By Bruce J. Dehut
The preacher should be more concerned about pleasing God than being politically correct.
Please bear with me in a little folly, even though it’s not humorous, in the first half of this commentary. If the message of Christ and the defense of the gospel were delivered politically correct (P.C.) it may resemble the following.
John came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “If anyone would like to repent you really should, because the kingdom of God is at hand. But I don’t mean to imply that you have anything to repent of because the thought of personal sin may lower your self-esteem.”
P.C. Conviction of Sin
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” And Peter continued by encouraging those guilty of killing the Messiah to get counselling so they could rid themselves of any personal guilt.
P.C. In Regards To Controversial Issues
Thou shall forbear from preaching or teaching on sensitive issues such as marriage, divorce and remarriage, especially if there is someone in a questionable relationship in the congregation. Sermons of this nature only alienate people and decrease your attendance and you can’t afford to lose any more people due to offensive preaching. Also, when holding meetings a preacher will be sure to abstain from discussions on MDR, social drinking, modesty, etc. because it may hinder your opportunities from being invited back.
P.C. Character Protection Program
Having faith and a good con- science, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck. But I won’t tell you who they are because that would be extremely rude for me to mention them by name, even though they have been delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Also shun profane and idle bablings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. And while they overthrow the faith of some, I will refrain from naming them because it might offend them or people close to them.
There is also a brother who loves to have the preeminence among them and does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does although they continue prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. I will allow the circumstance to slide so as not cause a commotion and I think it best for this member to remain anonymous so you won’t think less of him.
P.C. Rules of Fellowship
Now I beseech you, brethren, if any among you seems to be sincere in their teaching, even though desperately wrong, you shall not mark or avoid them, especially if they have been preaching for a number of years, lest by your actions you are accused of enlarging your own party and forming a new denomination. And if there exist among you those who insist on exposing error, you shall shun them because they are just mean spirited people.
P.C. Job Security
Thou shall not support or defend any brother, church or publication that resorts to name calling because it may displease the elders or local church for which you’re preaching and you may lose your job.
Unless otherwise noted, the above passages were taken from the books of “1st Opinions & 2nd Hesitations.”
Politically Incorrect Preaching
I mean no disrespect of God’s holy word by the preceding absurdities, but even though these instances seem ridiculous, they do happen in the body of Christ. The Bible, of course, is not politically correct in nature and God intended it to guide man away from serving self to being a fully obedient citizen of the heavenly kingdom. Be- low, the same issues will be addressed utilizing, not the opinions of man, but the Bible only.
The scribes and the Pharisees loathed the idea that Jesus ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:16). He responds to their disposition of heart in the proceeding verse when he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Which of us can honestly answer we have no transgressions to repent of? 1 John 1:8-10: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
We are commanded to renounce a life of selfishness and to follow after the Guide to eternal life. Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’”
P.I. Conviction of Sin
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and it is only when we take responsibility for our actions that we can ever hope for eternal glory.
P.I. In Regards To Controversial Issues
It is true a man of God should not be contentious (1 Tim. 6:3-4), and should attempt to live peaceably with all (Rom. 12:18), but not to the point of watering down the gospel message. The word of God should be preached in its entirety similar to Paul in ad- dressing the Ephesian elders, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). A gospel preacher is ultimately answerable to the Lord and is not judged righteous because of his favor among men. 1 Thessalonians 2:4: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
P.I. Character Protection Program
The apostles Paul and John found it necessary to refer to false teachers not in some ambiguous way, but by name, so no doubt was left in the minds of the brethren. This is a serious practice but nonetheless beneficial to the purity of the church. A child of God should warn others of impending danger and that includes identifying those who would lead people down the path of destruction. The Holy Spirit, through the hands of inspired writers, had no problem in exposing individuals who were of this character and neither should we.
Hymenaeus (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:17-18) Alexander (1 Tim. 1:19-20) Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17-18) Diotrephes (3 John 9-10)
P.I. Rules of Fellowship
We find ourselves guilty of the sin of presumption when we circumvent the will of God in regards to the topic of fellowship or any other issue where he has spoken. The Scriptures are very clear in identifying and noting those guilty of erroneous teaching. Romans 16:17: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them” (ASV). “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (2 Thess. 3:14-15). A brother or sister is not mean spirited for heeding the commandments of God in reference to association and refutation of error. Ephesians 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” (1 Tim. 5:20).
P.I. Job Security
Paul warned Timothy “there would come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). But he also gave him the words to succeed as a faithful evangelist. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long- suffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). And be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5).
The gospel preacher who is constantly concerned about losing wages due to the fact he may step on someone’s toes should find another profession. Paul was not motivated by personal gain but by the spirit of necessity and would have preached for free if need be. 1 Corinthians 9:16-18: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.”
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Whether you are an elder, preacher or teacher, I would exhort you to contemplate the seriousness of this composition and to either continue to stay the course or resolve yourself to stand more boldly for the truth.