Daily Archives: January 4, 2019

January 4, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

29:18–20. David knew that the people needed to keep their devotion and remain circumspect in their obedience, so he prayed that the Lord Himself would preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You (v. 18). This emphasis on the heart continued with a petition for Solomon (v. 19)—give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments. David knew better than anyone that “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1Sm 16:7).

This prayer was not just evocative but motivational: how can God’s people remain motivated for the task set before them? They must pray sincerely. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty and their utter dependence, they must maintain a willing and obedient heart. The prayer closes with a blessing on the Lord by the people (1Ch 29:20).[1]


29:18 This formula Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel was associated with God’s covenantal promises to the Israelites (Ex. 3:6, 15; 6:3, 4; Deut. 6:10). With this name of God, David was petitioning God to keep His people always in covenant fellowship with Himself.[2]


29:18 Wholehearted commitment comes ultimately with the perfection of Christ (Heb. 10:7–10) and the change of the heart that he works in us in the new covenant (Heb. 10:16–17).[3]


29:18 establish their heart toward you David asks for God to help them keep faithful to His covenant.[4]


29:18 keep forever. David’s words speak directly to the readers of a later time, who must continue to give freely to temple worship.[5]


29:18–19 David prays that such a generous and obedient heart will continue in the people and in Solomon.[6]


[1] Zuber, K. D. (2014). 1 Chronicles. In The moody bible commentary (p. 581). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 530). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 741). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Ch 29:18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 594). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[6] Corduan, W. (2017). 1 Chronicles. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 642). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

SBC’s Russell Moore Signs Statement with Muslim Leaders, Claiming “Common Ground” — Pulpit & Pen

Russell Moore, of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

If you don’t think the American Evangelical Intelligentsia would sell their birthright for a bit of peace and prosperity, you don’t know them. They are sniveling, weak, effeminate men without spinal columns, courage, or guts. They are shells of humanity, with the good stuff taken out and replaced with cream puffery.

When Pulpit & Pen discovered that the National Association of Evangelicals had secretly embraced an expansion of gay rightsin exchange for promises of religious liberty, I thought I couldn’t see much worse. And then I saw the information I’m about to give to you and I saw that, as always, it could get much, much worse.

Let me give you a disclaimer. Of all my years following Russell Moore, the ERLC, and the progressive-liberal intellectuals who are subversively driving evangelicalism to the hard-left, this might be the worst thing I have seen to date. And given my knowledge of the ERLC and their chicanery, that’s saying something.

Coming across my Google alerts, I saw an article by Richard Ostling which highlighted what I feel to be the most over-looked news story of 2018. On November 29, a group of evangelicals led by the SBC’s Russell Moore and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) president, Leith Anderson, joined with a group of non-Christians and cultists in the name of religious liberty. These include Seventh Day Adventist, Marc Stern of the American Jewish Committee, various Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus. Also partnering with Russell Moore and the NAE are President Sayyid Syeed of the Islamic Society of North America and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, Islam’s first accredited liberal arts college in America.

As Ostling points out in his article, the typical mainstream denomination leftists you would expect to lead the way in such ecumenical enterprises haven’t even signed onto the document yet. But Russell Moore and the NAE are leading the way.

Ostling points out that the document takes no stance on important ethical issues…

The charter has won a notably varied list of initial endorsers because it purposely avoids taking stands on the “sometimes bitter debates” over how to apply these principles, in particular clashes between religious traditionalists and the LGBTQ community. Think Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. Says the charter, “although it is not always possible to uphold both non-discrimination and religious liberty claims in particular cases, both claims should be taken seriously, and both sides should seek common ground.”

What the “American Charter on Freedom of Religion and Conscience” does is – like the NAE document reported on earlier today – surrender our rights to act according to our religion for the concession to merely ideologically hold to our religion. It’s nothing short of treasonous.

The document basically says, “Make us do anything you want, as long as you let us believe what we want.”

The five-thousand-word document is available via pdf here.

The goal of the document, according to its introduction, is everything you would expect a feckless, cowering, ecumenical claptrap would be…

Their aim is to restore civility to public discourse on religion and freedom of religion and conscience in America; explore the meaning and value of freedom of religion and conscience as a foundation of American democracy and national and global prosperity; and build a multi-faith, non-partisan coalition working to affirm freedom of religion and conscience as a vital safeguard for people of all faiths and none.

The document’s goal is to promote a form of globalism by gutting America of its theological underpinnings, minimizing its Christian heritage and over-emphasizing its committment to pluralism. The document reads…

In a world of strong and undeniable diversity, all imposed absolutisms, coercive universalisms, and movements of religious and secular ideological cleansing are the open enemies of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

The document seems to emphasize secularism, and goes well beyond supporting a separation of church and state.

I’ve read this document thoroughly, and let me tell you, there is 100% reason to assume that the signers of this statement – from everything written therein – would support both gay marriage and abortion in the name of “religious freedom.” Zero doubt…none.

No doubt the Islamicists eagerly signed onto the documents because of statements like this one…

We are opposed, therefore, to any governmental policy that would discriminate against individuals or groups based on their religion. Likewise, we reject rhetoric and actions by governmental leaders and others that demonize individuals or faith communities based on their religion or that hold entire faith groups collectively responsible for the evil deeds of a few.

What’s in view, probably, would be policies like that threatened by President Trump, which would place a temporary moratorium on immigrants from primarily Islamic nations who want to destroy the United States. We know what side Russell Moore and the Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table were on in that debate, and they’re the same ones signing this document.

The document places oppressive religions like Islam in the same category as Christianity and credits them all with equal contributions to the American way of life…

In America, religion helped to spur the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and the Civil Rights Movement. We also acknowledge, however, that some have at times used religious claims in support of prejudice, oppression, or violence. But the majority of individuals and communities motivated by faith have provided an overall thrust in America toward
grassroots civic renewal and progress. Throughout our history, people of faith have empowered robust charitable giving and caring, essential educational institutions and initiatives, and vigorous political criticism and reform. These acts of kindness, charity, and service have unleashed the power of social innovation and entrepreneurship and have enriched
our civic life immeasurably

The document is clearly the most ecumenical document I’ve ever read, and perhaps has ever been attempted in the history of man. It reads…

It does not attempt to ground unity and civility in enforced conformity concerning the substance of particular religious or secular doctrines. Rather, this covenant secures unity and civility on the basis of voluntary agreement on foundational moral and political principles—principles of human dignity and human rights.

Let me ask you, Christian reader, from where comes our belief in human rights? Is it not in the Imago Dei? Is that not a uniquely Christian doctrine altogether unshared by Buddhists or Sikhs? From where comes the concept of morality? Can you acquire morality without theism? Is there a “secular” foundation of ethics? If there was a coherent foundation of secular ethics, could Christians ever agree as to what was in substance ethical?

Refuse. Utter refuse.

The document has the gall to quote Jefferson, Madison, the Federalist Papers, and Alexis De Tocqueville. Ostensibly, this is to send the message to the undiscerning reader that their statement is just a continuance of some grand American tradition. It is not. This document is a great betrayal of the grand American tradition.

According to Tocqueville, America’s committment to Christianity is responsible for its national exceptionalism, saying, “There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”

He continued…

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts-the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.

Alexis De Tocqueville

This, of course, is precisely the opposite sentiment of this horrible ecumenical document.

What the American Charter document demonstrates is that for Russell Moore and the Evangelical Intelligentsia, there are no limits on ecumenism. They will hold hands with anyone and everyone in the name of living a little bit longer under an oppressive globalist regime they’re personally helping to empower.

SBC’s Russell Moore Signs Statement with Muslim Leaders, Claiming “Common Ground” — Pulpit & Pen

James MacDonald Removes Walk in the Word From TV & Radio Amid Controversy — Julie Roys

Popular radio preacher and megachurch pastor, James MacDonald, has announced he is pulling his Bible teaching program, Walk in the Word, from all radio and TV platforms over the next couple months. The announcement comes about a month after my investigative report in WORLD Magazine, and subsequent blog posts, revealing allegations of spiritual and financial abuse by MacDonald and his Chicago-area megachurch, Harvest Bible Chapel.

In a surprise announcement to staff on Wednesday, MacDonald said he had decided to remove Walk in the Word from all “traditional” broadcast mediums and exclusively focus on digital delivery, like podcasts. MacDonald said the reason for the change was primarily pragmatic.

“Traditional broadcast is a dying thing,” MacDonald said in a live announcement to staff that was recorded by Harvest and sent to me by an anonymous source. “What that means is that the cost of it continues to rise while the demographic of it continues to age and the response to it continues to diminish.”

However, MacDonald also admitted that the current controversy is straining relationships with Christian broadcast ministries. Walk in the Word currently is broadcast on more than 2,000 outlets, including stations on the Moody Radio Network, Salem Radio Networkand Trinity Broadcast Network.

“When our church goes through difficult times like of late, that becomes even more of a strain and a burden to carry in a way that none of you would ever even know what goes on behind the scenes.”

“There’s all the upkeep that’s going on with all the relationships,” MacDonald said. “When our church goes through difficult times like of late, that becomes even more of a strain and a burden to carry in a way that none of you would ever even know what goes on behind the scenes.”

Over the past several weeks, numerous radio listeners have told me that they contacted Moody Radio to complain about the network carrying Walk in the Word.

In an email to Greg Thornton, Moody senior vice president of media, listeners Tim and Jessica Hockett of Evanston, IL, wrote: “We trust that you are familiar with the recent controversies involving James Macdonald and Harvest Bible Chapel, including the (mis)use of donations from Walk in the Word . . . We ask that you would carefully consider the weight of all allegations and supporting evidence against James MacDonald and the Elders of HBC—including their decision to file a defamation lawsuit against 5 believers—and remove Walk in the Word from Moody Radio programming.”

Thornton responded, “While we’re not at liberty to discuss programming selections, we prayerfully and closely monitor the impact of all Moody Radio programs to our constituents, and we invite you to join us in continued prayer for a Godly resolution to the internal conflict at Harvest Bible Chapel.”

Even so, MacDonald maintained that his decision was something that he had considered for years, but especially in the month of December. He complained that Christian radio networks like Salem continue to give their prime-time slots to veteran broadcasters like John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, and even deceased preachers like J. Vernon McGee. This, MacDonald claimed, forced programs like Walk in the Word to pay two-thirds to three-quarters as much money for time slots that delivered less than half the audience.

He said Christian radio is “increasingly trapped in an old generation,” and claimed that the future is in digital delivery. “We want to grow . . . and reach more people than we ever have before,” he said, “but less of the, you know, 75-year-old lady in Kansas City who’s listening to her third sermon today, and more of the young adults, or even college student, who’s consuming their media on their mobile device.”

According to MacDonald, 70-percent of Walk in the Word’s audience already is engaged digitally. He added that sales of Walk in the Word products—like CDs, curriculum, and books—have dropped by as much as 700-percent in the last five years.

MacDonald said Walk in the Word staff would be reduced but didn’t specify by how much. He only said that more than one-third of the staff would remain. According to Harvest’s website, Walk in the Word will no longer employ veteran radio host Wayne Shepherd.

Below is audio of the announcement MacDonald made to the staff:

James MacDonald Removes Walk in the Word From TV & Radio Amid Controversy — Julie Roys

Leading Cause of Death Worldwide in 2018: ABORTIONS

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

It wasn’t guns.  It wasn’t the Flu.  It wasn’t Ebola.  It wasn’t natural disasters.

It WAS the satanic practice of interfering with a human developing in their mother’s womb, and taking the life of that person – ABORTION.

And yes – I said PERSON.

Shout Out Your Abortion Vs. Silent No More

Those who are proud of killing their babies joined the “Shout Out” group, while Millions of women who regret taking the lives of their babies have joined the “Silent No More” movement.

The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Alveda Scott King, is one of the founders of Silent No More. Knowing that there are really two victims in an abortion (the baby and the traumatized mother) Alveda King is very outspoken on the evils of abortion and about the women who suffer silently with guilt and regret.

To combat the ‘Silent No More’ movement, Planned Parenthood came…

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January 4 The Call of Faith

Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1–9

Key Verse: Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Suppose you plan a wonderful surprise vacation for your family or friends. The big day finally comes. The car is loaded, everyone has taken care of all those last-minute details, and your tank is full of gas. Everyone piles in the car and fastens seat belts in anticipation.

Finally someone asks the fateful question, “Hey, where are we going?” And you say with great authority, “Well, I don’t know exactly.” After the bewildered looks and cries of dismay, probably the only one left in the car with you is the dog, and he isn’t looking too certain either. People simply don’t make big trips without knowing where they’re going—unless God asks them to. And that is precisely what God asked of Abram and his family: “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great” (Gen. 12:1–2 nasb).

God gave them some very important information, but He did not hand them a road map. Why? He wanted them to trust Him for the journey. Abram did not know where they were headed, but he knew their future was blessed, more than he could conceive.

Are you letting God take you in His direction, or are you still insisting on a travel plan?

Lord, take me in Your direction. Help me learn to walk by faith. I know my future will be blessed, more than I can imagine. No travel plan is necessary for my journey—I need only You as my Guide.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why do so many atheist historians think that 1 Corinthians 15 is reliable history?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Investigation in progress Investigation in progress

Which passage of the Bible is the favorite of Christians who like to defend the Christian worldview? I don’t mean which one is most inspirational… I mean “which one is the most useful for winning arguments?” Well, when it comes to the historical Jesus, the most important passage has to be 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.

The tradition in 1 Corinthians 15 is an early creed that was received from the eyewitnesses Peter and John when Paul visited them several times in Jerusalem, as documented in Galatians 1 and 2, where Paul meets the eyewitnesses. And of course, Paul records his own eyewitness experience, documented in 1 Cor 15:8.

So, is this passage accepted as historically reliable by all ancient historians? Or only by the Bible-believing ones?

Here’s something posted by Dr. William Lane Craig about the 1 Corinthians 15 passage:

The evidence that Paul is not writing in…

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There’s such a thing as fake [Christian] news

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

Introduction

We hear a lot these days from our President about ‘fake news.’ Wikipedia defines this new term fake news as,

Fake news or junk news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media

I’m sure you’ve all seen examples of this. Fake news is news that the mainstream media publishes which turns out to have been twisted or are simply untrue.

Well, there’s fake news in the Christian world too. Sometimes it happens due to ignorance. Not that the person passing it on is an ignorant person, but is perhaps ignorant of the scriptures. Sometimes it happens because someone is lazy and doesn’t dig, research, or think it through. Sometimes it’s carelessness. We see examples of the carelessness aspect via Jess Pickowitz’s eye-opening examples in her series…

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ERLC-Backed Evangelical Group Secretly Supports Expansion of Gay Rights — Pulpit & Pen

Russell Moore with the National Association of Evangelicals, and organization that just supported an expansion of LGBTQ “rights” in the name of religious liberty.

In the name of preserving their “religious freedom,” two prominent evangelical groups have adopted rules capitulating on the issue of sodomy in order to not face possible negative consequences in the future. Agreeing not to act on their convictions toward the LGBTQ, the organizations hope to be allowed to still have their convictions quietly.

One wonders what the point of religious freedom is when you surrender your liberty of consicence at the first sign of hardship.

Acting quietly, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) have formally endorsed principles that would add sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) to federal nondiscrimination law. One of these groups, the NAE, is heavily endorsed by Russell Moore and partners with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Shirley Mullen, the president of Houghton College and a board member of both the CCCU and NAE, said, “As Christian higher educators, we are increasingly persuaded that the most viable political strategy is for comprehensive religious freedom protections to be combined with explicit support for basic human rights for members of the LGBT community.”

Political strategy.

And all of God’s people said…barf.

Of course, neither the CCCU nor the NAE havein any way denied “basic human rights for members of the LGBT community.” No homosexual has been denied human rights by these organizations. Mullen and others representing the two boards are trying to make it seem that they’re just affirming broad human rights, but in fact they are capitulating on the sinfulness of sodomy. This is, in part, responsible for both groups keeping their decision to make LGBT-affirming statements quiet.

World Mag obtained the document agreed upon by the two organizations entitled, Fairness for All Motion. The document repudiates “unjust discrimination” towards those practicing sexual deviancy.

What is “unjust discrimination,” you might ask? Surely, that’s a loaded term, especially in a document designed to be waved like a white flag of surrender. The document goes on to explain, “These rights include basic legal and human rights related to housing, credit, jury duty and employment…

This means that Christian homeowners would have to rent homes to Sodomites and Christian-owned businesses could not decline to hire a sodomite or crossdressser on the grounds that they’re sinful or gross. So in the name of “religious liberty,” the CCCU and NAE are surrendering their religious liberty to discriminate (yes, discriminating for religious reasons is a First Amendment right) wholesale.

With liberty like that, who needs slavery?

The document is candid about its purpose. It’s trading LGBT inclusion for religious liberty like 30 pieces of silver. The document says…

“This proposed legislation seeks to secure basic human rights for the LGBT community at the national level in exchange for strong and perpetual protections for religious freedom.”

Judas Priests, they are.

The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is highly endorsed by Russell Moore and partners with the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

You can see Russell Moore’s endorsement of NAE here and view it below.

Moore writes, “When the NAE speaks, it is with careful theological reflection and with a tone that never compromises the gospel of Christ or the mission of the church. As the Body of Christ engages often complex questions facing civil society, it is a blessing to have a strong, unifying, biblically-anchored ally in the National Association of Evangelicals.”

The Fairness for All Motion is the epitome of everything wrong with today’s spineless, feckless, traitorous evangelicals. Born without courage and void of intestinal fortitude, these evanjellyfish have just offered to surrender our conscience for the right to have one.

They have surrendered their right to act upon their conviction for the right to simply statetheir conviction. Ultimately, that’s really no religious freedom at all.

For why we should never surrender our convictions in the name of “religious liberty,” listen to JD Hall’s sermon at 2015 Reformation Montana below. In the sermon, he spoke of Russell Moore and the ERLC’s allies who would ultimately give up their convictions in the name of liberty.

Listen here.

ERLC-Backed Evangelical Group Secretly Supports Expansion of Gay Rights — Pulpit & Pen

Trump Spats With Pope Over Immigration and Utterly Smacks Him Down — Pulpit & Pen

The President of the United States is feuding with the Bishop of Rome, and Trump just had a ‘drop the mic’ moment with the pontiff.

On one side of this dispute is Donald J. Trump, who took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. On the other side is Pope Francis, a Brazilian Jesuit who was thoroughly indoctrinated by South American liberation theologians. Trump wants to protect America, and the Pope wants to unite the world globally under the banner of Rome.

The men with two different missions locked horns yesterday as Trump gave a scathing rebuke of Pope Francis’ constant chastisement of United States immigration policy, which is among the most charitable in the world. The U.S. takes in more than 1.2 million immigrants a year, which is among the highest in the world. Nearly 13.5 percent of those inside America’s borders were born outside America, a demographic and stastistical limit to be able to maintain American cultural unity.

In spite of American generosity, Pope Francis has been constantly dinging Trump in speeches across the world, primarily centered on Trump’s insistence to do his job by enforcing already-existent immigration law and building a border wall that was already approved by Congress.

On Thursday, Donald Trump had enough of the Pope’s undermining of American sovereignty. At a cabinet meeting, Trump told the media that the Vatican and the Pope himself proves that American immigration policy – and the border wall – are moral.

When they say the wall’s immoral, well then you got to do something about the Vatican, because the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all.

Trump continued, “Look at all of the countries that have walls, and they work 100 percent. It’s never going to change. A wall is a wall.

This isn’t the first time the two figures have tangled over the issue of American sovereignty versus globalism. In 2016, Pope Francis said that building “walls rather than bridges” wasn’t Christian. Trump responded by saying that if the Vatican walls were scaled by ISIS the Pope would be thankful he were president.

President Trump is factually correct. The Vatican has one of the most impressive border walls in the world.

The impressive border wall at the Vatican may be the tallest border wall in the world, much larger than the Great Wall of China.

The walls were built in the 9th century, commissioned by Pope Leo IV, ostensibly to protect the Vatican from people intent on plundering the city. Other Popes increased the height of the walls in the 14th and 15th century and mutltiple times throughout its history the Vatican has also closed the gates. In other words, the Vatican not only protected its borders from unlawful entry, it has closed the ports of lawful entry – something not even proposed by President Trump.

The Pope has thus far ignored Trump’s recent comments. He is in the Vatican, behind its walls, currently dealing with the massive Roman Catholic sex abuse scandalsthroughout the world.

In the meantime, President Trump should point out that the Pope isn’t the only religious leader with a border wall. Christ Jesus also has one in Heaven.

[The Holy City] had a great, high wall, with twelve gates…Revelation 21:10

Trump Spats With Pope Over Immigration and Utterly Smacks Him Down — Pulpit & Pen

Shepherds Gone Astray — Paul Tautges

The book of Jeremiah is essentially a long essay on apostasy. What is of particular interest is its evidence of the incredible power of leaders to influence people for good or for ill. The prophet begins with a pathetic description of the state of spiritual leadership in Judah: “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that did not profit” (2:8). What a tragedy! The very men who were supposed to lead the people to God did not even know God. As a result, “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!” (5:30–31). Leaders ruled independently of God because they had already rejected the authority of His Word: “Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it” (6:10). The more the shepherds neglected the ministry of the Word of God and did ministry their own way, being “greedy for gain” (6:13), the more they offered God’s people false forms of healing. “And they have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (6:14). And naïve sheep loved it! But God did not.

Instead, God’s tender love for His flock moved Him to grieve over this neglect. And so it is today. When God’s sheep are “healed” superficially with theories that do not originate in His Word, psychological “felt needs” are stroked by preaching that only affirms, and emotional problems are “treated” by therapeutic counseling, people’s outward symptoms may be nursed while the core problem of the heart is often ignored. As a result, the people of God are given false hope which ultimately leads to disaster. “Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their plans, because they have not listened to My words” (6:19). When God’s shepherds neglect His Word, the flock always suffers. There is no way around it. Unfortunately, the general state of church leadership today is not much better than it was in Jeremiah’s time.

Leadership journal has been a prominent periodical directed toward pastors and church leaders for decades. After studying its shift away from the Word of God as well as devotion to theology, David Wells concludes,

As the journal turns away from the Bible to what it apparently assumes are more fruitful sources of knowledge it is redefining Christian ministry and the pastor who accepts its point of view. In the study, the evangelical pastor is now the C.E.O.; in the pulpit, the pastor is a psychologist whose task it is to engineer good relations and warm feelings.

Fifteen years later, in another book, The Courage to Be Protestant, Wells indicates that “the lay of the evangelical land” has not improved, but in fact has worsened, giving way to a new kind of leadership among pastors.

Gone is the older model of the scholar-saint, one who was as comfortable with books and learning as with the aches of the soul. This was the shepherd who knew the flock, knew how to tend it, and Sunday by Sunday took that flock into the treasures of God’s Word. This has changed. In its place is the new “celebrity” style. What we typically see now, Nancy Pearcey suggests, is the leader who works by manipulating the feelings of the audience, enhancing his own image with personal anecdotes, modeling himself after the CEO, and adopting a domineering management style. He (usually) is completely results-oriented, pragmatic, happy to employ any technique from the secular world that will produce the desired results.

In other words, the very nature of the pastorate is being intentionally overhauled and the “new” worldly paradigm does not look much different from that which God condemned in the Old Testament.

Shepherds Gone Astray — Paul Tautges