�For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. --Hebrews 5:13-14
�Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.� --Amos 8:11-14
America is dying from malnutrition. How long can a people survive eating junk-food?
I turn on the TV or radio and listen to the sugar being fed to the listeners and I nearly fall into a diabetic coma.
Yesterday as I took a rare trip to the mall I passed by the Walden�s Book Store and I was shocked to see that the featured book displayed at the entrance of the store was Joel Osteen�s �Becoming a Better You,� Christian cotton-candy for the masses.
�Wow,� I thought out-loud. �A secular bookstore is featuring a Christian book.�
What is wrong with this picture? Self-help Christianity is all the rage. If we were capable of helping ourselves, if WE were the answer to our problems, Jesus put on His earth suit for nothing.
I expect this type of �preaching� from Dr. Phil, or Oprah, or a myriad of �pychobabalists� who dot the world of plasma TV�s. But it is tragic that the best selling Christian books in America today happen to be of this ilk. �Self-help Christianity� (Your Best Life Now, Purpose Driven Life, Becoming a Better You) has replaced the Bible as the most popular reading among church-going folks.
Instead of meat, church-goers are eating candy. Is it any wonder our nation is in the condition it is in?
I�m sure the temptation is great for pastors. How can a man watch Mr. Osteen with his 30,000 member congregation, worldwide television ministry, and cadre of best selling books and not be envious? Rick Warren sold millions of �Purpose Driven� books. Pastors and church leaders adopted the resources as a means of training their flocks to a more �successful� Christian-life. Like an infant crying for milk in the middle of the night American�s are squealing for food. As harsh as it may sound, and as judgmental as you may like to think I am, the Truth is, instead of feeding God�s children milk, and eventually meat, our people-pleasing pulpiteers have served up a steady diet of sugar-water.
America�s pulpits have caused spiritual diabetes to destroy the church. If we are to regain our spiritual-health our pastors must once again preach the Word not a warmed-over plate of �Christian maple syrup.� It is our only hope.
Why is the preaching of the word so important?
The Word restores the authority of God into the lives of people. Whenever anything is substituted for the Word, God�s authority over souls is usurped. The Word of God does not need the dime-store psychology of man to enhance It�s power. Can you think of anything more disrespectful of God than to use anything besides His Word when feeding his sheep? Do you love me? FEED MY SHEEP! Stop passing out candy!
The Word reinforces Jesus as the ultimate authority in the church. The purpose of the advent of Christ was the annihilation of sin. The appeasement of sin by the modern �cotton candy dispensers� has caused the Gospel to be compromised and the power to destroy sin is minimized. The direct result is a taking of the Name of the Lord in vain. Jesus came to deliver us from evil, not make us comfortable rubbing shoulders with it. The famine of the Word has filled the church with false converts.
The Word allows the Holy Spirit to do His work. The Word is God�s instrument of regeneration. The law is a �schoolmaster that leads to Christ.� �The Words that I say unto you they are Spirit and they are life. The result of the Word not being preached is shallow conversions that produce spiritually-lame Christians. It is God�s Word that will not return void! No one comes to the Father unless the Spirit draws Him! The Spirit rides on the Word not the opinions of feeble men.
Preaching of the Word develops the mind of Christ. �Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. America�s pulpits have become so concerned with being �relevant to the culture� that they have permitted the leaven of the world to pollute the incorruptible Word of God. The world has become the �salt of the church.� Our inability to speak the Word, and defend the Word has made the �Word of God of none effect.� We read the gospel according to Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, and Joyce Meyer and ignore the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Word allows the voice of God to be heard on the moral issues of the day. Is it any wonder that there is so much confusion about what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality, marriage, and abortion? God�s Word is the moral compass for mankind. Remove the reading, teaching, and preaching of God�s Word and we are sure to find ourselves shipwrecked. God�s Word is the anchor of Truth and the rudder that directs the ship. It keeps the nation on course.
The Word introduces people to their One True source of help. Failure to preach the Word robs us of the ability to submit to Divine Authority. Focusing on the �felt needs� of those in the pew creates a self-centered Christianity. The result of this �happiness-preaching� is the elevation of the needs of man above the will of the Lord. Divorce becomes justified if it makes one happy. Biblical authority will not work if a man sees his happiness as the purpose of Christ�s death.
The Word brings true repentance and conversion. Sin is soul-sickness and just like any sickness it requires a cure. However, failure to preach the Truth of sin prevents the diagnosis of life�s problems from ever being exposed. Would you seek cancer treatments if you didn�t know you had cancer? Would you seek a Savior if you didn�t know you needed one? Today�s �easy-believism� is convincing folks to trade what they cannot earn to accumulate what they cannot keep. Those in the church are seeking the same things as the pagans seek�.and they think Jesus will help them get it.
I�ve never seen a Brink�s truck following a hearse.
Here are the long-term symptoms of diabetes.
The battle for the culture will be won in the pews. Judgment must first begin in the house of God.
�Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.� 2 Timothy 4:2
Paul preached �Christ Crucified.� We should do the same.
America has spiritual diabetes. The Word of God is the insulin.
the Word. Anything else is junk food.
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.
is soul-sickness and just like any sickness it requires a cure. However,
failure to preach the Truth of sin prevents the diagnosis of life�s problems
from ever being exposed.