The Trend Among the Young Preachers

Connie W. Adams
Newbern, Tennessee

A preacher in a congregation not too far away has been preaching in such, a manner as to elicit criticism from some in the congregation who live the old paths and who remember when gospel preachers spoke "as the oracles of God." When one brother approached one of the elders about the matter, the elder passed it off by saying that such is the trend now all over the brotherhood among the young preachers. Any trend among the preachers, young or old, to "preach any other gospel" than that delivered by the Lord, is a trend in the wrong direction. The anathema of heaven rests upon any man or angel who proclaims any doctrine contrary to the New Testament. We are "not to be wise above that which is written." "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God" (Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9.) Unsound preaching produces an unsound faith. James said, "My brethren, be not many of you teachers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment" (Jas. 3:1.) These passages make it abundantly clear that preaching is to be taken seriously, and its value determined by the faith once delivered to the saints.

One thing this particular preacher has been preaching is that the church ought to build a kitchen. His argument is that we put a rest room in the building and nobody objects, but if we put a refrigerator in it, then some people object. Others have argued that a kitchen is just as right as a water fountain. The first thing wrong with this is, the effort is made to justify the church building a kitchen on the basis that something else is just as wrong, if it is wrong. Now if putting kitchens in buildings is parallel to rest rooms and water fountains, that still would not argue that any of them would be right. In the second place, I doubt seriously that anybody with normal mentality really thinks the rest room or the water fountain is parallel to a kitchen provided in the building. Rest rooms and drinking fountains are accommodations for an assembly in the same sense that seats, lights, heat in the winter, air conditioning or fans are in the summer. They are not provided for the purpose of entertainment and everybody knows that who has enough sense to come in out of the rain. And everybody knows that kitchens, banquet halls, recreation rooms and such like are provided for the purpose of amusement or entertainment. Now if entertainment is a divinely ordained part of the mission of the church, then I say let congregations build and equip such things. But until someone can set forth the book, chapter and verse which shows that such is the mission of the church, then I am going to oppose it. But to show the absurdity of the matter, whoever read in some bulletin where a congregation was having a "water drinking at the church drinking fountain at 7:30 on Friday night?" Or where there would be a "fellowship" at the church rest room on Monday night? It looks like anybody could recognize the difference between facilities provided for the accommodation of an assembly and that which is provided solely for entertainment, or social purposes.

Another trend among preachers, both young and old, is to use church bulletins for the purpose of publicizing the functions of colleges. Scarcely a week passes without certain bulletins in this area carrying reports of the various functions of Freed-Hardeman college, including efforts to raise money for it. And remember this is the school whose president, assistant to the president, and publicity director all think that majority vote in congregations without elders is the acceptable thing. The idea seems to be that if the preachers will scratch the college's back, then the college will further the "usefulness" of the preacher. Gone from the hearts of many, is the idea that the school serves as an adjunct to the home. In the minds of many, it is church-related, "our" school, to be advertised by the church and financed by it.

Another trend among preachers, young and old, is toward preaching little sermonettes with moral overtones and very little scripture thrown in. It used to be considered a mark of distinction for a gospel preacher to liberally punctuate his lessons with citing passages from the inspired record, or with expounding upon a particular passage in light of its context. Now, the style has become to read a verse, make a pretext of it, make about three points and maybe read a poem, appeal to emotions and pass this off as gospel preaching. Beware of any trend in preaching contrary to the will of Christ.

Truth Magazine, V:11, pp. 12-13
August 1961