Pastors: Stop Trying to be Popular—Speak as a Dying Man to Dying Men by Shane Idleman
As our nation falls deeper into the abyss of sin, one would think that pastors would rise up and follow Paul’s plea: “Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, AMB). But sadly, it seems that many are running from the battle rather than to it.
Petition God Rather Than Position Yourself
In this article I’m revisiting some of what I wrote years ago: There is a very troubling trend in the evangelical church as a whole. We are in desperate need of genuine leadership—broken, humble people who are not afraid to admit that they need God; men who are more worried about prayer than about status and recognition; men who petition God rather than position themselves.
Many men want the recognition, but not the brokenness; the honor, but not the humility. The state of the family today is disheartening as well; men have largely forsaken their God-given role as spiritual leaders in their homes—that, no one can deny. And I believe that the pulpit is partly to blame.
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Truth Offends—Get Over It
Today, the truth is often neglected, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of not offending members and building a large audience. Judgment is never mentioned; repentance is never sought; and sin is often excused.
We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. From LGBTQ issues to abortion, silence speaks volumes.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15), yet, many avoid words such as sin and repentance. The good news about Christ can only be appreciated with the bad news as the backdrop. There are times when the saints must be fed, and there are times when the sinners must be warned (C.H. Spurgeon).
Are We Encouraging Sin By Our Silence?
Preaching, witnessing, and teaching must be done with God-given authority in order to truly be effective. When we fail to proclaim God’s Word faithfully, we run the risk of “encouraging sin” and “perverting the words of the living God” (cf. Jeremiah 23).
Pastors are to be pillars who support truth, not who avoid it. Truth is not “flexible” when it comes to absolutes—it’s solid and unyielding. Truth liberates. Truth rebuilds. Truth restores. Truth heals. Truth transforms. Truth prevails—you don’t change truth—it changes you!
Where Are They Today?
Where are the Isaiahs and Jeremiahs calling nations to repentance? Where are the Peters and Pauls who spoke with such authority that martyrdom did not silence them? Though they are now dead, they still speak! Where are the Wycliffs who stood so unyielding for the truth that he was called The Morning Star of Reformation?