Archive for January, 2016

Avoiding the Wolves (Or: Exposiwhat?)

January 12, 2016
minion-balloon-art

Stuart the Balloon Minion

There are some people who can take a bunch of balloons, put them together, and make a statue of Stuart, the Minion.   Unfortunately, there are also lots of people, a lot of them standing behind pulpits every Sunday, who can take a collection of Scriptures and make them say what ever they want them to say.

How do you avoid the bozos who would use Scripture to separate you from your hard earned money, telling you that you are glorifying God in the process?  The primary way is to take steps to see if you church is healthy.

Mark Dever, from Nine Marks (IX Marks) has put together a book that gives a thumbnail sketch of what makes up a healthy church.  You can find it here and by clicking on the image below.  It’s called “What is a Healthy Church?”

One of the characteristics of a healthy church is expositional preaching.

In the words of Mr. Dever, expositional preaching is

…the kind of preaching that, quite simply, exposes God’s Word.  It takes a particular passage of Scripture, explains that passage, and then applies the meaning of the passage to the life of the congregation…A commitment to expositional preaching is a commitment to hear God’s Word.”

Expositional preaching is not reading a verse and then preaching on a topic loosely related to that verse.  The preacher, in general, will not use such phrases as “While I was praying last night, God showed me what this verse means.”

It’s not preaching to the congregation on a topic and using biblical texts only to back up his point.  The pastor should never simply pile up Scripture in an effort to rebuke someone in the audience.

It is insisting that the point of the biblical text be the point of the sermon using that biblical text.

For example, we will often hear 1 Corinthians 13 preached during a wedding.  Counselors will use portions of it to help married couples experiencing difficulties.  But if we are going to make the point of the text the point of the sermon, the point of the sermon will have to be having the right attitudes in the use of spiritual gifts.  The section, stuck between chapters 12 and 14 has everything to do with the Corinthians and how badly they were relating to each other as believers in exercising their gifts. It has nothing specifically to do with husbands and wives.  You might try Ephesians 5:22-25 for that.

If a preacher quotes Malachi 3 and then insists you need to give ten percent to his church, the point of his sermon is not the point of the text.  If he tells you that you must shout and dance as a part of worship because Jesus tells us the Son of Man, like the snake in the desert, must be lifted up, the point of his sermon is not the same as the point of the text.

What the preacher says when he says these kinds of things may or may not be true.  But he certainly is not speaking that which God wants spoken to the congregation using His word.  Instead, he is preaching what HE wants to preach to the people, using God’s Word.  And I can say without fear of error that virtually all Pulpit Pimps use God’s Word to say what they want to say, not what God wants said.

You want to escape the pimps?  Get to a healthy church.  Get to a church that, for starters, engages in expositional preaching.  Click on the image below to get an idea of what the functions and activities of a healthy church should be.  And I guarantee you, standing when the pastor walks up to the pulpit is not one of those activities.

Oh, and if you want a fairly non-technical description of expositional preaching so you can recognize it when you see it (or at least when your pastor is preparing a sermon in keeping with the general principles) click the image below.

 

T Dexter At the Joint Circus

January 8, 2016

Sad to say, I wasn’t able to come close to seeing all of T. Dexter’s sermon.  I heard the beginning and some of the middle, the early middle.  And from what I could hear, he didn’t exactly disappoint.

T. Dexter spoke from Mark 8:22-26, the episode that involved the blind guy Jesus healed by spitting in his eyes.  Jesus then questioned him about what he saw.  Of course the man’s vision was completely restored.

The last thing I heard him talking about before the stream’s delay became intolerable, was the need for a CEO to have vision.  And he mentioned that without vision in an organization you can end up with division.  Did he chase that down further during the rest of his speech?  I don’t know.  One of you who may have heard it might want to let me know.  It may be available on DVD or CD but I’ll get hit in the head before I pay some money for a recording of the goings on.

As a side note, you should be aware of the fact that your boys Owen and Jenkins are welcoming and even honoring some rather questionable characters.

I assume you did see Bishop Grainger Browing from Ebenezer AME in Southern PG County.  You remember Grainger, right?  He’s the one who invited Calypso Louie Farrakhan to speak to his congregation and to pump up support for the Million Man March years ago.  He even let the Nation of Islam sell materials in the lobby.  This is the guy who sat there and said nothing as Calypso Louie, from the pulpit, denied the deity of Jesus Christ, reducing Him to nothing more than a prophet, and not even the main prophet at that.

Millicent Hunter, a pastor and, I believe, a bishop, was there too.  She was one of the last preachers I listened to before I left First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering.  She’s a full up Word of Faith sweetie.  When she was speaking to us she quoted Hebrews 11 where it says:

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible”

She informed us that God created the universe by faith.  And of course she went on to state that we have to have that God kind of faith.

And of course, they had the flag wavers and dancers.

I’m not sure what was going on exactly, but one woman was singing while she was laying on the floor.  The guy next to her seems to be unconscious.


I didn’t get to hear much of the sermon and I didn’t get to hear most of what was going on, but just the stuff I could glean from what I could see and hear lets me know people should stay as far away from FBCGotK as possible.  And it lets me know that the leopard John Jenkins hasn’t changed his spots at all.

T. Dexter Strikes Again

January 8, 2016

  
In the last post, I made a mistake. I said T. Dexter was going to be speaking at First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering (FBCGotK) last Wednesday. Actually, he’s going to be speaking tonight. I have no idea what he will be speaking on, and I have no idea how long the “service” is going to last.

The last time I heard him speak live was when the $55 million monument/mausoleum/memorial was dedicated several years ago. When he spoke he said some nebulous stuff about buildings indicating the future of the nation. And of course, the $55 million FBCGotK building is an indication of the legacy FBCGotK is leaving the county and the church.

Of course when I attended the dedication of the building, I had to park over a quarter mile away on a street with no sidewalks. It was cold, dark and the street was dark. I had to crowd into the building, find a seat in the balcony, and listen to a lot of people singing a couple of repetitive songs over and over again. All told, it cost me a good four hours of my time.

Well, I can’t be gone from home for that long now. And fortunately I won’t have be. If nothing else, FBCGotK is tech savvy. To you people in Glenarden, that means his team knows how to use the Internet to lure in more people.

FBCGotK has a live broadcast application and I can actually use it from the comfort of my own home to watch as T. Dexter butchers and twists the Word of God. And I can watch as people bring up money to the “altar”, laying money at the feet of the speaker.

And we can see if tries to turn men into a bunch of women the way he did at the Verizon Ceter several years ago.  

I hope to have a report for you tomorrow. Stand by.

And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

January 6, 2016

So, I decided to take Pretty Peggy to First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering (FBCGOTK) this past Sunday. We went to the 12 noon service and I must say I was impressed. A lot of times, people change, they flip flop, or they run through a lot of foolishness just because it’s good to be up on the latest gimmick.  But John Kenneth Jenkins Sr. (the pastor of FBCGOTK) has remained the same for the last fifteen years. Well, there have been some changes, but I’ll get to those a little later.

Sunday, John preached on Joshua 6:1-5 and 20. It’s the story of the defeat of the fortress city Jericho. You know the one. God told Joshua to walk around the city with his army six times in six days. And on the seventh day the priests were to blow the trumpets and the men were to shout. When they shouted, the walls would fall down and Jericho would be laid bare before them. The bottom line: walk around, blow the trumpets, shout, take the city of Jericho (and destroy pretty much everything in it except for Rahab).

Can ANYONE guess the direction John Kenneth Jenkins Senior, the pastor of FBCGOTK, went with this? Did he focus on God making sure the Israelites didn’t think they defeated the people of Jericho on their own? He mentioned it in passing, but that was it. Did he talk about the significance of the trumpets, the marching, or the shouting? Not at all. Did he explain to everyone that we all have our Jerichoes, things we want or want to be, and it just seems like we can’t get them? You bet.  And he did as fine and consistent a job of butchering that portion of God’s word as I have ever seen him do in the past.

In the thirty minute sermon he spent the first ten minutes talking about the march around the walls and twenty minutes talking about how we can knock down the walls of our personal Jericho.  Of course, none of those ways included seeking God’s will, praying, or submitting to God.

According to John Kenneth Jenkins, the lesson we get from the story of Jericho is that in order to get our victory at our Jericho we have to:

  1. See the vision God has for us. After all, when God was talking to Joshua, He said “See, I have given Jericho into your hands.” We have to see the vision.
  2. Have faith in or believe the vision. If we don’t have faith in the vision, then God can’t bring it about.
  3. Obey His instructions. If He tells us to do something and we don’t do it, then that just shows we don’t have faith.

He mentioned a fourth thing we are supposed to do but I forgot what it was. In fact he had the audience say the four things with him four or five times. Then he let them say it by themselves a couple of times.

And apparently shouting plays a part in receiving our Jericho victory. He spent the las five minutes shouting the word “shout” and belittling people who didn’t seem to go along with The shouting. Pretty Peggy suggested we leave while he was shouting so we could miss the traffic jam of people trying to get off the property.  I readily agreed.  But before we left, he did name a couple of Jerichoes we face.

Of course one of the Jerichoes people may have to defeat is a Generational Curse. Yes, after nearly fifteen years he’s still preaching generational curses. And the sheeple are still eating it up.

One of the things that did change is the flag waving. It would seem that if you bring in Liturgical Dancing the flags won’t be too far behind. And given that he does not seem to have grown a single iota with respect to the handling of the word, I guess you have to bring in a new thing or two just to keep the sheeple entertained and happy.

Of course he is bringing in the big guns of liturgical entertainment this week. FRodar, 8 January, T. Dexter (aka T. D. Jakes) is going to be speaking at FBCGOTK’s revival; the one they hold annually with the Pentecostal church from DC pastored by Bishop Owens and co-pastored by his wife. By the way, would any of you care to show me the concept of co-pastor/wife in the Bible? Or maybe “first lady” can be supported by Scripture.

And he still has everyone stand when he enters the sanctuary. I’m just not getting it. If he is supposed to be humble, why does he have the people stand when he comes in? Does he have some kind of special anointing? Is he somehow different and should be fussed over as the mand of Gawd? It’s very curious and downright scary. It goes along with one guy there telling me he wouldn’t have a problem if John K. Jenkins brought in a Jehovah’s Witness to preach because “the pastor knows what’s best for us.”  That’s Scary – both because the man believed it John K. Jenkins allows such an attitude to develop.

And just so you know that nothing of importance has changed, the good pastor still encourages the audience to get worked up, to dance around, to run around, and to bring money up and lay it on the “altar.”  You almost feel sorry for the congregation…almost; especially when you consider that many of them, though they go to church every Sunday, they likely don’t have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ or an understanding of just what they Bible is and says.