Know Your Bible
January 2003

"Don't Preach To Me!"

In regard to religious and moral matters, a major portion of today's society doesn't want to be preached to. For preachers or anyone to insist upon an agenda where the commands and principles of God's word are to be applied in folk's lives, many have the attitude, "Don't preach to me!". Yet, these same individuals allow other "preachers" to preach to them and they delight in what they hear and are eager to conform their thinking and their lives to the message of these preachers. To what other "preachers" am I referring?

PREACHERS OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. The rock, rap, heavy metal, and country music singers are preachers. When you consider the definition of "preacher" and what it involves, Webster defines it as "to declare in public", "to proclaim", "to deliver a sermon". "Sermon" is defined as "a serious talk on behavior or responsibility." Are not all these ingredients in the songs that singers sing? Are they not advocating and proclaiming their agenda for a certain type of behavior upon their listeners? What about the message of violence, hate, fornication, lying, and lose morals that far too many of these preachers advocate? Let's get our heads out of the sand and realize that preachers aren't just in pulpits but they are on CD's, VH-1, MTV, and CMT preaching their message with the lyrics of the songs they sing. There is more to this than just pure entertainment. A message is being sent.

PREACHERS OF THE TALK SHOWS. Television and radio are filled throughout any twenty-four hour period with talk shows. They all have their agenda which is generally to bring about a point of view intended to affect the way we think on a variety of social, political, and moral matters. Talk show hosts fit every aspect of the definition for preachers but, in far too many instances, their message is anti-Christian and anti-moral. Public opinion is easily swayed by these smooth talking sympathizers of a new morality. A message is being sent and we are the receivers of it.

PREACHERS OF TV AND THE MOVIES. We refer to them as "actors" but in reality they are preachers. With the TV sitcoms and movies in which they act, they "proclaim to the public" a message that can and will affect our attitude toward the family, homosexuality, sexual behavior in general, honesty, vulgarity, and will give new definitions for decency in far too many cases. They are making us to laugh at things that ought to be to our shame (Philippians 3:19). They are preaching an agenda and we are buying into it under the disguise of comedy and entertainment.

So, let us not be so naive as to think that preachers are only the ones dressed in suits and mount a pulpit with a Bible under their arms. No doubt they proclaim a message and have an agenda but they are not the only ones. In reality, we are being preached to every time we turn on our radios and listen to a singer declaring his message to us. What message is he trying to convey? In what way is he wanting to change our attitude and mold our thinking. Let us realize that whatever our attitudes and thoughts are will determine what we do (Mark 7:21-23). We are being preached to every time we turn on a television or sit down to watch a movie. What message is the actor acting out before us?

We need to be careful of the preachers that are preaching to us and always examine their message for it will influence and affect us far more than we are willing to admit.

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

Page 1

Doctrines That Discredit The Word Of God

ATHEISM: This doctrine declares the Word of God to be a lie from beginning to end. The first verse of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Gen.1:1). The last verse says, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ by with you all. Amen." (Rev. 22:21). The atheist in denying the existence of God repudiates the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. But because there is so much evidence of the wisdom, power, and reality of a supreme being the Bible is correct in declaring, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psa. 14:1). "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth forth his handywork." (Psa. 19:1). The Bible, the incomparable book, is full of evidence of God in all of His wisdom, power, and love. In every area where man may be able to check and test it has been proven true. It has not been written just as a book of science, or geography, or history, but wherever it deals with these subjects it has proved absolutely true. The prophecies of the Bible have been so accurate that they have amounted to history being written, in some cases hundreds of years, before the events of history took place. In His prayer to the Father, Jesus said, "Thy word is truth." (Jno. 17:17). The doctrine of atheism, however, denies this and thus discredits the Word of God.

MODERNISM: This doctrine declares portions of the Word of God to be false, for it declares the miracles to be a lie. Modernists deny the virgin birth of Christ, redemption by the blood of Christ, hell and eternal punishment. Sadly, surveys show that many preachers today are modernists. If one believes that parts of the Bible, the Word of God, are untrue, how can he have confidence in any of the Word of God? How consistent can he be in telling people to believe some of the Word and at the same time deny some of the Word? With such an attitude toward the Word of God the modernist actually discredits all of the Word of God.

DIRECT OPERATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: This is the idea that the Holy Spirit acts directly on the individual separate and apart from the Word of God in conversion and in spiritual guidance. This doctrine is popular because it encourages one to feel that he is honored enough by God to have direct divine guidance. This doctrine is obviously false because of the confusion it causes. One claims direct guidance of the Holy Spirit and under that guidance he teaches and practices a certain doctrine; but another equally claiming guidance of the Holy Spirit teaches and practices an entirely different doctrine. Under such claims the Holy Spirit becomes responsible for the confusion of conflicting, contradictory doctrines and religious practices. Such claims are false, "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace." (1 Cor. 14:33). The doctrine of the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit is obviously false also because of the disrespect that it shows for the Word of God. In actuality it declares the Word of God inadequate. There must be guidance beyond that which the Word of God is able to give, and yet God's Word is the "perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1:25), and it will furnish us thoroughly and completely unto every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16,17).

Actually, the Holy Spirit directs, guides, and influences through the Word of God. The Word is not the Spirit, but it is described by Paul as "the sword of the Spirit." (Eph. 6:17). Paul, in describing the manner in which the writers of God's Word were inspired to reveal His will, said, "Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words." (1 Cor. 2:13, ASV). When one is guided by the Holy Spirit, it is because he is guided by the Word of God, and not by direct guidance of the Spirit apart from the Word of God, and -- as has been true in myriad cases -- in conflict with the Word of God. To claim direct guidance of the Spirit today is to discredit the Word of God.

MIRACLES TODAY: The miracles were for the purpose of confirming the word, that is, of showing that the word spoken by the apostles and disciples of Christ was truly the Word of God. Christ was received up into heaven and sat down at the right had of God. "And they (the apostles) went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." (Mk. 16:20). Further, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to the will of God." (Heb. 2:3,4).

The miracles of the New Testament accomplished their purpose. The gospel preached by the apostles and inspired disciples has been fully confirmed as the Word of Truth, the Word of God. Because of its perfection the Word of God is called "the perfect law of liberty." (Jas. 1:25). Paul states plainly that when this perfection was reached in God's revelation there would be no further need for miraculous confirmation: "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." (1 Cor. 13:8-10). To claim the need of miracles today discredits the Word of God.

VESTED AUTHORITY: This is authority assumed by religious bodies, which in actuality they do not have, for Christ, the head of the church, has all authority. (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23). This assumed authority is seen in the dogmas issuing from the papal throne, and in the creeds and church laws issuing from the councils, synods, and conventions of Protestant religious bodies. A creed can say more or less than the Word of God, in which case it is condemned. (2 Jno. 9). It can say the same thing as the Word of God, in which case it is not needed, for God's Word is perfect. Any usurpation of authority is to discredit Christ and His Word.

---Billy Norris

Page 2

Back To Know Your Bible Home Page