Courage or Arrogance?
In case you missed out on part one of this deal, you might want to read this before reading todayâ€™s post.
One of Satanâ€™s primary M.O.â€™s is to counterfeit things. Itâ€™s even one of the many names heâ€™s given in scripture. Satan is the great Counterfeiter.
And what does he counterfeit, you say?
Just about everything pure and good. And it isnâ€™t even that hard. Over the melenia heâ€™s found a twin for just about anything you can imagine.
Here are a few:
- For patience heâ€™s come up with procrastination.
- Passion has severalâ€”anger, lust, blind zeal.
Notice how some of the counterfeits arenâ€™t even bad things in and of themselves? For example, a sense of duty isnâ€™t bad. Anger can actually be a good thing. And although rigid rules-followers can seem a bit goody 2 shoes at times, you can hardly fault them for trying to do whatâ€™s right. However, when any of Satanâ€™s counterfeit deals are used in place of the real deal from God, the results arenâ€™t good. Isnâ€™t that ironic? That good can be bad?
Put another way, the counterfeit can be a good thing at times, but itâ€™s never the best thing.
In continuing our series on â€œReverenceâ€”the missing piece,â€ I want to focus in on the counterfeit â€˜bait and switchâ€™ thatâ€™s been pulled on a lot of pastors today.
Courage or Arrogance?
Letâ€™s face it, over the last few decades you canâ€™t have missed the absence of fiery, courageous preachers of old. I mean, where are the Charles Spurgeons and the John Wesleys? When was the last time you heard anything like Jonathan Edwardâ€™s message, â€˜Sinners in the hands of an angry God?â€™
True, the way he (Jonathan Edwards) delivered his sermons would likely fall on deaf ears today, but thatâ€™s a matter of relevance and style rather than truth and content. It would take a great deal of courage to blow the dust off that 200 plus, year old sermon and deliver it to a postmodern audience.
Yep, thatâ€™s courage!
But plowing ahead with your â€˜holy ghost machine gunâ€™ (as I heard one TV evangelist say) isnâ€™t courage. Itâ€™s arrogance. Some of the most gifted preachers in recent memory are on the scene right now, but, sadly, some of them are in it for themselvesâ€”to pump up their own name instead of making the name of Jesus famous.
Thatâ€™s a bad idea, and God is not pleased with that kind of leadership. You can read about it here, and here, and here, here, here, and here. I donâ€™t know about you, but Iâ€™m sensing a theme here.
God lifts up the humble and supports them, but He stands opposed to the arrogant.
Christ followers need to be ever mindful of this.
And pastors arenâ€™t exempt. We can learn a lot from this simple truth from the one who â€˜prepared the wayâ€™ for the coming of the Lordâ€”John the Baptist.
â€œHe must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:20