Preach the Gospel; If Necessary, Use Words   8 comments

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 idiots 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
Francis of Assisi
Outside the Camp
I Should go to Dairy Queen More Often
Brother Lawrence (1611-1691)

_____

*John 3: 31-32:  “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.  And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.”

_____

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.”

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8 responses to “Preach the Gospel; If Necessary, Use Words

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  1. Tim, you have summed up the lives of most that attend the dead churches of America. Both of us can attest to attending more than one and trying others until we gave up. They closely resembled social clubs with various side shows for the masses. One even managed to have a coffee bar open to purchase your beverage before the “show” began and was making plans for a wide range of shops to open in the extremely large building. With that sad announcement we fled! Never to look back.

  2. Thank you for your comment, JD. Dead churches, counterfeit churches always slouch towards building up the flesh and entertaining the flesh and listening to doctrines of men (demons). The true church (which is mostly an underground church here in the United States) is always anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost, there is conviction for sin and spiritual growth–and IT IS NOT CONFORMED TO THIS STINKING WORLD! Most of the evangellyfish Christians that I have met are conformed to this world.

    The love of the world is enmity with the Father.

  3. Here is an excellent quote:

    “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

    “Enmity: True Christians versus False Christians”
    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/07/enmity.html

    “Wearing a Rough Garment”
    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/11/wearing-rough-garment.html

    “A.W. Tozer Quote”
    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2011/11/aw-tozer-quote.html

  4. Thank you Tim for this post! Perfect timing and very much a comfort to read this, especially with what I am going through at this time…
    Next time you pass through my neck of the woods, I pray you will stop by, so I can give you a great big hug!

  5. Dunamis:

    Thank you for your comment. Just wanted to tell you that I have put comments on two or three of your last posts, but for some reason they are not being published. This has happened with several WordPress blogs that I put comments on. So the best I can do is press the “Like” button.

    I have not been through your neighborhood in probably three or four years. I have been staying with some friends in northern California for the past three weeks. I am guessing the Lord will tell me to hit the road when the weather cools down a bit.

    A month or so ago, I was hitchhiking in Montana and I stopped in Red Lodge to get something to drink. I was sitting down at this picnic table outside this convenience store and I was talking to this man and woman who were riding a motorcycle around the country. They were from the Utah-Arizona neighborhood. They knew some friends of my friends here in California. It is such a small world.

  6. Pingback: Overcome With Great Sorrow | The Road

  7. Sadly, this is the state of much of the Church today and it is heartbreaking.

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