Thursday, October 8, 2020

Preachers Who Will Never Let You Be Right With God

Ecclesiastes12:9-11, “And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

I have a pet peeve about Baptist preachers who are always making people feel like they're not right with God. You've heard them too likely. They say things like: “Just because you nod your head in agreement and say 'Amen!' doesn't make you right with God inside.” Why would a preacher discourage people with such foolish statements? I mean, if the audience is nodding their head in agreeing with the preacher, and saying “Amen!,” shouldn't a preacher be encouraging such people for agreeing with the truth? Yes, of course! Instead, these foolish preachers browbeat people, making them feel like they'll never be right with God, no matter what they do. Think about that! If a preacher is scolding people who are saying “Amen!” and nodding their head in agreement with what he is preaching, then what in the world does a person have to do, to be right with God?

Furthermore, what in the world does nodding one's head or saying “Amen!,” have to do with being right with God? By nodding one's head, a person is simply acknowledging that they are in agreement with what the preacher is saying. Why would a preacher assume that such a person is somehow claiming to be right with God? The pastor is making a faulty assumption that anyone who nods their head in agreement with his preaching, has somehow declared them self right with God through that symbolism. That is foolish. If I am preaching and I see you nod your head in agreement, all that tells me is that you agree with me. I would never assume that you are somehow claiming to be a good Christian, or proclaiming to be right with God, simply because you agreed with something I said. What is wrong with preachers?

Bless God, if your listeners are saying “Amen!,” and are nodding their heads in agreement with your preaching, you ought to be rejoicing that you have people who want to learn. You ought to be commending them for having zeal for Bible preaching, righteousness and truth. You ought to be thanking and encouraging your congregation, instead of browbeating them and discouraging them, quenching their zeal for the Lord. When a pastor does that to me, I clam-up! I stop nodding my head. I stop agreeing with him visibly. I stop saying “Amen!,” lest he target me and hurt my feelings, discouraging me for having zeal, and accusing me of potentially not being right with God. I'll never understand why Baptist preachers do that to their best people, the one's who are excited and happy to hear the message.

To tell someone that they are not right with God inside just because they nod their head in agreement, or say “Amen!” in church, is an unwise thing to tell people. Five minutes of praise will do more for a person than a lifetime of criticism! Pastors who criticize the people who showed up are foolish. Think about that! Why criticize the people who actually showed up and came to church? Why discourage people who are sincerely listening attentively, nodding their heads in agreement with the pastor? Would you rather have people sleeping? I just don't get it. I really don't. 

If anybody is right with God, it is the person who is nodding their head in agreement with the Bible preaching. If anybody is right with God, it is the person saying “Amen!” Why would a pastor target such zealous individuals with discouraging words? You'd think a pastor would say the exact opposite, something like: “I'm concerned about people who never say 'Amen!,' who never nod your head in agreement with the Bible preaching.” Pastors are backwards these days! They scold the people who show up, who are attentively listening, who stay awake, those who nod their head in agreement with him and say “Amen!” But then the pastor says nothing to the deadbeats who sit there and just stare at him. Does anybody else see a problem with this picture, because I sure do?

Nothing discourages me more, than when I am wholeheartedly following along with a pastor's sermon, sitting on the edge of my seat in curiosity, and then he attacks me with insults, alleging that I may not be right with God in spite of my zeal. Are you kidding me? If a pastor wants to get up behind the pulpit and preach a bunch of things on how to be right with God, I am all for that. But don't use my zeal as a weapon again me, which confuses and discourages people.

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