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Saturday, July 4, 2015

What constitutes proper preaching? CHRISTIAN!

Andrew Wright Bennett, known as “Andrew the Harpist,” PO Box 35 Dayton MD 21036 http://www.andrewtheharpist.ws/ ,awbpsalmist@yahoo.com, please check out videos under "Andrew the harpist" on youtube, *24/7 Cell# 202-573-6015

Dear Ones;

     What constitutes proper preaching?  CHRISTIAN!  For the sake of every single one of us, this question MUST be answered, and I CAN give an answer to this question! 

     Preaching is to be Bible based, Christ centered, people directed!

     Jesus is the central theme of the Bible and the Bible directly reveals him to all who would come into an experiential knowledge of him.

     John 6:55 - "(Jesus himself says about the Bible), Search the scriptures; for in
them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."  Therefore the Scriptures are as a Jesus bottle, containing the very essence of his being to be poured out upon all who will hear him!

     I Corinthians 1:15-17 - "(Seeing then what the Bible says about Jesus), Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

     I have before written, "traditional Christianity is sin centered, modern Christianity is self centered, but Biblical Christianity is Christ centered."

     Modern Christianity, even when seeming to be Bible based, is not Christ centered but self or people centered, and gives handy formulas and methods for trying to fix one's own life using the Bible, and in so doing, disregards the primary purpose of the Scriptures to reveal Jesus, and him as our life's savior and helper. Joel Olsteen, Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland, Andrew Womack, and many others fit this category.  Their preaching and teaching is intoxicatingly and hypnotically persuasive, because they put in the minds of people a false sense of security and self protection with power over their own lives and even the whole spiritual universe around them and this is what people want, not knowing how much more they need to know Jesus, that he be their all in all.

     To further pound in this point, this is in shocking and startling contrast to what the Apostle Paul writes in the Bible about the all consuming motivation for his life,  "THAT I MAY KNOW HIM!" - "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, (THAT I MAY KNOW HIM!) - I Corinthians 3:7-10.

    I recently heard a preacher trying to speak on the subject of Jesus being the central theme of the Christian message, but his message fell totally flat, because he used no Scripture to say this is so.  It is not at all possible for a message to be Christ centered, unless it is Bible based.  However, as I've here stated, it is possible for Christian teaching to be Bible based, but not Christ centered.  (Also, a good litmus test for Christ centeredness, next time you hear a sermon, see how much time it takes for the pastor to say "Jesus."  You might just be shocked, if you keep looking at your watch for over 15 minutes, which has been my common experience.

    The message of Jesus through the Bible is people directed.  When Jesus spoke to the crowds, "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables (word pictures); and without a parable spake he not unto them:" - Mt. 13:34

    Jesus not only spoke to the crowds in stories which were word pictures, but since he is the author of the book, the entire Bible is written in these parables, as ringlets of pictures interconnected into each other together in one book. The Bible is a spiritual book, which can not be understood by the mind of man, because if it could, man's mind would be greater than the God who created it, but God's own Spirit can reveal what the Scriptures are saying to the person.  The Apostle Paul writes something spectacular, and unlike the preaching of today in I Cor. 2:1-16,

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ."

     The Apostle John further states in I John 2:27 - " But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."  So why then do we even need pastors and Christian teachers, when we Christians have the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word to us?

     My answer to you, proud Christian, is that you are not even reading the Bible for yourself enough to make this argument.  However it is true, that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (not the preaching about the Word of God, but hearing the Word of God itself)." - Rom 10:17.  Also, in Neh 8, the Scriptural pattern for hearing the Word taught is for it first to be heard (which in Neh 8 may have been from sunrise to noon).

     Christian, you should be reading your Bible daily, and reading through the entire Bible at least once every year.  If this is good for the goose, how much more for the gander?   Pastors, you should take the lead as examples to the flock, reading your Bible daily.

     Almost every sermon I've heard preached for the past year, with very few exceptions, in many different churches, have followed the same pattern.  The Pastor quotes a couple verses from the Bible, and then rambles for as much as 45 minutes, not properly relating what he is saying to the Bible verses quoted at the beginning (although I think those who preach like this think they are doing that) , so the Bible verses are mere mustard and ketchup condiments to what he has to say, a mere pronouncement of the subject of his talk at best, rather than the Bible being the main course.  So this can not even be called Bible based preaching, and if it is not Bible based, it is not at all possible for it to be Christ centered preaching.

      This also reveals that a whole current of pastors are washing up on the shores of lukewarmness, not taking the time to read the Bible daily, not studying the Bible to prepare their sermons, and when the people they are preaching to, say "Amen, good Pastor," they prove they are not reading the Bible enough to know they are not hearing the Word of God being preached.

      I began to say, as of May 1, 2015, that mainstream Christianity is like a runaway train, where the Bible has been left back at the train station, and that church in America has probably not much more than 2 years.  If by May 1, 2017, there is not at the least, a significant and visible closing of the churches in America, call me a false prophet. 

      Among communities of Christians who will themselves read the Word of God and pray, and will have pastors to validate, amplify, and encourage them in what they are hearing from the Lord from his Word, these shall live strongly and boldly in Christ until the day when the promise of the Lord shall be fulfilled from I Thess 4:15-17 - "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.   For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."

      This is my recommendation to those who are called of God to pastor.  First and foremost, read the Bible daily, not even just for your sermon preparation, but so the Lord has access to your heart and mind, so he can take you away with him as his beloved, in the Spirit, in praying without ceasing, cleaving to him, and he to you.  You can never minister to others more than from the overflow of your relationship with the Lord.  Don't fool yourself by thinking anything other than this.

      Secondly, when you stand before God's people, before you preach at them, read the Bible to them, taking as much time as you can to read the Bible to them, as a storybook to your dear spiritual children.  Stop using the worship music to get them into the mood to hear you preach.  Use the hearing of the Bible to open their ears to hear necessary teaching from the Word of God. 

     Don't start your sermon with a story or a joke to break the ice and get them to laugh and feel comfortable so they will listen to you.  Read the Bible to them.  Then, use stories, jokes, physical illustrations and props and everything you can, to amplify to them what you are hearing from the Lord to communicate to them from the Bible, but do not let any of that be in place of their hearing the Word  or let anything you say or do be a distraction from their hearing from God through you.  "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." - Luke 12:48.  Realize when you stand before God's people. what you deliver is a work of prophecy from the Lord - "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." - Revelation 19:10, and a matter of life and death, not something to be taken lightly, not something to be delivered with lack of interest and superficiality, that would seem in any way to condone the superficiality of the church environment.

     I know the Bible says to preach doctrine, but go past the dictionary meaning of words in the Bible, to hear what God is saying, especially the word  "doctrine" itself mentioned in I Tim 4:4 and elsewhere which is pure Bible teaching, but understand that much of protestant doctrine was written to correct Roman Catholic "error," and over corrects into error as well.  Much of Charismatic doctrine is just plain bologna.  Don't take such things so seriously and define the Bible by such doctrines, but read and preach the Bible and let the Holy Spirit interpret it to all who hear, because that's his job, and you are not the Holy Spirit, so don't be such a "fighting fundy" for your denomination's doctrines and against the doctrines of others.

      Stop thinking and saying your preaching is better because you preach expository.  The last Pastor I heard who alledgedly preached expository did no different than any other, but quoted 6 verses that he seemed not much interested in, then rambled for 45 minutes, things that didn't even make sense, churchy talk and blabber, meringue, fluff, and empty air.  Expository, when preaching verse by verse, can abandon the context of a passage, and when only preaching in one place in the Bible, the witness of the whole of the Scriptures is also lost.  The Bible is written in ringlets of spiritual pictures that are interlinked throughout the book.  See the allegorical, the parabolic.  I talked to another pastor last year so proud he preached in the superior expository fashion, and when I mentioned the Song of Solomon, he said, "Oh yes, that's just a sex manual."  He was trying to take the Bible so literally, he was a mere rationalist, not hearing the Lord from his Word, not knowing that although the Song of Solomon is a book for the married, it is also a book for those who belong to the Lord Jesus.  When I read the beloved sleeps the night betwixt my breasts in the Song of Solomon, I know that betwixt my breasts is my heart, and my heart is the resting place of my beloved Lord Jesus.  When I read how the Lord says to me from the Song of Solomon,  "come Away, My Beloved," I know it is time to pray.  Pastors, you to need to dig deep into the treasure chest of the Bible to pull up riches for those who will hear.

     The days that are coming upon the world before the Lord Jesus appears in the clouds to take those who love him away with him forever shall be very dark and filled with tears, but those who turn to him in these times will be filled with light and unspeakable joy at his coming. 

Invitation

      I sing Scripture with the harp.  I can also speak well on the subject of developing a strong devotional life in God's Word and Prayer and the soon coming of the Lord.  I'm singing through the Bible for the 9th time in my private devotional life, and I play 32 instruments.  I love to encourage worship teams by playing brass and other instruments with them.  Pastors, you must invite me to minister at your church, for how can I invite myself to do so?

      If any feel led to give to this ministry, you can send a check to Andrew
Bennett and mail it to Andrew Bennett, PO box 35, Dayton MD 21036.  Thank you all for your prayers, but right now I need your prayers truly desperately.  The emotional cost of what I've been hearing and seeing in the churches which has resulted in this writing, I can't even say anything further, I'm hurting so bad. Love to all, especially to the pastors - Andrew.
Andrew Wright Bennett, known as “Andrew the Harpist,” PO Box 35 Dayton MD 21036 http://www.andrewtheharpist.ws/ ,awbpsalmist@yahoo.com, please check out videos under "Andrew the harpist" on youtube, *24/7 Cell# 202-573-6015

4 comments :

Tom Maynard said...

Has anyone else read this all the way through and then thought about it? I have many mixed feelings and am looking for someone else's thoughts. Thank you and God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

Yes,I read it. Wacko!

Anonymous said...

Just another snake oil salesman trying to profit from the word of god, Creep!

Anonymous said...

Expounds religion here. On the street would be a beggar!