Sunday, August 2, 2009

Praise God for balanced teachers

As I have said before, my heart's desire and my conviction is that God would have us to have sound theology AND sound living. Without a doubt I am MOST interested in learning from godly people who HAVE BOTH!!
WHY? Well in my Christian experience I've never had a lack of being exposed to ZEALOUS believers, I've never been surrounded primarily or for long around cold believers. My exodus out of extreme word of faith/prophetic heresy drove me to search the scriptures, drove me to salvation, and drove me to zeal for the will of God. Even in my previous Arminianism I wasn't interested in popular preachers, I didn't like or look up to the 'great' evangelists like Billy Graham etc.. I liked fireball preachers and I would literally visit as many churches as possible to get some heat (on Sun eve's or special nights)! I also became familiar with many biographies like Samuel Morris, Hudson Taylor, Finney, Billy Sunday, D.L Moody etc... I was attracted to Tozer, Ravenhill, Wilkerson, Steve Hill (who interestingly introduced me to many Calvinists/Puritans), Keith Green and many more.
Yet I had MANY unbalances thanks to these zealous but sometimes extreme teachings and lives of these men. There were books and quotes that so stuck in my mind that I despised those who didn't live up to these quotes, many times in pride I spent two plus hours a day because something Ravenhill said in 'why revival tarries' (although the spirit of what he said may be very true) yet I didn't have enough theology to filter such statements.
One way to test something that is said is to test it as if it was said by another (some will receive something because Washer, Tozer, Macarthur, Spurgeon... said it but would reject it if I or someone else said it). I see this often even within the blogosphere things being circulated not because of what was said but because of WHO said it (that's NOT a love of TRUTH, that's a love of MAN).
What then am I most thankful for? I am most thankful for preachers like Washer, Voddie Baucham, Albert Martin for their desire to be balanced in obedience to God. This is certainly why I've so loved the Puritans (the best of them) for their clear desire to have both sound theology AND sound living! What struck me and caused me to be an avid listener of Bro Paul Washer was NOT his missionary experience or the way he teaches the gospel, or his passion, but his very rare balance of ministry and family: that's what I MOST needed! I was the Believer who was in DANGER of looking at children and a wife as something which I would have to SACRIFICE in order to serve God. I thought of marriage and children as something good, but something i could enjoy UNTIL they got in the way and then I'd simply have to do the work of the ministry and then it would be up to my wife to SILENTLY and JOYFULLY serve me by not getting in the way and raising my children the way they should be raised. I'm reminded of this continually, I was reminded just recently as I went through Hudson Taylors life (again) and mourned over his constant separation from his children (who they sent back to England) and his wife, oh I would have done the same! I would have 'sought God' like Tozer and left my family in the dust and felt completely justified (like the Pharisees I would have said 'well I've devoted this gift (my time) to God, so I can't give it to you). Likewise I am most impressed with men who seek to implore believers to simply seek to GLORIFY God in ALL we do and in ALL our callings!
That's the simplicity of gospel living: FAITHFULNESS in our callings to the glory of God. Any other drum no matter the good intentions of the man isn't worth beating, whether's its 'eschatology' whether it's the importance of the local church, whether it's the study of languages, evangelism or even the need for revival, none of which compare to daily living to the glory of God! Oh preacher be ZEALOUS about gospel truth and gospel living to the glory of God, nevermind if you're not quoted, recommended, or honored among men, seek to POINT the body of Christ to the truth of Christ and to conformity to the will of Christ!

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