A Thought for the Benefit of Those Privileged to Preach

A thought for the benefit of those privileged to have an audience willing to sit before them and hear the gospel message:

Times have changed in the Bible Belt. It’s nice to think that everyone in our midst is like-minded, learned from like-sources, and was teethed on the same cultural and religious influences, but in this day, that is highly unlikely. Slanderous stabs, no matter how acceptable in another age, will find unwelcome ears somewhere in the room and possibly destroy the entirety of the message to them, no matter how good the rest of it is, and no matter how much gospel is give them. So before you step to the pulpit, consider scratching out all of the distasteful lines.

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation, not the personal ridicule of some who see things differently.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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21 Responses to A Thought for the Benefit of Those Privileged to Preach

  1. Jeff says:

    Pa-reach it, ba-rother!!! 😀

    • mtsweat says:

      Oh my. 🙂 Hi Jeff! Seems the Sox have taken the upper hand good friend. Some really good pitching in this series, with Boston’s a little better. Guess I’m down to the Wacha Wacha chant now. Thanks and blessings brother.

  2. Rob Barkman says:

    Hi MT,
    I agree with you if you are speaking of speaking evil of those who may have a slightly different take on various passages of Scripture and yet hold to the basics of true doctrine. Knowing you I believe this is the case.

    However, I believe we both would agree those who depart from the basic principles of the faith we must call out strongly from the pulpit, by name if necessary. This the only way to warn those in the pews of untruths that are being spread and the need to avoid those who teach heresy.

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

    • mtsweat says:

      Hi Pastor Rob,

      Yes, as stated a little earlier, my post was brief and vague. It is not the defense of truth I caution against here, but those statements made only to demean another’s position, right or wrong. There is a correct way to share truth without degrading even those whose teaching we believe to be in error. My words I guess were simply trying to express that when we share truth with a mean-spirit, even when we think we are in a room with like-thinkers, we are not demonstrating the love of Christ.

      Thanks much good friend for the great and clarifying words. Blessings.

      • Rob Barkman says:

        Very true! I agree absolutely. Sorry for not reading all the comments, I simply read the blog and commented afterwards. You already explained yourself previously. Lord bless brother.

        • mtsweat says:

          Brother, your words are always appreciated and respected… definitely no need for apology, as it is a good thing the vagueness was clarified. Thanks!

  3. ccragamuffin says:

    Many hearts are hurt, not by the gospel, but by the untrue prejudiced statements made in flippant, offhand ways. Our little nation had the opportunity to discuss this very topic. We were/are able to speak the truth in love over a situation…to consider why off-the-cuff remarks can be very dangerous…to discuss when to speak up and when to shut up…and to think through denominational disunity. We could discuss what are the essentials of unity, the non essentials that we give liberty in, and how we should always love. Unfortunately, every other nation may not be able to do that, or know how to do that.
    So…times have not changed enough in the Bible belt.

    • mtsweat says:

      Yes, I appreciate your input on this as I tried to be very vague and have confused some with my words meant to encourage us to mind those “flippant, offhand” statements that really are not spoken for any other reason than to demean. I have been guilty of them way too many times, but am trying to curb my tongue and engage my mind and heart to realize there is always something more to everything than our surface observance. There’s a reason why everyone is where they are.

      I’ve also come to recognize that we challenge everything that is not exactly as we know it and accuse it of being wrong, when in fact, an open ear often renders some understanding into the why’s, and could even crack the door of acceptance. Just saying.

      We do tend to look at everything through western eyes, as you refer. It is eye-opening to travel, something maybe we all should do, just to realize the waters of exactness get really muddy outside of our clean cut borders. Great thoughts. Thanks and many blessings.

      • ccragamuffin says:

        Aaaaahhhh…and my purposeful vagueness had muddied the water some also. My “little nation” is but the way the Ragamuffin Ranch often refers to itself. In our “nation” I know that “stabs” can be discussed, source considered, context debated, and love applied in the safe, caring, loving, gospel embraced atmosphere of our dinner table. My concern is for other ears that do not have that opportunity, advantage, inclination or knowledge. My concern is that they would receive human pulpit remarks as authority of truth, or creed of the creedless, or statement of faith.
        You see it that things have changed in the Bible belt…I am thinking outside the Belt…and it seems an example of the problem of the Belt. Our little nation has had to have these kind of talks too often.

        • mtsweat says:

          Our vagueness will have worn us thin by day’s end so it seems… much is clearer in your comment now, but then there’s my take on the belt. 🙂

          Your creed of the creedless moniker has inspired a thought to consider in another small nation’s mind, and maybe presented without so much vagueness. 🙂

  4. RJ Dawson says:

    Thanks for posting, Mike. I am sure we all have our stories, and some many stories, about abuse from the pulpit. I always like to point out that the Lord saved His necessary rebukeathons for evil religionists who hated the very people they were supposed to be serving and teaching.

    But things got seriously twisted a long time ago. Many professional pulpiteers have personal, religious, political, and economic agendas that seriously stifle the Word of God if not snuff it out entirely. The Lord said we will know them by their fruits.

    The Lord went around doing good. His only agenda was to fulfill His mission and do the Father’s will. As a result of His pure heart and great spiritual discipline, miracles confirmed His ministry. But for most professional ministers, though they appear on paper to be doing everything right and have all their bases covered, there is often a curious lack of love and spiritual power.

    The Lord, our ultimate example, had absolutely no monetary agenda, had nothing material that would compromise Him or His Word, had no political agenda or religious agenda, and mostly, HAD NO PERSONAL AGENDA.

    And according to the Gospel accounts, He never named names. He was always standing up for the Truth and for His children. His love knew no bounds. A far cry from…

    • mtsweat says:

      “His love knew no bounds.” I always appreciate the wisdom you bring with you RJ! At the end of the day, any action on our part that places boundaries around our love is not His love. Well, well said! Thanks good friend and many blessings.

  5. Steven Sawyer says:

    Reblogged this on For His Glory and commented:
    The emergent movement seems to be replacing the evangelical movement.

  6. Steven Sawyer says:

    Mike I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for sharing this. I also agree with Olive. Where has the gospel gone from our pulpits? Why are many preachers preaching social justice in place of salvation. The emergent movement is replacing the evangelistic movement. We are headed to a dark place in the church. Thank God we belong to a church that still preaches truth. But we are among the minority, I’m afraid.

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks Steven… for the reblog also. Should time permit, you will want to read Olive’s new book available at Amazon. It’s a quick read and one that is impossible to put down. Hearing first hand of how the events of a young life filters into an entire life’s thinking and choices is eye-opening, especially for one blessed to grow up in a home with loving parents. Really makes me realize I need to rethink how I approach the opportunities for ministry. As always, thanks for your excellent and encouraging words good friend.

      • Steven Sawyer says:

        I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the heads up and encouraging words, Mike. God bless.

  7. My friend you are really slipping into man-centered, I don’t want to offend no one, error. I can’t find your advice in non of Christ’s sermons, nor Paul’s, nor Peter’s. Matter fact we see the opposite in scripture. We see the boldness of Christ and his apostles in exposing error. If Peter would have taken this advice, on the day of Pentecost, then 3000 souls wouldn’t have been saved. He not only spoke against what the Jews believed, but stood before them and called them murderers. You are correct though, the gospel is the power of God until salvation, and only those who have an ear to hear will receive it. This ear to hear is given to God’s elect, by the Holy Spirit.

    • mtsweat says:

      I appreciate your concern good friend, knowing your heart and message, but I fail to find the relation of my thought to Pentecost, or Jesus’ and Paul’s preaching for that matter. There is a big difference in pointing out error, or acknowledging our sin problem than ridiculing those who may simply be confused, at least by our own standards.

      I bring into the equation as evidence the woman at the well. All that made up her life, her ethnicity and religious beliefs, were far beyond her ability to have control over. She was born into her body and her religion. Jesus pointed out her error, but she wasn’t left insulted or demeaned. It’s often in how we speak… the words we choose.

      I appreciate also your recognition of the urgency to share the good news. I don’t think we can go wrong if that’s our priority. The authentic gospel that is. Blessings.

  8. I am so glad you wrote this. The Gospel has such amazing power, but we tend to mold it to suit our own agenda and drive away seekers who could benefit from it. Jesus said His disciples would be known by their love for one another, but there isn’t much love floating around. If only Christians would stop blocking the door to the Kingdom of God!

    Peace & Grace,
    Sister Olive

    • mtsweat says:

      Hi Olive! What a fantastic gift you’ve given us in the offering of a glimpse into your personal life now available at Amazon (This World is not My Home: A Spiritual Journey). I finished it through the weekend and if I can find words worthy of promoting it plan to do an article soon and offer a word at Amazon. Moving and inspiring piece of work!

      I fear we rarely consider that we have no way of knowing of the bundle being carried by any given person in our midst, such as the events of your early life that influenced your mindset for many years.

      I think we will do well to live and share the gospel with our all, and trust God to do the heavy lifting. It will only be His labor that produces lasting fruit anyway. Blessings good friend.

      • You are so kind, and I appreciate your words very much. It took me at least 8 years to write the manuscript because I felt that I was reliving the events with every page…but now it seems like another lifetime.

        “It is no secret what God can do!”

        Peace & Grace,
        Sister Olive

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