was accustomed to seeing SINNERS come to Church because they were TIRED of living in sin, and wanted to CHANGE their ways, and consecrate their lives to God.
But suddenly, in the new LOVE environment, sin and sinners became obsolete. Extinct! Nobody condemned anything. RELATIVISM invaded the pulpits. MORAL relativism and DOCTRINAL relativism. You could be saved on just about any kind of terms you wanted to be saved on, as long as you said, "Jesus is LORD!"
Nobody had to actually CHANGE to join the church anymore, because LOVE accepted them just as they were. Psychology and psychologists invaded the church, and they told us that we should NEVER make anyone feel GUILTY! If we made them feel GUILTY, we were harming them; committing mental and emotional abuse! Psychology quickly replaced Bible doctrines and standards for living. Preachers COVETED their degrees in Psychology, and in many "churches," a PhD in Psychology was the ultimate credential for selecting a Pastor.
The wordly, faddish, culturally-addicted lifestyles were made to fit right into the church. As of today, the typical modern "Christian" preacher is a faddish cult-hero who presides over a giant social environment where the Bible is minimized and music is maximized. Entertainment and social activities define the modern "church," and preaching is watered-down swill that appeals to the carnal and worldly appetites of his followers.
I want NOTHING to do with that kind.
Give me a Bible preacher. A REAL Bible preacher. One who actually KNOWS the Bible thoroughly and masterfully from Genesis to Revelation. One who actually knows the difference between the WORLD and the CHURCH and DEMANDS a distinction between the world and the Church.
Give me a preacher who actually KNOWS ALL THE BIBLE definitions of sin, and knows exactly what sin is in the world today, and CONDEMNS sin, and calls men and women and young people to FLEE from every sin named in the Bible.
Give me a preacher who is a Holy Ghost filled, tongue-talking, devil-hating, praying and fasting, signs, wonders and miracles firebrand. Give me a preacher who can quote large portions of the Bible, and preach powerfully and authoritatively on just about anything in the Bible, beginning with the knowledge of the ONENESS OF GOD, the TRUE NEW BIRTH, HOLINESS, and BIBLE PROPHECIES FOR THE LAST DAYS.
That is the ONLY kind of preacher who can help save this lost and dying generation.
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