Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Consequence of Non-Expositional Preaching

Several years ago I had the great privilege of gathering with a handful of other pastors to hear some of the greatest preachers of our time discuss expositional preaching with us, and further sharpen us for this high calling.  Nothing has impacted my life and ministry, since coming to faith in Christ, more than grasping the importance of faithful, expositional preaching.  If we as the people of God truly believe that God has given us everything we need for "life and godliness" (II Pet. 1:3) in His Word,  then we must also have a burning desire, a driving commitment, to pursue the unpacking of every word, every line, every truth given in God's Divine Revelation.  Whether the preacher, or the hearer, expositional ministry of the Word of God must be our highest ideal and desire. Without a thorough, and honest dispensing of God's Word we will perish.  But when God's Truth, His whole Truth, is properly, faithfully, and regularly given to His people a wonderful work of life transformation into the likeness of Christ occurs.  The following list, is a list of consequences given that morning by Dr. John MacArthur, (one of my heroes of preaching) warning of the consequences of non-expositional preaching.  For my friends who shepherd God's flock, I pray that you will join me in heeding these warnings.  For those who attend churches, I hope that you will pray for and encourage your pastor as they pursue a faithful ministry of the Word.

The Consequences of Non-Expositional Preaching and Ministry
by Dr. John F. MacArthur
1) It usurps the Authority of God over the mind and soul
2) Usurps the headship of Christ over His church
3) Hinders and undermines the work of the Holy Spirit
4) Demonstrates pride
5) Severs the preacher personally from the regular, sanctifying influence of the Word
6) Removes spiritual depth and transcendence from the soul
7) Prevents the preacher from fully developing the mind of Christ
8) Depreciates by example the priority of Bible study
9) Prevents the preacher from being the voice of God on every issue of his time
10) Breeds a congregation that is weak and indifferent to the glory of God
11) Robs people of their only true source of help
12) Produces indifference toward Divine Authority and builds confidence in man’s insight
13) Lies to people about what they really need
14) Trades power for popularity
15) Puts responsibility on the preacher to change people
16) Reduces the words spoken to human opinion
17) Produces self-love, not love for God with all the heart, mind, and soul
18) Creates a destructive disconnect between sound doctrine and life
19) Denigrates the person of God by removing those attributes & characteristics which terrify lost men
20) Reduces the preacher to the level of every other rival teacher
21) Emasculates the dominion of the pulpit
22) Disconnects people from the legacy of the past
23) Removes protection from error and carnality
24) Abandons the duty to guard the Truth, which is always under assault
25) Creates a deception about spiritual life
26) Cheats people of the greatest riches God has dispensed for their benefit
27) Blurs the line between human ideas and Divine Revelation
28) Replaces Holy Spirit conviction with manipulation
29) Fails to defend threatened Truths           
30) Inevitably produces compromise
31) Takes the pulpit to the shallow end rather than the deep end
32) Deceives people with the illusion they’ve heard from God when they really haven’t
33) Makes a judgment on the obscurity of the Bible
34) Gives honor to independence, autonomy, and pride
35) Portrays a works mentality
36) Substitutes worldly fulfillment for Heavenly expectation
37) Fails to be Christo-centric
38) Generates selfish shallow prayer
39) Fails to lead people to cross-loving self-denial, and sacrificial obedience
40) Cheats people of the means to know the Lord
41) Produces weak, cowardly, compromising professors
42) Disdains to engage in mortal combat with the devil and all enemies of the Truth
43) Fails to recognize the dangers of false religions
44) Lack of general ruggedness of ministry  that confronts/assaults the comfort of sinners
45) Forfeits the true tenderness and compassion of God because it never brings the Law down on people’s heads. Weak Law produces weak Gospel
46) Loses the fervor of true passion
47) Turns evangelical camaraderie into chaos