Sunday, August 12, 2012

Preach the Gospel; If Necessary Use Words

John Piper

Recently, I read something on Facebook that John Piper wrote concerning this quote:  "Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words."  Then Piper wrote, "when you feed the poor, sometimes use food."  Piper was obviously mocking "preach the Gospel; if necessary use words"--a quote attributed to Francis of Assisi.  Piper is an evangelical pastor and author.

"Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words" is powerful and beautiful.  It reminds me of this Scripture:  "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." (I Corinthians 4: 20)  John Piper will probably never appreciate the fact that our life IS the sermon.  I have met some real jackasses who had all kinds of Bible head knowledge and who spoke loudly about their "Christian" faith--but they were horribly shallow and spiritually dead.  It is like watching a three-year-old child splashing around in two inches of water telling the world with a megaphone that he is a world class swimmer or a deep-sea diver.

In my life of obedience to the Lord, I am speaking VOLUMES without even opening my mouth--but I DO speak much about my life in Christ. Back in 1991, the Lord told me to quit going to church on Sundays (I went to church on Sunday for five years--I even preached at a nursing home for a year).  It was such a relief.  My NOT going to church on Sunday is a very powerful sermon against the dead churches in the United States today.  Look at all the shallow, worldly evangellyfish churches in America; look at the devil (Barack Obama) that we have in the White House:  there is clearly a connection.

One of the most powerful things that has ever happened in my life was when my faith healed me of manic-depression (demonic bondage) back in 1986.  I have also been delivered of hundreds of demons since 1988.  How many churches have ever invited me to speak to their congregations about my being healed of manic-depression or of my being delivered of many demons?  ABSOLUTELY NONE!  No wonder the Lord has had me hitchhike for a living--it is a powerful testimony against the deadbeat church people in America (I am constantly shaking the dust off of my boots).  John Piper would probably kick me out of his church.

I visited this church in Bridger, Montana a few times in my hitchhiking travels.  I sat in that church pew and listened to a spiritually dead non-sermon.  Later, we had a big dinner in the church basement and then we played volleyball all afternoon.  Well, we had food for our bellies and had some physical exercise and entertainment--but no food for the spirit.  And people wonder why I don't go to church on Sunday?  Some people think they are saved because they memorize Bible verses and reject Christ for a living.

John 5:  39-40:  "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."  

II Corinthians 3: 6:  "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

I visited this church in Stites, Idaho a few times.  We were having a casual discussion about some Scriptures when I said, "Let's wait on the Lord and see what He will reveal to us about this Scripture."  Immediately, the pastor started yelling at me and rebuked me from the pulpit.  And all these years I thought that the anointing was our only teacher.

I John 2: 27:   "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words:  it doesn't say, preach the Gospel and DON'T use words.  If you don't have any spiritual life in you (through Christ--which means "anointing"), you have nothing to talk about anyway, you have no life to impart to others.  Yes, young Christians can speak about their faith and mature Christians can speak about their faith.  But I have met too many shallow, worldly idiots who preach from proper pulpits who contribute absolutely nothing to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Does Christ or Scripture Rule?
Jesus IS the Word of God
Shiloh
Outside the Camp
Francis of Assisi
I Should go to Dairy Queen More Often
Overcome with Great Sorrow

_____

Shiloh
By Tim Shey

Brutal deathdance;
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.

Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.

The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.

The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.

My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).

My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.

Ethos
February/March 1997
Iowa State University

Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

9 comments:

  1. Thank you, Deirdre.

    “The fact is that, we are not producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity, that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian of our times is but a shallow display of true sainthood. Yet, we put millions of dollars behind ‘movements’ to perpetuate this lower form of religion and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it.”

    --A.W. Tozer

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  2. Tim, John Piper comes across as a true, blue great man of God, but when you take off the varnish and top covering and bear down deep to the "bare metal" he's a big mouthed "religious talker" and hard core supporter of Mark Driscoll, a cult leader of Mars Hill Church. My son fell into this "bad company" after he returned home from the war 3 years ago. He began sending me Piper and Driscoll garbage on a daily basis. I love your comment about 'A LOWER FROM OF RELIGON" God bless you brother and keep up the good fight.

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  3. Thanks, Randy. I always appreciate your input.

    We could probably call this lower form of religion "lolly pop Christianity" or "cotton candy Christianity".

    But we should count our blessings. The Lord has raised up many church people to persecute the true Christians, so that we can be purified for the Lord--so that the Lord can use us for HIS work--the Lord working through us to reach out to a fallen and sinful world.

    We must remember: was Stephan, the first martyr of the early church, stoned to death by the Romans or the Philistines? No. He was stoned to death by religious people. So if we are mocked and attacked by Christian Pharisees, then we must be in God's perfect will. Praise the Lord!

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    Replies
    1. Acts 7: 51-60: "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
      When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

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  4. "Preach the Gospel; If Necessary Use Words" reminds me of Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947). Smith was an English preacher. One time Smith was sitting in this passenger car on a train. Of course, Smith was burning up in the power of the Holy Ghost. This one guy walked into the train car, looked at Smith (who hadn't said a word), yelled out, "you convict me of sin!" and ran out of the train car. That guy later got saved.

    "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."

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  5. Amen and Amen...
    It is soooo interesting that using words became set off, upset John Piper in this manner. Because it is words that are USELESS.... WORDS ARE FLESH..... why do you think the prophet Isaiah said (Is. 6:5) said < woe is my, i'm undone I'm a man w. unclean lips...) He saw how his mouth, using words, I believe even using good words are UNWORTHY... WORTHLESS...

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  6. Randy: Don't get me wrong: I greatly appreciate anointed preaching and teaching (spoken and written words). But the life that is truly surrendered to Christ is much more powerful than words. The life that is NOT surrendered to Christ can only use worthless words (and usually these people use way too many words).

    Zechariah 4: 6: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

    "We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    "Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    "Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
    Remember us—if at all—not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men."

    --excerpt from "The Hollow Men"
    By T.S. Eliot

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