Sunday, February 26, 2006

R.C. Sproul Interview with John MacArthur.

I ran across this interview with John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul on the Ligonier Ministries website. The MP3 download is located here next to the last download on the page. They were discussing some of the subject matter for the upcoming Ligonier Ministries National Conference in Orlando. The theme this year is “The Bride of Christ”. John MacArthur is one of the speakers and one of his messages will be “The Shepherd and His Flock”.

Much of what was discussed had to do with the issues facing the church today, primarily with the diminishing adherence to the biblical role of the pastor and the importance of Biblical preaching.

The chief duty of the pastor is tending the flock which entails feeding the congregation employing the systematic study, teaching and preaching of Scripture with the central goal of spiritual nourishment of the church. This is clearly evident in the Bible especially in passages such as John 21:15-17, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2.

This is what causes the congregation to grow to be spiritually mature and develops discernment so the people are not lead astray by various forms of false teaching. If there is one primary contributing factor that has been instrumental in opening up the church today to be vulnerable to deceptive teaching, it is the failure of the church to follow a biblical form of pastoral leadership and church ministry. As Dr. MacArthur put it in the interview, there has been a “Proliferation of in a sense inadequate and unbiblical ministry in the so-called church”. Too much emphasis has been placed on “success” that is really based on a business model rather than what Scripture describes as biblical ministry. R.C. Sproul also mentioned his experience where he had a seminary professor actually tell the students that they should not preach beyond an eighth grade level, even if you have a congregation of primarily college educated people. This certainly defies Scripture by not providing the “full counsel” of God. The preaching should be centered on the true spiritual needs of the people, not their perceived “felt” needs. Many of the tactics used today as MacArthur points out, merely “manipulates a superficial response that creates an illusion that they have connected with God.” This further leads people down the path of deception.

What was really astonishing is the story John MacArthur told of a church in southern California, that was trying to elect a committee of church members that would be responsible for preparing the sermons for the pastor! Certainly describes what Paul warned Timothy about concerning those “wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (2 Timothy 4:3, NASB)

Faulty, unbiblical leadership is certainly treacherous to the church.

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