Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SUFFERING FROM TRUTH DECAY?
...brush up on your Bible

I was driving by a church when a friend of mine commented on their marquee displayed out on their front lawn. It said, "Suffering from "truth" decay? Brush up on your Bible."

Nashville is in the South and sometimes the "corn factor" is inescapable. But this simple country phrase above really sums up the raison d'être for the "decay" we are experiencing in evangelicalism today... the failure to honor Sola Scriptura. An overdose of sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc. can cause tooth decay, produce nasty little cavities and contribute to other bothersome dental problems. In like manner, a spiritual diet of processed theology, sweetened doctrine, and sugary platitudes consisting of seeker friendly, Word/Faith, purpose driven, positive thinking, emergent/emerging, human potentiality, psychobabble will slowly erode "the teeth" of biblical Christianity.

How we do correct this "medical malady?" Through painful, but necessary surgery that gets right to the diseased "root." May we not be content with “sermonettes for Christianettes” from the pulpits of evangelical churches on any Lord’s Day. But, may we hear pastors once again PREACH THE WORD; seeking not to be humorous, liked, entertaining, or only displaying felt-need sensitivity.

The Psalmist gives the only sure cure for truth decay; the "double-edged" scalpel of the sufficient Word of God.

"The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward."

-Psalm 19:7-11

19 comments:

mrclm said...

raison d'être? Is that permissible language in the South? :-)

Big Chris
Because I said so

Bhedr said...

As a truck driver, I get the opportunity to see many such signs up and down the road passing churches. Come on be! Spoke at ya later on! Toot! Toot!

littlegal_66 said...
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littlegal_66 said...
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SJ Camp said...

YES... it means "think biblically in all situations..." :-).

Predestined, chosen, elected, foreknown, justified, sanctified, glorified...

Oh it's good to be Reformed!!!
Sj Camp

littlegal_66 said...

Campi said:
"An overdose of sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc. can cause tooth decay, produce nasty little cavities and contribute to other bothersome dental problems."

Further parallels may also be drawn, in addition to those you have pointed out. Overdoses of sugar can also make us lethargic, fat, and leave us craving even more of the sweet stuff, rather than the healthy stuff that our bodies really need but our taste buds don't necessarily desire. In the same vein, overdosing on spiritual sugar can make us spiritually lazy, spiritually fat, and craving more of what you referred to as "sweetened doctrine."

Also, gum disease has recently been linked to higher incidents of heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disease. In fact, existence of gum disease is now believed to be capable of triggering a heart attack. And so, as a result of "truth decay," we could suffer some serious damage to our spiritual health, in particular, our hearts.

You seem to be saying that the church is in need of spiritual root canals, and the pastors should be administering them to us without the luxury and comfort of "spiritual Novocain."

Thanks, Steve.
--littlegal

P.S. Sorry for the two previous deletions, but I can't stand the thought of my posting something and later noticing mispelled words. It's part of the legalistic, perfectionist background that I am trying so hard to overcome. (I'm still growing in that area). :-)

Terry Rayburn said...
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Terry Rayburn said...

Steve,

Very well said! However, I wouldn't ban humor from the pulpit for at least two reasons:

1. It often reflects part of the personality of the preacher, and as Spurgeon and others have pointed out, the personality of the man adorns the doctrine.

2. It is often useful to gain attention and open the mind. Preaching is too often boring, and to put the burden on the hearer can be right, yet unrealistic.

Of course, humor can be abused, or substituted for the Word, or done in unedifying poor taste appealing to the flesh (personally I'd put Lark News in that last category).

But having heard you speak many times, I know that in practice you use this God-given tool very well. Don't repent of it :)

Blessings,
Terry Rayburn

Shawn L said...

Shawn,

Yes thank the Lord that I have a pastor who doesn't shy away from the task. Praise God for our shepherds may we pray for them

Denise said...

But are those Steve's teeth?

Just curious. ; )

Seriously, thanks Steve for standing clearly for biblical truth. I've benefited from both your websites.

DOGpreacher said...

hey terry...gratuitous humor is the issue. As more preachers begin preaching the word in season or out, and become studied exegetes, that takes care of your excuse for preaching being boring. Also, you said it was good for opening the mind. Are you serious? The word of God (when it isn't boring) is what illumines the mind. I heard John MacArthur once say there were 3 steps to preaching. (1)Preach the Word. (2)Pray that God blesses the preaching of the Word. (3)Repeat steps 1 & 2! It still works today.

blackreformingkid said...

Great post. As a teenage ex-Pentecostal, I know all too well what happens when preachers neglect the preaching of God's Word.

Rich said...

Good post! Without a doubt, the cavity protection of preaching, fluoride of discipleship, and flossing of discernment are needed to prevent painful problems in the future.

(Sorry, couldn't resist running with the dental theme.)

Rich

Chad V. said...

A good step toward fighting "truth decay" is to eliminate that phrase from your vocabulary. Thinking biblically means thinking God's words after him. You'll never read of such a banal platitudes in the scriptures.

Replace that phrase with "Sanctify them in your truth, your word is truth" or "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

There are any number of passages in scripture that teach that the word of God is the truth and adherence to it is the only way. It's in practically every stanza of the 119th psalm.

Why is it that one never sees church marquees with scripture on them? It is the word of God which is effective, living and active. A catch phrase can never replace it.

SJ Camp said...

blackreformingkid
As a teenage ex-Pentecostal, I know all too well what happens when preachers neglect the preaching of God's Word.

Thank you for your civil honesty on this issue. Experience can be a compelling and deceiving justifier for all matters of things for any of us. Difficult to let go of when the Word of God rightly challenges and reveals our actions as being less than biblical and more a product of our own maginations and feelings.

We need to experience the things of the Lord daily; but we need to do so in accordance with His truth... Amen?

Campi
2 Tim. 3:16-17

SJ Camp said...

rich
Without a doubt, the cavity protection of preaching, fluoride of discipleship, and flossing of discernment are needed to prevent painful problems in the future.

Wish I would have thought of that and said it in that way! Good word, excellent imagery, and a clever twist of a phrase.

Steve
Psalm 119:54

SJ Camp said...

chad v
Why is it that one never sees church marquees with scripture on them? It is the word of God which is effective, living and active. A catch phrase can never replace it.

I fully agree. But sometimes a catch phrase can be used to point people to the truth of God's Word like I believe this one can.

But no question, there is no substitute for the clear proclamation of the Scriptures - they alone are sufficient for all matters of life and godliness!

I appreciate your thoughts here. Thank you.

Steve

G. Casey said...

Steve,

Will be starting a new blog...soon called "Be aware of the yeast"

Captain Bob said...

Another part of dental treatment is to add as a finishing touch, a crown. We are searching for the crown of righteousness and everlasting life, a permanent fix to the dental problem!