Getting Honest Once Again

Larry Stockstill a pastor in Baton Rouge makes many helpful observations and recommendations in his book The Remnant (2008). In numerous ways he is urging a sincere return to honesty, purity, transparency, zealous prayer and basic Bible exposition. He expresses a weariness and a regret with many of the hip and convenient measures of technology and technique in our churches.

He laments a powerlessness, double-mindedness and filthiness in many pulpits which will result in the same in many congregations. The first section of the book is short and it encourages an honest return to employment of the power of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11) in the general Body, starting first in and for the leadership:

Apostle - Mentoring for the Unfathered Church
Prophet - Standards for the Uncorrected Church
Evangelist - Multiplication for the Unfruitful Church
Pastor - Healing for the Unhealed Church
Teacher - The Scriptures for the Untaught Church

I will give one illustration. Larry was associate chaplain in a college. They were having problems with mice. The janitor was asked about rat poison. He was loath to spread a toxic material all around. He discovered a substance which was addictive in the vermin. Once they tasted it they wanted nothing else. Problem was it had absolutely no nutritive value. Janitor kept on spreading it around. Rodents kept on eating it...and died.

Larry then concludes, "What a picture of how the enemy deceives Christian disciples! He slyly sends clever thoughts, good advice, funny stories, and interesting doctrines to tickle their ears, and they love it. They cannot get enough of this food, yet do not understand why they are sick, anemic and perhaps even spiritually dead."

He then cites Hebrews 5: 12-14. "The devil's rat poison is a lack of knowledge of the true Word of God and a lack of application and transformation from that Word."

The man who gave me this book also made a helpful observation. He said that a distinct message had come to him in looking again at the incident where Jesus told His tired fishermen disciples to launch out again and throw out the nets. Nets catch fish. Hooks catch fish. But today in our churches we are very busy spending time throwing out countless curious or trendy measures. But these measures do not catch or retain fish. It is almost by inference that the leaders are stating, "No matter, we are still very busy in this church."

And the Lord of the Harvest weeps...

See also our ebook Churches in the Barrens


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