A WORD TO PASTORS & PREACHERS (2)
I have been overwhelmed by the response to my blog two days ago entitled “A word to Pastors & Preachers”. I am sure some when they began to read it, thought “John is on his “bike” again about Discipleship, and sadly may have turned off and even stopped reading. As I wrote I felt such a stirring in my heart and frustration against Leaders who do not do what the Bible says about Discipleship.
As I write this I am reminded of the story of Jesus in Matt.21:12-13 NKJV Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ”
Jesus was indignant against the people because of the way they were treating God’s House. I remember my Pastor (many many years ago making the statement, (speaking to the church) “You are making the “upper room” the “supper room”.
I am reminded of Paul’s words in Eph. 4:26 AMP N.T. When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
The MESSAGE Bible expresses it this way Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry.
I guess I felt a righteous indignation as I wrote the blog. Not just because the truth of Biblical Discipleship is so important but as a Pastor (and spiritual father) my heart aches for the many Believers who have never been discipled, and have lived defeated sad lives and some are no longer even in fellowship with God’s church.
I also feel as a Pastor, I don’t like to criticise anyone especially other ministries, but that I had to speak out, and hoping and trusting that some may give serious prayerful thought to looking at bringing about change. I received an email from one of my past students (now in ministry) just yesterday saying that this is what he wants to do.
I made a statement in the blog that produced a quick response from a Pastor in Asia, “We have diluted the truth of Discipleship so much”, for example having a class to teach new Believers is good, BUT IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, someone MUST walk with the new Believer for as long as it takes, until living as a Christian is a lifestyle. So the common practice around the world, of a Discipleship class is not heresy, but only a small part of the total picture, and is not fulfilling Jesus’s command in Matt 28:18-20 NKJV Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The MESSAGE Bible says Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and TRAIN everyone you meet, far and near, IN THIS WAY OF LIFE, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Pastors & Preachers YOU WILL NEVER HAVE QUALITY DISCIPLES UNLESS YOU TRAIN UP DISCIPLEMAKERS TO WALK WITH THE NEW BELIEVERS.
So there are two aspects of truth here:
- Pastor you need to be convinced about Biblical Discipleship, and be willing to do something about it.
- You can’t do it all your self so you need to raise up team/s of Disciplemakers.
The Asian Pastor who wrote to me asked me to write more about other important truths that are being diluted to some degree, and I am asking you to suggest to me other truths that you feel could be being diluted, that I would be happy to write about)some even degenerating into heresy. I will list a few here too for your comment.
Modern day revivalism
The Prosperity Gospel
Overemphasis on Charisma, and under emphasis on Character.
Lack of N.T. Leadership & structure in the local church.
King David prayed in Psalm 25:4 NLT Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
The NKJV says Show me Your ways, O Lord; TEACH me your ways.
This is the prayer of my heart, I will not simply do what others do (in every area of my life and ministry). but let the Lord SHOW ME AND TEACH ME HIS WAYS. AMEN.
Listen to Jeremiah’s words in 6:16 NLT This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the OLD WAYS. Ask for the old way and walk on it, travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls, but you reply, No, that is not the road we want. MAY WE SAY YES.