A connoisseur of good preaching

I once heard a Presbyterian pastor in Pennsylvania give his congregation some good advice. He told them to become “connoisseurs of good preaching” recognizing when things are biblically sound, and not to be afraid to discern what is false and reject it.
Well, tonight, rather than “good preaching,” I got to hear what I think was the worst preaching I’ve ever heard. And it was done by an American pastor who came 8,000 miles to bring the message to our fair city. It would take a post longer than his actual message to correct the errors in it, but it was appalling to say the least. He was to preach the gospel. Yet the cross of Christ was not just downplayed, but ignored, earning no mention or allusion whatsoever in the message. He did mention the grace of God three times, but not as an endorsement of it. He mocked what he considered the false idea that “God’s grace is sufficient” for salvation, and further claimed that people who believe God’s grace is sufficient are “on the broad road that leads to hell.” Then He said, “God’s grace only works when you are trying really hard to be good,” His grace helping you to succeed in obtaining said goodness. He then proclaimed that “Jesus demands that we all be legalists.” I’m not kidding. I know that you’ve never heard an outright endorsement of legalism before, but this is what this pastor did tonight. He then equated not being legalistic with committing adultery and said if we love Jesus we will be legalists, having a married couple stand up, proclaiming that if we aren’t legalistic, it is the same thing as if the husband standing there “decides to start dating other women.”
He claimed to have once been on “the broad road to hell, back when I believed God’s grace was sufficient.”
Then, he said, he had an epiphany when he was in Africa and “learned what it really means to be a follower of Christ.” The people he claimed to have worked with there, he said, have had 15 resurrections from the dead in their church, and he said that they are incapable of even having a thought that isn’t about the kingdom of heaven.
Then he gave a heads-bowed, eyes-closed invitation, which consisted of telling these youths, who were mostly Christian because they had come to see a very biblically sound Christian band, that if they have ever had doubts or fears, it is because they are on the wrong road. “And if you want to be a follower of Christ, then you have to stand with me,” he said, also telling them Jesus is ashamed of them if they don’t.
Thankfully, after the unspeakable heresy was over, the band got back up and spent 45 minutes un-preaching his message for him. Each song, including a metal version of Amazing Grace, proclaimed the cross of Christ, and the grace of God that saves us, and is, in fact, all-sufficient. The kids were literally jumping up and down, dancing and singing “Sunt liber!” (I’m free). It was a glorious celebration of the fact that this California pastor’s message was not true. Allelujah, and praise God for redeeming the night from the hands of the enemy.

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About davebunnell

Missionaries doing evangelistic and pastoral work in Cluj, Romania, with Calvary Chapel missions. We have a daughter, Briana, 10.
This entry was posted in Commentaries on life and faith, The Gospel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A connoisseur of good preaching

  1. davebunnell says:

    The pastor I am writing about comes from a church in California, and the church’s website proclaims that “the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues” is “absolutely essential” for salvation. But he preached tonight in English, with a Romanian translator, and he never mentioned the fact that he believes that if they don’t speak in tongues they are not saved.
    From his trip to Africa, to his trip to Romania, to his travels back home, he is an example of being tossed about on the waves, on every wind of doctrine.

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