Friday, October 31, 2008

Bashed by another pastor! (again!)

I was recently asked to be a clergy leader for a Weekend experience (used to be called Chrysalis). My talk was supposed to be on "God Accepted." Those of you who have followed me for some time now can probably guess how my sermon went. It lasted 20 minutes.

Here is a copy of the outline I was supposed to follow.

Talk #8 God Accepted Clergy

Overview:
This talk will help the participants understand how one accepts or rejects the love that is being offered by God. Just as a person is able to choose whether or not to relate with others, they can choose whether or not to relate with God. Out and out denial is easy to recognize, but the subtleties of partial acceptance (partial denial) sometimes eludes us. A person finds fulfillment when one fully accepts the relationship offered by God.

Schedule:
Saturday, 6:00-6:20 p.m. (20 minutes)

Suggested Themes:
Your talk should follow the overview while still being your own story. You may use some of the suggested themes, your own ideas, or a mixture of the two as God leads you. You don’t need to follow the suggested themes in order. Remember that your talk should be about 20 minutes long.

· Remind participants of what is being offered to them.
· God offers forgiveness.
· God offers us a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
· God offers fulfillment and happiness.
· Discuss how a person can accept or reject a relationship with Christ. Remind candidates that this must be done of your own free will; parents or friends cannot accept Christ for you.
· We are persons of freewill, not puppets.
· Discuss the consequences of denying the relationship that God offers us. We will be cut off from God as describe in the vine and the branches in John 15:1-17.
· Discuss the benefits of accepting a relationship with Christ. We will hunger for God; we will find reconciliation, security and the peace that passes all understanding.
· Explain what can be hoped for when we say “yes” to a relationship with God.
· Explain what faith is and how a relationship with Christ is an expression of faith.
· Tell how faith is the foundation of the relationship with Christ.
· What does it mean to deny self? How does that affect my relationship with Jesus?
· Close with the 4 Spiritual Laws and pray the prayer of acceptance. Let the candidates know that they can pray silently. Let them know that if they prayed the prayer of acceptance and meant in their hearts what they prayed that they should seek out an adult on the team sometime this evening and confess with their mouths.

Suggested Scripture:
Spend time with God in prayer and in your Bible as you write and develop your talk. Some suggested scriptures are given below but God may also lead you to other verses and passages.

John 10:10 Jesus came so we may have life and have it to the full.
John 15:1 – 17 Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
Acts 4:12 There is no other name by which we can be saved.
Romans 3:21 – 26 All have sinned and fallen short.
Romans 10:9 Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord.
********************************************************************************
So with that in mind, here is what I told the group in our practice session.

I started off asking everyone there this question...
How many people here have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
(every hand went up)
I then asked this next question and it was silent!
How many people here have been accepted by God?

I had their attention! Now they were ready to listen.
I quoted John 3:16 and told them what the word "Believe" really means. I told them it was an action word based less on the intellect on more on the obedience of the believer.
I talked about sin and the need to repent. I talked about how Jesus' first words in ministry were, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Basically, I gave them the whole gospel message.

I told them about repentance, obedience, faith and trust. I gave them the example of putting the Lord Jesus on as told in the bible. An airplane is going to crash and you are told there is a parachute under the seat. What are you going to do with that parachute? Will you just believe that it will save you? NO! You will put it on. For without it, you will die! The same way with Jesus. Just believing is not good enough. Not if it is only an intellectual belief, for even the Devil believes and trembles. I followed all of that up with the Love of God in sending His Son to die on the cross for us. We do not have the right to make up our own set of rules on how to get into heaven. God has given us His Word and His Word tells us what we must do.

Repent of our sins, for without repentance, there is no salvation!
Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you!
Be obedient to His Word.
Be holy just as He is holy! Without holiness, no one will enter heaven!

I talked about the choice that each person must make. Their decision will have eternal consequences.

When the talk was over with, I went into another room with one other pastor and one of the team leaders of the Weekend. The team leader was all smiles and just said, WOW! You really hit it right on the head with that talk!!

The other pastor (a woman pastor of a methodist church)...
She scolded me in front of the other man. She said that she did not like the message. She kept repeating, "Where is the hope? Where is the hope? Had she listened to the sermon she would have heard me say that the only hope we have is in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we are all destined for hell. She said I shouldn't have talked about the Law of God and about sin. She said that many people who will be listening on the Weekend will be atheist and they don't want to hear about sin. They want to hear about hope.

As far as she was concerned, the Holy Spirit had no chance of saving those people with my sermon. I had mentioned in the sermon how many people just sit in church and do not take their faith out into the streets where it belongs. She said I was attacking churches and she did not like that.

After we prayed we went back into the room of other people (a mix of adult leaders and high school boys who are acting as leaders too)
They all gave their reviews of my sermon.
They loved it! They all had that WOW statement.

It's as if they had never heard a sermon about repentance and how important it is to their walk with Christ. I pray that the lady pastor is convicted within her heart. She seems to be another one of those entertainment valued pastors. Tell a couple of jokes and then tell nothing but "feel good" messages. Mustn't offend anyone!!

I want to encourage all people reading this today.
You will all have opportunities to talk to someone about Christ. It might be the only opportunity you get. Will you give them a soft gospel filled with God's love and nothing else? Or, will you give them the whole gospel message of sin and the need to repent followed by God's love? If you do the first one, if they die without repenting of their sins, you have done them no favors by talking to them. Without repentance there is no salvation! Period!

I pray that you give them what they need to hear. If they are offended by God's Word (much like this lady pastor), then do not worry. It is not our job to do the "saving," we leave that up to God! Our job is to present the whole gospel message. Will you do it?

by the way, the lady pastor told me next time to be sure to follow the outline. What outline will you follow when talking to people? The best outline available is found in the Bible. Just do as Jesus and the Disciples did! Law to the Proud, Grace to the Humble!

6 comments:

yipeng said...

Glad there was a good result.

"I quoted John 3:16 and told them what the word "Believe" really means. I told them it was an action word based less on the intellect on more on the obedience of the believer."

That really spoke to me. Thanks.

Bob Rogers (MD) said...

Since you already had her roused up...you should have gone on to tell her that she being in a pastor position is unbilical and asked her to repent. She ought not worry about YOUR message and focus on her own unbiblical message. The message her acts convey in light of scripture.

pastorbrianculver said...

hi Bob,.
you are right. But with her coming from a Methodist background, we have to understand that from the hierarchy of the top Bishop down to the pastor's, there is a liberal tendency that keeps coming up. The all inclusive language that they use. If you are going to use inclusive language, then you will no doubt allow women pastor's to lead churches. Much the same way they allow homosexual marriages or homosexual pastor's to lead as well. The fight has been saved for another day! I want to be able to give my talk to the kids first, then I will talk to her if she continues to dwell on it!

Bob rogers (MD) said...

Way to go borther. Well said, and God speed. My prayers are with you.

pastorbrianculver said...

Thanks Bob, I appreciate your prayers!

micey said...

excellent post!