The Work of Shepherds (7)
Preach the word! Be ready in season andout of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4.2
Christianity and Liberalism
J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)
“The truth is, the God of modern preaching, though He may perhaps be very good, is rather uninteresting. Nothing is so insipid as indiscriminate good humor. Is that really love that costs so little? If God will necessarily forgive, no matter what we do, why trouble ourselves about Him at all? Such a God may deliver us from the fear of hell. But His heaven, if he has any, is full of sin.”
The first sermon of the Christian era left hearers deeply convicted and stabbed to the heart. They cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” They were desperate to be relieved of the burden of guilt for having participated – if only by ignorance – in the murder of God’s Son and Messiah, and in the practice of sin. Today people aren’t much convicted by our sermons. If they are, they might go somewhere else, where the preaching comforts and affirms, and does not presume to call them to repentance. So we try to be good humor men in the pulpit, telling stories, offering comfort and assurance, and being careful not to suggest that someone or some practice might be sinful. And even if sin is in our midst, we preach a Jesus of grace Who knows us and loves us anyway. And we do this, calling ourselves Bible-believing, evangelical Christians. We are not. Where are the shepherds who will lead us back to the right path?
How can you tell when your preaching is designed to convict people of sin? How can you tell when it actually does?
T. M. Moore
Prayer for Revival
The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations from J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism(Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1923, 1974).