Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"A Word from the Lord" or "Peddlin' Sermons"?

Preachers are known to recycle their sermons; its understandable...those of you who have sat under Jerry Vines and Homer Lindsay for many years heard the same text preached multiple times by the same preacher, the same basic outline of the sermon. There were times when Jerry Vines would preach and I'd see his name and date in my Bible margins from 3 or 5 or even 10 year prior when he preached the same text, same basic message and outline. But Jerry Vines always changed and modernized and fit the sermon that he preached years ago to fit the current day.

But there is something strange when a visiting preacher delivers the same sermon to your church, that he delivered to another church, just a few days prior. Especially when they claim at the beginning of the sermon to have a "special word" for the church. I suppose an evangelist might do this that is preaching evangelistic sermons...but there's something about it that makes me wonder if the preacher is delivering a word from the Lord, or is he is peddling a sermon. Is it a fresh word from the Lord or is it his latest "single" that he is taking out on the road to perform and impress the churches with?

What am I talking about? Johnny Hunt preached the same exact message on loving Jesus and giving to Jesus on Sunday night 9/16 at the close of the NAME conference as he did 2 weeks prior on a Wednesday night at Bellevue Baptist Church. Same message. Same opening. Same illustrations. Same "ad-lib" comments (which weren't so ad lib). The only difference was he took more time at Jax to explain in more detail how much money he gives to the Lord.

Of course Mac did the same thing last summer, when he went unannounced to Atlanta and preach the Sunday morning service at Johnny Hunt's anniversary service at the FBC Woodstock. Mac preached the same sermon there, with some minor changes, that he preached to his own congregation the Sunday morning before! So I wonder: when Mac prepared that sermon was it for Johnny but he figured he'd try it out on us first, or was it for us and he recycled it for Johnny's anniversary?

Fresh word from the Lord for the church? Or is it peddling of sermons for honoraria?

I'll let you decide.

P.S. Those of you who missed Johnny Hunt's sermon Sunday at FBC Jax won't be able to listen to it online, because FBC Jax doesn't archive even the audio of sermons on the church website, let alone the video. What an absolute waste of resources when we have the millions of dollars of media equipment and Internet resources that we don't make our services available, archived, on the Internet. Granted we do the live feed, but the reach would be much further if we archived. You can listen to audio of Mac's sermons on his own website, but that is all, and they aren't archived or dated. When will we will start archiving sermons on our church website? Was this an agreement with Mac when he was hired that we wouldn't archive any sermons, that only sermons made available on the Internet would be ones he chooses to make available on his own website? Why can't Jim Smyrl's Wednesday night sermons be archived on the FBC Jax Website? Churches with 1/20th of the budget we have archive video of their services for crying out loud! How big of a church do we need to be, how much budget do we need to have before we'll start at least putting archived audio on the church website of all our services? But if you want to hear Johnny Hunt's sermon that he preached at FBC Jax last Sunday, not a problem....Bellevue did archive it...when he preached it at their church 2 weeks prior.