Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Interesting Quote

Our pastor was talking today of the method God uses to bring people into the family of God: preaching. He was talking on why we need to just get the message out there, to be a reporter or a mailman, as it were, and not a salesman. I believe he was quoting someone when he said this:

"The Word of God creates its own audience just as it once created its own world."

I waited around after the service to ask him who said this ... and to make sure I had the quote right, but I could not get a chance to talk with him. (this happens) I could ask him on Wednesday when I go to work, but I don't want to wait that long.

Does anyone know the quote?

It caused me to think of this verse of Scripture:
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

23 Comments:

  • I think preaching the Word of God should be central to evangelism.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/26/2006 5:12 PM  

  • Yes this is a great truth; but we must also remember that there is a great mystery as John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit in him in the womb as the book of Luke says.

    Of course God chose to birth us by His word...truly this is a mystery that I will never understand.

    But as to your thought concerning the Pastors quote. Great quote!!

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2006 5:47 PM  

  • Rose,

    All reporters do is try to sell you something! (Except O'Reilly where the spin stops! JK, O'Reilly is just another spin-meister)

    If your pastor meant that all we must do is give the word of God, I would disagree. Of course it is the central element.

    But take Paul's plight for instance:

    1 Cor 9:19-22

    For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law(not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

    Paul expended "all means" becoming "all things to all men" so that he "might win the more"!

    Good advice if you ask me!

    Antonio

    BTW, I don't know who said the quote, in and of itself, it is not a bad quote.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2006 7:53 PM  

  • Yes and Antonio what is so dangerous about what Neo-Evangelicals do is that they take those verses you quote to mean all kinds of things.

    What Paul is trying to lay out here is that he trys not to offend others in their weak understandings. Today the seeker sensitive movement has flip flopped this and now the sinner is being told to continue to eat from the pigs troth with God's blessings as preachers use all kinds of fleshly things to tweak peoples interest in salvation and the unfortunate thing is everyone will be so intoxicated by this reasoning that no one will ever know that God is a God of Justice as he is a God of love.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2006 8:52 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    The phrase 'creates its own audience' is an old phrase with many applications such as art, poetry, literature or music. When a new category of expression is started in such areas, and it becomes popular, it is said to 'create its own audience' in winning its initial acceptance.

    It's just a guess, but it sounds like someone heard this phrase and keyed in on the word 'create' to do a Christian take-off on it.

    If this is so, the core thought may not be original, but as your particle proves it is now creating its own audience ;-)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 11/26/2006 10:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    The phrase 'creates its own audience' is an old phrase with many applications such as art, poetry, literature or music. When a new category of expression is started in such areas, and it becomes popular, it is said to 'create its own audience' in winning its initial acceptance.

    It's just a guess, but it sounds like someone heard this phrase and keyed in on the word 'create' to do a Christian take-off on it.

    If this is so, the core thought may not be original, but as your particle proves it is now creating its own audience ;-)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 11/26/2006 10:19 PM  

  • Rose,
    On the other hand there are considerable christian reporters/mailmen out there who are creating an audience not well grounded in the Word at all and who may not even have an understanding of their relationship to it. Their relationship to it would be to read and be instructed soundly by it. How many times have we heard the power of the Word disabled by a weak or even false teacher?

    So if the message is that 'the Word is out there' and 'now it will create it's own audience' I think that's a shortfall. But I'm just commenting on the quote as it stands by itself, not on how your Pastor used it, because I didn't hear his sermon.

    I think it's necessary to get many people started on their own by teaching them in the Word through preaching. Paul spent 2 years(?) in Egypt being taught by Christ.

    Look at how the apostles labored in their teaching to forward people's understanding of the Message. Paul would teach half a year or more in the same place and then have to come back again to get peoples understanding back on track.

    I agree a reporter/mailman would be the best appraoch, but with a distinct responsibility to make ones report or delivery be from the Word. Preaching it earnestly, especially as a Pastor, and preaching it and preaching it. As a Pastor you're going to convict people with it, other people you will cleanse with it, others you will edify and strengthen, prepare for service, many without them even knowing it at first.

    On the other hand, when you come across people who have a particularly strong moral weakness which they are having difficulty overcoming, you might need to show people from the word how we have active help from the Spirit in the forms of peace, strength and power, which you may have to 'sell' pretty hard to get them past their sin/satan/worldly baggage. It's a battle, a fight, I say don't be content with "just" anything in particular in sharing the Word, afterall you're building something with it. It might even be able to be argued that Jesus was effectively using 'salesmanship' himself.

    So I wouldn't draw up any hard and fast rules for whether we should just 'report', 'deliver', or perhaps not even 'sell' the Word, but only that it 'be the Word', and a worthy enough representation of it for it to extend itself to do its own creating and build its own audience.

    So is the Word going to 'create' its own audience? I'd say it would depending on first, whether it's the Word or not, and second on how it is preached. I've seen both these things go wildly wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/27/2006 10:26 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I agree. Absolutely.

    Brian,
    Great thoughts.

    Antonio,
    Oreilly - no spin zone. That is funny that you would mention him. I do like him sometimes, but I think you are right.
    You have brought out a fine point that I cannot disagree with. Paul also said that "we persuade men" so I think he did more than just give a cold report.

    I do think what Brian said is important, though. In our churches there may be a trend towards embracing methods etc and eliminating preaching - using more drama etc.. and less of the Word of God... this was the gist of the message.

    Hi Loren,
    Thanks for the bit of inforamtion about the phrase. I did like the quote because the main thought for me was how powerful the Word of God is - God SPOKE the worlds into existence. Awesome.

    Todd,
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    I appreciate that. Yes, we have to be authentic in presenting the Word. You have some good thoughts about ministering the Word. I think maybe the quote was meant as a very simple basic starting point for why the most important thing a preacher or leader of a church should do is tell people what the Word of God says. Basically.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2006 11:44 AM  

  • Brian, I looked over the context of 1 cor 9, and I did not see your interpretation:

    "What Paul is trying to lay out here is that he trys not to offend others in their weak understandings."

    He is talking about his attitude as an apostle. He had just talked about his right to take money from the Corinithians, but that would make his boasting void. He is talking about his servanthood in his ministry.

    He goes on to say that he tailors his ministry/servanthood in such a way that he "might win the more".

    His last statement is very broad and encompassing:

    "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Cor 9:22)

    He expended every effort, adapting the ministry of his servanthood in such ways as to be relevent to those in whom he was encountering.

    Obviously he did so in such a way as to NOT compromise the gospel. He met people where they were at!

    2 Cor 5:20
    20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

    Furthermore, "pleading" and "imploring" is language far greater than merely "reporting the facts".

    Persuasion is a key element in gospel presentations:

    Paul expended himself for Christ doing exactly this: disputing and persuading in the attempt to win people to Christ. As soon as he was converted, Paul "confounded the Jews...at Damascus proving that this is very Christ..."(Acts 9:22). Everywhere he went Paul "disputed...in the synagogue...and in the market daily..." (Acts 17:17). The last chapter of Acts tells us that even under house arrest in Rome, Paul was still at it: "...there came many to him, ... to whom he expounded... persuading them concerning Jesus..." (Acts 28:23).

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/27/2006 5:35 PM  

  • "to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.<

    Antonio Paul is capping off what his point is here. It is bearing with and being patient with others weak understanding of God so that He can teach them who God is and make Him known through his word. It is being cognizant of others backgrounds but not enticed by their backgrounds. That is a big differance. The Church today is following the world. Essentially there is no where for the prodigal to come home to. He is given the means that led him into a wicked life and told to worship God with those means. There is a clear differance and if we obscure it then we run a risk of misrepresenting Who our Holy and Just God truly is.

    Notice also at Mars Hill that Paul identified with the Athens in their misunderstanding of God but he did not allow them to think that this was who he truly was and called them away from their ignorance. This distinction is no longer clear anymore and so not many bother to see its importance and have jumped head first into the seeker sensitive movement without looking back. One day they will see that they have gone farther than they wish they had.

    Its as if the Church is telling the lost to come in and God will feed you with what has left you so empty. And so when someone is sin sick and weary in truth...well it almost seems no one is understanding anymore where or who to show them to turn to and they are being told to party up with more of what they are sick and tired of.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2006 7:48 PM  

  • Oh hey thank you Mrs Cole btw. I really wasn't intending to start a debate, just pointing something out. Thank you for seeing through that:-)

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2006 7:49 PM  

  • I looked back over what you said Antonio. Perhaps we may be sort of arguing the similar point from differant angles if that is possible her. My caution was just that we lay tight reign here on this thought and not get that "Show me the money" attitude in the Church by use of this text that so many seem to apprehend when reading it.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2006 7:53 PM  

  • Wow, Brian, very well said. You as well Antonio. Very stimulating thoughts all around.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2006 6:40 PM  

  • I love the idea of 'preaching' being looked at more as a mailman or reporter idea rather than as a salesman. If we had within our culture a 'herald' as they did within Jesus' time, we would understand it a lot better.

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at 11/28/2006 9:57 PM  

  • What is your own personal view on the 'herald' contrast between the two times Nathaniel?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/29/2006 9:41 AM  

  • Hi Sofyst,
    Thanks for your comment. I look forward to your answer to Mr. Saunders.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2006 12:15 PM  

  • Hi Rose~

    The point was that there needs to be a centrality of preaching rather that the super futility of entertainment! It is the preaching of the Word to sinners not the accommodation to seekers.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 11/29/2006 6:12 PM  

  • J Wendell,

    what is inherently wrong with accomodation to seekers?

    I see Jesus accomodating in his evangelistic treatises and tailoring for those who he meets.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/29/2006 7:13 PM  

  • There is a danger I suppose in treating 'seeker-friendly' like a dirty word, when in some contexts we should consider the needs of visitors.

    However, the message presented needs to be uncompromising in its presentation of the truth of the Gospel.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/30/2006 8:34 AM  

  • Antonio,
    I think the term "seeker friendly" is a problem, as Matthew says. We need to be aware of seekers and reach out to them. Let me say that I am concerned about what some are seeking. If someone is seeking the truth about God, that is excellent. What I have a problem with is the movement that tries to entertain people who are seeking something other than the truth. Are they seeking good feelings? Are they seeking a country club? Are they seeking empty religion? We should not be making people comfortable with merely looking for these. They should hear the raw truth of God's Word from our pulpits. If that appeals to them, praise the Lord. If they are offended by that, then perhaps they are not open to the Word and they should come back another time. We should not be afraid to offend them with the truth. This is what I think of when I think of the "seeker friendly" movement. Do you understand?

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 11/30/2006 2:36 PM  

  • My felt need is offended.... Just kidding.

    Agree totally and thankfully with John and Brian and Matthew today!!

    Having been out of the willow creek movement for about 6 years, I see more and more problems with that movement. There are things we can learn from the group, but very concerned with the emphasis upon
    "relevant Christianity" that put an deemphasis on the gospel of Christ. Keep it Central to all that we are....Amen

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 11/30/2006 9:48 PM  

  • It so awesome to read the thoughts of a christian woman that thinks about these things. I often fel like a Mary stuck in a Martha world. You are really cool : )!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/15/2006 1:16 PM  

  • Thanks for stopping by, MJ.
    Yes, there are a lot of Marthas. Marthas are good. I like to do a little bit of Martha-ing. I can't get the Mary out of my head, though! I am always thinking....
    It is great to have your company.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 12/16/2006 1:14 PM  

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