“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend My people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD.

“I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-4)

So Little In Common

A while back my friend Bob DeWaay appeared in an informal debate with Doug Pagitt, “an influential voice” for the Emergent Church, and pastor of Solomon’s Porch. Afterward DeWaay would tell me, “I have never debated theology with someone who claimed to be a Christian that I had so little in common with.”

We’ll get a little bit of a glimpse why in this interview with where Pagitt was promoting his book Preaching Re-imagined: The Role of a Sermon in Communities of Faith. This Emergent leader, pastor and friend of Emergent Guru Brian McLaren gives us further indication that he really hasn’t a clue as to the actual role of the pastor-teacher from the pulpit as evidenced below:

I had to make up a phrase, “speaching,” to describe what I think has happened in the church. I think that in the church we tend to act as if in the church world things operate by a different set of rules than in the rest of the world and we have these little phrases for them to allow them to operate in a different way. For instance, we don’t have auditoriums, we have sanctuaries, and we don’t have stages we have platforms. In much the same way I think we’ve taken the speechmaking act and we call it preaching. So if someone said that “my pastor gave a really great speech today” people would feel funny about that and say “it’s not really a speech because it’s in a religious context and encouraged by God.” But it has every appearance of being a speech.

When you are in a religious context, and use all of the religious supporting powers, including the role of the pastor, the use of the Bible, a committed community of people who are going to meet together, and then you stand up and give a speech that was created in isolation, is meant to be offered to the most broad cross-section of people possible and delivered from your sole perspective, it seems to me that you are giving a speech. In that context you control the pace, the conclusion, the presuppositions, you basically control all of it. I can’t seem to separate that type of preaching from making a speech other than the fact that the former has added power to it, or dastardly influence I guess, because it’s in the religious context, which makes it even more difficult for someone to contradict it or have a different opinion. So basically by speaching I mean a speech given in a religious context – that is why I spelled it the way I did, to try and show it as a special kind of speech, but a speech none the less.

The first thing we should notice is the gross omission of the critical role of the Holy Spirit as if a pastor-teacher just writes a little speech and then gets up before people to merely offer his personal opinions. And here we see yet more contradiction of the historic orthodox Christian faith from an Emergent Church leader in a feeble attempt to placate the fickle wants of men. Despite emerging howls to the contrary, as if by speaking loudly and defiantly they can make it so, the Emergent Church is little more than the seeker sensitive Church Growth Movement for the younger rebellious set.

Rise Up O Men Of God!

But this is what God has said to His pastor-teachers in the Bible, which is His inerrant and infallible Word:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5, ESV)

Men and women, when the faithful pastor-teacher, as a man sent by God, is behind the pulpit he is to be as a prophet and speak the very Words the Lord gives to him. The Church of Jesus Christ is in the sad shape it is in today and falling for the false teachings of seducing spirits such as Doug Pagitt because she has forgotten that the Master Himself said of His pastor-teachers – “The one who hears you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects Him Who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)

As a matter of fact A.W. Tozer, a favorite of many Emergents, put it this way:

The Christian minister cannot deny that God has called him to be a prophet to his own generation, for the Church is God’s witness to each generation and its ministers are its voice. Through them, the voice of God becomes vocal!

The true minister, therefore, should know what he means when he says that he preaches “the truth.” It is not enough that the man of God preach truth–suppose he recites the multiplication table? That is also truth. To be effective, the message must be alive–it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God’s present voice ot a particular people.

To preach the truth, the prophet must be under the constant sway of the Holy Spirit. He must be driven to God for wisdom. Otherwise, he will not pierce the conscience of each listener as if the message had been directed to him of her alone. Further, it is necessary that the man of God know the people’s hearts better than they themselves do.

So as you can see the absolute truth is there is most certainly no room for any “conversation” as the man of God preaches and teaches the sermon that he should have received from the dreadful and awful, glorious and majestic, LORD God Almighty during the week upon his knees with much fear and trembling.

…he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit has said…