“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised” by Greg Gordon. The following discusses pastors and prophets.
The evangelical pastor must trust the Spirit, not statistics.
2 Samuel 24:1 Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”
1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Like many businesses, many churches rely on statistics in both their preaching, and decision making. A very popular Christian research company, Burma, gathers information and provides it to churches. I read the history of how that company came about. In it, it seems that the founder, Burma, had very good intentions. However, it concerned me because it seems that in gathering that information and acting on it, we lean too much on our own understanding. In the old testament, God often punished leaders who took census of their people and soldiers. Gauging one’s own military strength and using that information to make military decisions demonstrated a stronger reliance on one’s own might rather than God’s. I do not see much difference between that action and relying on statistical data today.
Modern day prophets are being stoned by criticism and neglect.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Jeremiah 1:7-8 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
I struggle with the idea of prophets in modern times. Prophets in the Old Testament would give direction to the people of God, often backed with statements of the future. I have yet to hear any Christian predict the future with authority from God.
I do know many, myself included, who give direction and advice based on God’s Word and discernment that He blesses us with. However, I would not call that a prophet, but rather an elder, pastor or even teacher.
While I do not consider myself a prophet, I have experienced criticism and neglect at the hands of other leaders of the Christian community. For expressing concerns about the modern evangelical church, I am shunned but those most vested in it.
By His Grace,