Judge That Preacher!

Gary Fiscus
Indianapolis, Indiana

"I was afraid you wouldn't be able to preach very well; because I hadn't heard of you." This was the statement made by a lady at a recent meeting I held. She proceeded to comment that, perhaps to her amazement, I could preach.

Although the above may be amusing, it made me aware of some things. Some attend services to "hear the preacher" in his delivery of a sermon. They have forgotten that all are to hear the value of God's divine Word. These individuals come to "judge the preacher." If they like his style and delivery, perhaps they will be back. If they do not care for his delivery, chances are they won't return. Whatever happened to placing the value on the Bible instead of on the style of the preacher?

Let's examine some points concerning the delivery of preachers in their speech:

1) Moses was "Slow of speech." God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. At first, Moses balked and pleaded his inability as a speech maker to persuade the people to follow him (Ex. 4: 10). The Lord provided the means by which Moses could speak to the Israelites. He chose Aaron to be spokesman. Moses duty was to carry out the word of God. His delivery of speech was unimportant.

2) Paul did not use "excellent speech." He told the brethren in Corinth, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellence of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." Then in verse four Paul declared, "And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power..."

Paul reiterates in his second letter to Corinth, "But though I be rude in speech . . ." (2 Cor. 11: 6). He states his inability to use persuading, flowery, impressive speech. Speaking was not his primary objective. Preaching the gospel in its purity and simplicity was his main goal!

3) Preachers today must preach the Word. 2 Tim. 4: 2 says, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." And in Gal. 1: 8-9 Paul says there is just one gospel to preach, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that, which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed . . ."

I appreciate the fact that people are interested in the delivery of sermons. I do wish however, that more people would be concerned FIRST about what is being taught, rather than how well it is delivered!

April 15, 1971