Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don't like Paul Washer?

A friend of mine recently had the idea of making copies of Paul Washer sermons to pass out: which he first heard that Pastor Jono Sims did (referred to at the true church conference). This friend also mentioned the cautious expressions he received from several pastors at the mention of Paul Washer. It seems that this preacher is one who has been blessed to fall under the 'either you love him or you hate him' category.

I also met two young brothers from a SBC seminary who were frustrated with all the contextualization being emphasized in their school. The president of the school actually likes Paul Washer but it seems clear that he wouldn't be invited to come and speak. Yet they would have such a shock-jock as Mark Driscoll come and make an impression upon up and coming preachers?!

I've come to two conclusions from this and i anticipate these conclusions offending some, but i see it as absolutely necessary and fruitful. If you don't like such a preacher as Paul Washer (i wouldn't limit this to one, but he's a good example) it's because you haven't listened much from him or you are a hypocrite!

How can i say such a thing? I say this because of all the talk of revival, i say this because of all the references to such as Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards, even Tozer and Ravenhill.

These men who were mightily used of God were by NO means tame and dignified, they were liable to explode with passion, to explode with pleadings, to explode with warnings, to explode with rebukes, and to explode with edification! I just can't stomach all the so-called respect to these men, when it's absolutely clear that if these men were alive today they wouldn't be allowed in the majority of pulpits! They wouldn't have been invited to the big conferences either, because they were more concerned with the glory of God, more concerned with the souls of men, than with feelings, popularity, and position!
Would you have been among those who LOCKED your doors (or your ears) to these men God was using in revival times? The answer has much to do with who would you like to invite into your church now.
I just can't stomach the attitude that prevails among leaders today, like i mentioned previously the people who are invited to speak at 'good' seminaries seem to always fit into the same category: successful and popular! Often men who can give in detail their 'strategy', their 'vision', their 'approach' and it's going to produce many just like them who will most likely become consumed with depression because they can't imagine fruit without numbers.
It's this attitude that I'm addressing, this attitude that can talk about uncompromisingly bold preaching but won't do that nor invite such preachers to your church. Throw away all those biographies and reports of revivals, throw away all those quotes from fireball preachers like Knox, like Mcheyne, like Bunyan and many more who would preach with such accuracy as they dug deeper and deeper to prick the consciouses of their hearers. The times are no different, unless you want to say that it's EVEN more needful today, for today is a day of cheap grace; a day of remarkable compromise, and of weak preaching!
I was able to speak to Paul Washer again at the true church conference and among the different topics, he made mention of how he was filling in for a church without a pastor; and that he was receiving comments of how he had changed in his preaching and so on. This because he was among hungry sheep without a shepherd who desired the pure milk of the word and was feeding them carefully. I would also like to tie this thought in with something I heard from Mark Dever, that a lot of his interns are shocked at some of the 'intimate and comforting' sermons of Jonathan Edwards because they assumed all his sermons were like 'sinners in the hand of an angry God'.
Now, that DOESN'T make any sense whatsoever, unless you know little of true preaching! I on the other hand WOULD assume that a fiery preacher could also overflow with deep love and nurture towards the flock of God. WHY? Because their is a time for everything, there is a time to build and a time to tear down. Sometimes the word will come as living water and sometimes as a hammer. There's NO SUCH THING as a TYPE of preacher, if a preacher can't "warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone" and "correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" then he is NOT called to preach.
Christian leave your opinions to yourself, desire to be faithful to preach the whole truth, God's way.
Eggshell Christianity is what we have today, we have Christians that are masters in avoiding any and all rebuke. This of course has much to do with the incredible lack of church discipline performed in most churches. I've been in some churches for years and never seen any discipline: NEWSFLASH that's NOT good, that's inconsistent with biblical and historical church life!
Paul Washer's wife Charo made the comment before about how 'thin-skinned American Christians are' (and not in reference to her husband), is this true? Experience should reveal that it is, also the testimonies of the past and other countries often leave us thinking 'wow, that was really bold'. Isn't this why most of us absolutely love men like Tozer who have innumerable examples of 'in your face' rebukes. Now is it that you appreciate godly boldness (springing from true love and from a desire for God to be glorified) or is it a secret man-worship because you WON'T do the same and look at such a man with envy? hmm!

10 comments:

Friend for Life

Thank you for this article. I am Reformed Presbyterian and I like Paul Washer's preaching and I find myself thinking about what he said long after listening to him.

swimthedeepend

"This of course has much to do with the incredible lack of church discipline performed in most churches. I've been in some churches for years and never seen any discipline: NEWSFLASH that's NOT good, that's inconsistent with biblical and historical church life!"

Is the purpose of church discipline to help with the sanctification of believers, to bring false professors to sanctification, to weed out false professors, or a combination of any or all of the above?

Julius Mickel

swimthedeepend
quick answer: ALL of the above!

The glory of God primarily: When we seek the glory of God primarily then it will always benefit the true church (so it serves to sanctify us) without this, we limit church to just meeting in a big group and hearing a sermon.
I'd give the same answer to the purpose (or maybe better to say the fruit of) of tests of assurance (true vs false conversion) you're prayer should be that those who are deceived may be suddenly awakened to their true state and converted. Then lastly to "weed out" those who would attempt to bear the name of Christ causing the world to only blaspheme Him more because of their wickedness.
My mother and sister's pastor in Youngstown called it 'search and rescue' which i would think must be a primary motive (to restore and call to repentance).
Concerning my quoted words if there is need for clarification: i mean confrontation avoided at all costs. blessings

Anonymous

I loved your comments on Paul Washer. Sadly, I agree with your thoughts that the greatest preaches of all time would not be allowed in most pulpits across America. God Bless You for having the courage and wisdom to understand that we all should seek the glory of God over anything else in this world.

jyhoke

My name is Justin,

After seminary I was called to a little church and I sought to begin making a name for myself. I wanted to write books and speak at conferences. I wanted to build a kingdom for myself.

About 5 years ago, I listened to Paul Washer's shocking youth message online. In a very short time I resigned from ministry.

I had gone to a very solid seminary and I was a pastor, and I had no clue that I was not regenerated (born-again).

I was Reformed, but I had theology as the love of my heart and not God or His glory as my chief end. Jesus was not my all in all.

Paul washer is a faithful brother in Christ and I am indebted to God for using Him.

One of my favorite quotes from Paul; "There are no great men of God, only weak sinful men in the hands of a great and mighty God."

God has graciously restored my to full time pastoral ministry and this time for his glory and not mine.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on brother washer and those who either have not really listened to Him or are hypocrites.

I am reminded how Whitefield was treated by the Church and how God used the churches persecution of Him to spark the great awakening in America. May God grant a true second great awakening through his servants like Paul Washer. (Yes I know that they called the Finny fiasco a 2nd great awakening, but that was no revival of God, rather it was a humanistic revival that denied the power of God in regeneration).

Brant Levert

Bless you for making these resources available and not shying away from causing the soul to squirm!

Brant

http://inabramsfootsteps.blogspot.ca/

Julie Sabuda

I was so blessed to have come across Paul Washer's sermons. He is such a refreshing change from all the water down gospel that is being preached across America. It so nice to know that there are few Godly men left that will stand strong for preaching the correct Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been so hungry to hear sermons like Paul Washers that words cannot express my gratitude to Almighty God. I pray that God will raise up more men like Paul Washer who will not let wealth, health, prosperity get the better of him and know in his heart that treasure for him is waiting for Him in Heaven. I have currently stopped going to my mega church and have decided to listen to Paul's sermons with my husband and donate to supporting his Heart Cry Missionary work. May God continue to strengthen Paul Washer and keep him in his care.

Julie Sabuda

I thank God for leading me to Paul Washer's sermons. It is so refreshing and pleasantly shocking that there is a person who will be unafraid to tell us the truth, even though it's hard for us to hear. Hearing Paul's gospel message was powerful and awakening. After listening to Joyce Meyer and other mega pastor sermons, I can tell the difference. I have been hungry for this type of sermon but very few to none in my area would preach what people needed to hear but focus on what they wants to hear and making sure there bottom line of getting people into the church and financial needs are met. I pray that God will raise up more preachers like Paul Washer and really wake people up. The way to tell that a mega preacher is not doing the work of God is when their ministry grows and the preachers start living it up instead of choosing to live a continued modest life like Jesus would have lived. The biggest downfall of a mega church ministry is when God allows them to grow and they start to idolize the provisions and take God's grace for granted. It cannot be easy being Joyce Meyers knowing at the end of it all God will throw her into the lake of fire for eternity. I pray that mega church preacher like Joyce Meyers and Joel Olsteen realize that living a lavish life style on earth wasn't meant for God elects but that they need to focus on their final destination. Thank you God for not allowing this to happen to Paul Washer. May God continue to strengthen Paul Washer as he goes out to preach the TRUE message of the Gospel.

Jenifer Barker

Very well said, thank you for your post. I have recently stumbled upon Paul Washer on youtube. Not until then have I ever heard the gospel preached in such a way. I've been going to church for 20 years and never fully understood the wages of sin, and what Jesus really did on the cross. It took me a few weeks to realize that I was never saved. I went to church. I taught sunday school, I was the childrens ministry director of a church for 5 years, and I was never really saved. I could speak the language, I did good things, I served in the body, and it wasn't until a few months ago that I really came to Christ. So I agree with you. There is a time to tear down, a time to nurture, and I thank God that there are preachers out there who are not afraid to tear down, because I needed that, and I'm sure there are plenty more who do as well.

Jo Ann Dzierski

Paul washer speaks and preaches the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He isn't worried about being popular or rich or leading a mega church of unsaved people there for entertainment.
I could listen to him preach all day. His books are truth filled with scripture. The evangelical churches of today are a disgrace, emergent teaching , entertainment centers which treat our Lord as a psychologist.
May God continue to bless Paul Washer and pastors like him who love enough to speak truth despite what others may think. How we need more pastors like him.

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