This Preacher Will Not Be Silent
by Dr. David M. Berman
As a minister of the gospel for 20 years I believe I have the Biblical right and mandate to speak my mind as it agrees with the Word of God. My liberty to preach and speak with honesty comes from God, not men. I speak as having the authority of the call of God in our land and thus feel it is proper to share my sense of what The Lord is moving me to say. I know some may respond negatively to my words but I speak this with love as well as boldness. I will continue to speak the Church and to the culture. If I am to be “salt and light” I must.
For years I have heard all the words from people concerning revival and how unity is essential for it. I have heard the words of what “God is about to do.” Do we really think that God is on vacation in Bermuda? That someday when He is rested he will “bring revival?” It is not God who is waiting to move us to repentance for a particular time. I find no scriptural evidence for such thinking. He did all that was necessary on the Cross and in His resurrection for revival. The Scripture says; “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8) God set revival in motion in Acts chapter two when he birthed the Church with power. It is not that God is going to get around to it….we must get around to walking in it! Every revival comes from single minded repentance and a turning back to the will and Word of God, not slick marketing or fancy packaging. Revival is the power of God released in the hearts of men and women who are willing to lay it all down and follow Christ.
I know as you do what the Word says about unity. There is no question that unity is essential for revival. However, unity must, and I repeat must, be centered in the written Word of God. There are many that seem to think that they have a revelation of how God is going to move in restoring the culture. They think that there is a certain method by which God will gain more converts. The methods such as “seeker sensitive” and “emergent church” doctrines and practices are not the answer to our weak congregations. In fact a few years ago the “Willow Creek” movement released their study of the effects of their ministry model. Their study has shown it to be a dismal failure in terms of effective discipleship. They concluded that although they get bodies to come to church, there is little deep understanding and practice of Christian principles in the lives of those who have joined their “seeker sensitive” church. To their credit, it took a lot of guts to admit that.
I have been chastised often for speaking out against the “seeker sensitive” movement. It turns out that I and others were right. Why were we right? The answer is simple. Jesus established the Church and gave us His Word through the Apostles. No system that violates the principles of the Word of God will work to accomplish the will of He who established the Church.
I certainly believe in being relevant to society as any missionary would. Having said that, compromise of foundational Biblical truth is not the way to be relevant since all else is irrelevant concerning salvation and discipleship. Simply put, you cannot expect people to become powerful Biblical Christians without expecting them to submit to the Bible. Furthermore, you can’t expect them to submit to the Bible without them being taught the Bible. Many in our land are now afraid to teach it concerning any culturally sensitive topic. Issues of sexuality, male headship authority in the home, male leadership in the Church, and cohabitation have been eliminated from the pulpit. These things have become offensive to our cushy culture. Excuses are made in descriptive spiritual platitudes like “we must be redemptive about this.” They sound so good and yet there is nothing redemptive about being afraid to apply the truth of God’s Word. I dare say that most would not allow the Apostle Paul himself to preach in their congregations if he were alive today. They would think him to be harsh. They would admonish him to be “redemptive” in his approach as though we must make the Bible more palatable in order to be redemptive.
Our society has become filled with politically correct language that demands a proverbial “walking on egg shell” precision. Some in the Church now actually believe that it is the job of the Pastor to make sure that they are comfortable. They believe they are entitled to be comfortable with what is preached, comfortable about what is asked of them, and comfortable about being able to sit and do nothing for the kingdom of God. Consequently, the Church has been influenced by the “what about my feelings” self-centeredness of the culture. The idea that a preacher of the Word of God could please everyone is ridiculous. In fact there is no way to be one who preaches Christ and His Word, and at the same time be free from offending the human condition. The modern gospel is the idea that each person is the center of importance. From the prosperity preachers who preach in a manner that puffs up and takes advantage of human pride, to the emergent types who are unwilling to stand on the fundamental truth that the name of Jesus is an offence (Romans 9:32-33).
Unity at all costs is not something I am willing to do. I will not be unified with feminism, watered down Biblical preaching, new age power of positive thinking, evolutionism, or any other destructive message cloaked in Christian terminology. Unity comes from the oil that flows from the head (Christ), down upon the beard and garments (His church), to the skirts of his garments (his people). For there the Lord commands the blessings (Psalm 133). What fellowship does light have with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)? I am not saying that everyone must agree with me on every possible point. What I am saying is that we must agree on essential points.
Here are a few: 1) The Bible is infallible in its original tongue. It has full authority. 2) He is the only name given whereby we must be saved. 3) Jesus died on the cross paying the atoning sacrifice necessary for salvation. 4) Jesus rose bodily from the dead. 5) Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and along with the Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father. 6) A person must be born again (regenerated by the Holy Spirit) to enter heaven. Hell is a real place. 7) Jesus was born of a virgin and is God manifested in the flesh. 8.) The family was established by God. Marriage is man and woman. 9) God established order in the family by placing the man as the woman’s head and the children under the parent’s authority.
I am not saying all have to have the same style of ministry. I am simply saying that the idea of liberalism with all its politically correct nonsense has no place in Christianity. Much of the Church in America has become worldly in thinking. You know– ”Pop Music”, Pop Psychology, Pop Food”, Pop Culture” and now…”Pop Church.” With all the declarations made by those who are looking to announce the next “move of God,” it concerns me that there is little practical practice of what God has already clearly spoken through his Word.
On the issues of being salt and light I make no apology for speaking out concerning culture.
My first responsibility is the preaching of the gospel. That is something I have always put as top priority. There are many pastors that refuse to speak out against abortion and the myriad of social ills in our land. They hide behind every excuse you can think when the truth is that most are simply afraid, afraid to offend someone in their congregation, or afraid to be looked upon negatively by the world. They say “political things have no place in the church.”
I say “yes they do.”
Here is why; all political positions are based on an individual’s worldview. All worldviews are based on one of four main world views; 1) Polytheism, the belief in many Gods. 2) Pantheism, the belief that everything is God. 3) Monotheism, the belief in one God. 4) Atheism, the belief that there is no God. One of these four basic worldviews will shape your political position.
In America, we were founded on the principles of liberty as found in the Bible. That means we were founded on a monotheistic worldview. If a politician does not believe in God, he can’t be an American in the true sense of what it means. Why? Because if a political figure is an atheist, he has renounced the founding document which says “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Therefore he can’t truly say in his heart that anyone has absolute rights granted by God. If rights are granted by men, they can legally be taken away by men. This thinking is the opposite of our founding. If we believed that, we would not have had the American Revolution.
Why do I speak out? Why do I write, do radio and TV? Why do is put myself in positions that make people lie about me and attack me with bitter words? Why? Because it is my duty as a minister of the Gospel to first preach the gospel, and also to be a prophetic voice to my country. As a preacher, I am not called to keep my words contained within the four walls of a church building!
How can anyone who claims to be a preacher sit back and say nothing about over 50 million babies murdered by abortion? How can any preacher forsake his duty to proclaim the Biblical principles this nation was founded on in society. Am I to be of no influence, separate in my ministry and relegated to preaching to the choir only? I firmly believe that the main reason America is sliding toward the pit of Hell, and taking the principles of liberty with it is because for 50 years pastors have had no guts! Pastors in America are run by committees instead of leading as the scripture teaches. Alarmed by fear of losing their job, or a church member, they soften their words and walk very carefully as to not rock the boat.
By God’s grace I have been heard by millions on radio and TV. I do not know what impact I may or may not have, but I know this; Woe unto me if I do not peach the whole truth of God’s word to believers and unbelievers. I will not sit back and concern myself with popularity; the stakes are too high for preachers to worry about losing their “job.” It is not a political party that I endorse, it is the Biblical truth that led to the covenant we call the Constitution. I make no apologies for that in any way. Smell the truth, it will set you free.
Dr. David M. Berman is the author of Wake Up and Smell the Truth. For more information, see www.smellthetruth.com.