Scorning Scripture

Was the Apostle Paul kidding when he wrote that church elders must be above reproach? The public exposure of gross sin among church leaders is all too common, and often church members discover too late that their more egregious faults began even before they entered the ministry. Even worse are the committees that select men for the ministry despite knowing of their proclivities, and the apologists who strive mightily to restore errant pastors and preachers to the ministry as quickly as possible.

These situations develop because church officials and ministry boards ignore the clear teachings of the New Testament on church government. The desire to recruit preachers and prophets who draw crowds may be understandable, but eloquence and sex appeal are no substitutes for sound teaching and holy conduct.

Closed Bible - Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash
[Closed Bible - Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash]

In the rush to place charismatic speakers and popular individuals in the pulpit, cooler heads do not always prevail, and doing one’s 
DUE DILIGENCE in the search for church leaders becomes an inconvenient irritant discarded for the sake of church growth and income.

However, Paul wrote that the “overseer MUST BE WITHOUT REPROACH, the husband of one wife, temperate,” and so on, and that he must be above reproach BOTH in the church AND the surrounding non-believing community.

This is not difficult to understand. One does not take a man with a track record of sexual sins and financial improprieties and put him over God’s flock or in charge of the bank account.

Church elders do not need the gift of discernment or insights received from an angelic visitation to understand this straightforward principle. Just read the PLAIN TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. - (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

Too often Scripture is pushed aside or explained away, including unambiguous passages. For example, Jesus declared that no one except the Father ALONE knows the day, hour, or “season” of His Son’s return. Clearly, the only exception to the rule is God Himself, yet many prophecy preachers presume to have that information – (Mark 13:33, Acts 1:6-9).

How many times has a preacher or prophecy “expert” claimed, “We cannot know the precise day or hour, but Jesus did not say we could not know the general season”? Yet, Jesus said exactly that, “Take heed, watch, and pray, for you know not when the SEASON (‘kairos’) is”! Scorn the declarations of the Son of Man at your peril.

Despite Christ’s clear warnings, one popular “prophet” claimed that “Jesus didn’t say the last generation would not know” the timing of that event, a conclusion based on false logic, arguing from what the Lord did not say. Of course, this “prophet” and pastor also assumed that he is part of the “last generation” by making this statement and therefore knows this information, an exercise in circular reasoning.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OR SCRIPURE?


Unfortunately, Sledgehammer Hermeneutics is the modus operandi of the End-Time Prophecy Industry. If one pounds the round hard and often enough, it will eventually “fit” the square hole.

Examples can easily be multiplied. One reason why many church leaders wander off the biblical ranch is that they ignore and even reject clear scriptural passages and sound principles of interpretation in the pursuit of deeper “spiritual” experiences, popularity, or just packing the building with bodies every Sunday.

In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul instructed the Assembly that if anyone proclaimed a gospel other than what they had received from him in the past, including even an “angel from heaven,” “LET HIM BE ACCURSED!” Strong words, especially since Paul was asking God to doom the offending individual to destruction.

Storm Farm - Photo by Kacper Staszczyk on Unsplash
[Photo by Kacper Staszczyk on Unsplash]

Sadly, too often the practice is to push Scripture aside whenever it inconveniences someone’s vision or revival plans, but the results of ignoring and thereby disrespecting Scripture are never good. Doing so is an act of self-destruction.

The scriptural warning about reaping what you sow applies here, too, and relying on dreams and messages from angels for spiritual insight is no substitute for the careful study of the written Word of God.

Unfortunately, the problem is especially acute in today’s Charismatic Movement where reliance on the New Testament is replaced by subjective, mystical, and emotional experiences. Even many practices of divination are given priority over the objective study of the Word of God. By ignoring His Word, we scorn it and thereby disrespect Him.



RELATED POSTS:
  • Stand Fast! - (To avoid apostasy and deception, believers must adhere strictly to the Apostolic teachings)
  • Hold Fast to the Word - (Any would-be disciple of Jesus who fails to heed the far  better word that God is now speaking in His Son will suffer an even sorer punishment than the rebellious Israelites at Sinai)


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