"SUCH A GOOD PREACHER"

 

I first remember hearing the above statement when I was quite young as I tried to point out the error in so many denominational preachers.  As you started to show their teachings regarding "baptism," for instance, they would come back at you with, "but, he's such a good preacher."  I guess that was to mean that since he was such a good preacher, he was immune from being in error? Through the years since then, I heard the same statement many times in relation to gospel preachers.  And, sometimes, it was the end of the discussion.

The very disturbing thing about that statement, since we now have so many "good preachers," is the fact that I finally realized the truth of the matter. People equate a good ora­tor with "truthfulness."  If he has a good voice and can persuade the audience, he is consid­ered to be a "good preacher," whether or not he can speak the truth.  This was well demon­strated when the Jews brought along TertulIus, their best "orator," when Paul was brought before Felix to defend himself (Acts 24).  He had a way with words and was very "smooth," yet, the whole truth was not presented.

We have some "good sounding" preachers in the world around us.  Billy Graham was a good preacher in their sight.  Oral Roberts was a good preacher. Jerry Falwell was a good preacher.  Pat Robertson, J. Frank Norris, Charles Spurgeon, T.L. Wilkinson and many others have been good orators.  The point which I would like to make clear at this time is how wrong I have been in stopping short on my arguments when that statement was made.  Instead of taking and running with it, the matter was discontinued.  Shame on me!

Every one of the above listed "good preachers" were not.  And, how can I say that about such well known men?  Listen to me carefully; when a man professing to speak for Almighty God refuses to preach the "whole counsel" of God, he is NOT a good preacher.  Each of those men which I listed have been well documented as to refusing to teach on certain subjects, or they have twisted the scriptures to mean something different from what the text actually means. Any time that happens to any man, he is not a good preacher, nor does he speak for God.

Jesus Christ gave us the best example.  He spoke the very words which God have him to speak.  During his ministry he often declared, "I come to do thy will, o God." This should be the attitude of every "good preacher".  But, we see in the Lord's kingdom today, men who profess to be ministers of God, who are actually serving themselves and keeping their jobs.  Some of these men openly refuse to teach on certain subjects for fear of their jobs.  Others refuse to preach on them because it is a "controversial subject," as Graham has said so many times,

But, in the present apostasy of the Lord's body, it is especially heart-breaking to see so many of our members defend a preacher who refrains his tongue form certain subjects by saying, "but he is such a good preacher".  When our preachers fail to teach the truth about "fellowship," as 2 John 9-11 and Ephesians 5:11 and Romans 16:17 teach us, it matters not how eloquent their speeches may sound, they are not a "good preacher".  When they refuse to speak the truth of God about marriage and divorce, fornication, adultery, covetousness, the seriousness of "vow keeping," immodesty, drinking, use of drugs, homo­ sexuality, stealing, lasciviousness, witchcraft, seditions, heresies and a host of other things which disgrace the Kingdom of Christ, they are definitely not "good preachers," regardless of how smooth they sound.

Our continued "fellowship” with them, is contrary to the command which God gave us, mentioned above.  It makes us guilty right along with the sins of others when we "go along to get along," rather than to rebuke, reprove and exhort them.  Some may become our enemies, but, we have obeyed God in our efforts.  Alton W. Fonville, [The Saluter, September 21, 2008; Dresden church of Christ, Dresden, TN]