January 4, 2016 at 10:55 pm #4763Jack Exum JrParticipant
Jessee P. Sewel back in 1957 during his last series of public lessons capped off his lessons with the following statement.
“Who is a Gospel preacher? He is a man, but he is a man redeemed by grace through faith, standing in Christ’s stead, under His authority, and by His command, proclaiming His Gospel, making it plain, strong, and urgent in such a way that responsible man can believe it, and accept it unto life, or reject it unto death.”
1. “He is a man…” For now, this scribe will pass up the recent debates going on over women preaching. I’m still studying and will deal with that topic when I am ready. (One thing I will say is, I have noticed that when anyone suggests something which challenges long held beliefs or dares to act in deference to main stream thought we do not to seek time to study together, but we tend to immediately “write the person up.” Perhaps instead we need to re-study the matter, and if after studying and comparing thoughts, we come to the same conclusion which has been long held, we have lost nothing and gained the strength of reconsidering the matter and are stronger because of it!)
As for this study, I seriously doubt the author was thinking or considering the idea of gender as much as he is contemplating the fact that the preacher is “just a man.” Preachers are not “gods,” and just because we stand before others and speak about God and His Word does not elevate us to being infallible, or sinless. Unfortunately (as a friend recently said to me,) “unfortunately we expect more of the preacher.” Not only of the preacher, but his family as well. This makes it hard on the wife, the kids (PK), for preachers always have the feeling of living in a glass house.
So what happens when this “man” has problems? What happens if this “man” is tempted and sins? Can this “man” get back up? Can he repent and be forgiven and once again preach the Word of God? What makes it different now? He was a “man” saved by grace before, and he is a “man” saved by grace now. Perhaps he understands God’s grace more now than before… Perhaps he should take time off and get help and counselling, and perhaps he can now better serve.
“He is a man.” Congregations need to understand more this simple fact, and stop the “elevation” which may not be all that Scriptural in itself. Now we ask all of you preachers… would you not feel better if brethren understood and acted like you are just a “man” saved by grace, and if you “fall” or sin, that you can be forgiven as well as any other member? Perhaps it would do well if preachers would take time and just share with a congregation and shepherds the struggles they are going through instead of wearing a mask. Maybe everyone would be strengthened one Sunday morning, instead of hearing a sermon, just to share your thoughts and feelings, and ask for prayers.
“He is a man.” A preacher has good times, and bad, ups and downs, sometimes he has family troubles, financial troubles, health troubles… Preachers need to get away and be alone, to renew lest they get burned out. Preachers are not perfect… they are just men who by the grace of God are struggling to grow closer to God, while at the same time dealing with their “thorns.” If they “fall” they are just like other “men” they try and keep it hidden as long as possible because they know how people are. This shouldn’t be. It should be easier to confess, to ask for help. Preachers are proud like others, and this gets in the way unfortunately. He only dreams of having a few good, close friends with whom he can share his hurts, weakness, and get some help and prayer. He prays for a shepherd to be one of these with whom he can share. He preaches, he struggles, he tries hard to get his congregation to grow, change, move, do something. He struggles with politics, and power hungry members. He is loved by most, yet a few can cause the most trouble, and cause him to uproot he and his family, and it begins again.
I recall Dad telling us about when he was a young minister, excited about preaching, and had just lost his job. He was looking for a minister job and went for a “try out.” He decided he would present his hardest, most powerful lesson. As he tells it he really “waxed bold,” it was a straight-shooting, hard hitting lesson. Brethren came to the shepherds and said, “If you don’t hire this guy, we will get some shepherds who will!” In the meeting with Dad, one of the elders asked “Well, if we were to offer you the job, what’s the least you will take?” Dad said he was done with sacrificing his family on the “church altar” and so he told them $198.51, and not a cent less.”Dad said, “Not done yet. We need the house fixed up” and he listed several things which he wanted for his family. The elder reacted, “Whoooie!” After huddling together, they came back to Dad and said, “We think we can do that.” He had told us, “I am done with sacrificing my family,” and I was proud of him when he told us.
Who is the preacher? “He is a man,” (growing in grace!)
Grow in grace!
- This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Jack Exum Jr. Reason: Clarification
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