By Larry Ray Hafley
If you are the lest bit squeamish, please do not read further. What follows is pretty, strong stuff. It is more like Quinine than Kool-Aid, so drink slowly and swallow gingerly.
“While the Methodists have changed greatly from the days of the Wesleys. . . the Catholics are no closer to grace than in the days of Luther.”
.”The Roman Catholic Church often speaks of the gospel, but in the light of the false and vicious doctrines of its church, the news is anything but good.”
“INCENSE. I have a long standing desire to write a book on ‘The Nonsense of Incense’ for incense is used by a large number of sects and false religions. We, of course, find no use of incense at all in the true church, but only in the religious ceremonies of Israel in the Old Testament.”
“In other words, dispensationalists and other pretribulational premillennialists should never, never violate the Savior’s clear warning about setting dates. Those who break this taboo can expect to suffer the consequences.”
“NOW HE KNOWS!” Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of the unitarian cult, the Way International, died at his New Knoxville, Ohio, headquarters late last May. His first surprise on his decease was that his ‘soul sleep’ doctrine was completely erroneous. And that was followed immediately by the tragic realization that Jesus Christ is deity. Wierwille’s most famous book was Jesus Christ is NOT God! and his life was dedicated to battling that blessed Bible truth.”
Who Wrote Those Excerpts?
The authors of the quotes above were not graduated from the Foy E. Wallace, Jr. School of Preaching. They probably never had a course in dignified didactics in all their life. No, the authors have never written a line for the old Bible Banner, Gospel Guardian or Guardian of Truth. They are Baptists and the quotes were taken from a couple of sample issues of a Baptist paper. I certainly do not agree with Baptist doctrine, but I like the bold, clear and direct way they write. I appreciate their manner if not all of their content. It is like the New Testament, plain, blunt, concise, straight.
The apostles never let eloquence, poise or grace in the pulpit interfere with their Preaching. That is not to say that one must be rude, crude, graceless or tactless just for the sake of meanness; however, I am convinced that we need more “great plainness of speech” in our preaching and teaching. Christians need to be on guard against the winsome spirit of good words and fair speeches that please our ears rather than challenging our hearts and pricking our consciences. A gift of gab is not necessarily a gift of God. “Take heed how ye hear.” We need palates of the car that are more concerned with what is said rather than with how smoothly and adroitly it is spoken. “Take heed what ye hear.”
When the only time a fellow can be bold and witheringly critical in his speech is when he is condemning godly reproof and rebuke of error, something is rotten up the creek. Smiles, grace, wit and personal charm are not substitutes for preaching the truth and exposing error. If one can smile, be gracious, manifest wit, and exude charm while he is disarming and disabling the doctrine of demons, he should be encouraged and widely used.
Not every lesson should run the audience through a blackberry patch; neither, though, should every sermon serve us cotton candy to eat. Balance is needed in all areas of life. But let us be sure that, like the Baptists quoted above, we speak forth the words of truth and soberness with all longsuffering and doctrine. There are still mouths who “must be stopped” (Tit. 1:11). There are still men and issues that must be firmly and aggressively dealt with – “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Tit. 1:13). There are still those who are “crept in unawares” (Jude 4). There are stiff “grievous wolves” of the two-legged variety that must be exposed and opposed. For those and other reasons, it is needful that we I ‘earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3). Speak the truth in love, but speak itl Duty demands it; faith motivates it; love tempers it; truth will prevail.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 3, p. 82
February 6, 1986