Can one be too "preachy" proclaiming with authority they don't have?

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Aug 10, 2019
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#1
There is one type of post here that I must admit gets under my skin a bit....uhm, maybe a lot.

There are lots of theological points that are very much up for debate and many various schools of thought. One that springs immediately to mind is the whole debate over grace and works and the role or prominence of each. I see so many posts here that come across as someone jumping up on a soapbox (or ascending a mountain) to proclaim:

"Attention everyone, I have learned the truth....if everyone will just listen to me I have been granted full authority and I know all things".

It strikes me that this is what caused some to look upon Jesus with awe and wonder, and at times with scorn, because Jesus spoke with authority. As one who does believe in The Trinity though, there is no issue for me with recognizing Jesus' authority on all things. But that same recognition does not extend to the anonymous poster on a message board....regardless of how sure they are of themselves.

There's a recent thread that started off in this vein, with the OP proclaiming that clergy should never be paid a salary....a point with which I mostly disagree, however I do know there is an admonition somewhere in scripture about preaching the Word for filthy lucre. It would be nice if we could discuss things while maintaining respect for those with differing views.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
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#2
I have a low tolerance for new members that present themselves as holier than thou while strutting their supposed spiritual superiority while claiming that they have the authority to speak for God.
 

Hazelelponi

Active member
Jul 8, 2019
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#3
I believe that all preaching or teaching is done with authority. Scripture specifically tells us that teaching is exercising authority over others; its why women are not permitted to teach men in church, because teaching is an exercise of God's authority over them.

The Bible says that a teacher should have gentleness, and with some people I think gentleness is a specific ability which I find laudible, other times people are gentle, it just doesn't seem so in writing as much as it would if the person spoke...

I don't think anyone sitting in a teachers seat should have doubts about the subject matter they propose to teach, and teaching that comes across as unsure isn't really teaching, it's a discussion open for any and all interpretations, which truth be told, Christianity really isn't. There is a truth, and there is heresy. It's a very black and white faith.

We can be certainly be wrong about subject one or two, and it may not remove us from salvation, but at some point will become a damnable heresy if we follow the road too far.

So I'm in the middle of the road I guess. I don't fault people for their confidence, just for what I see as error. People can be sincere in their beliefs, but believe sincerely wrong.

In the end it's God to sort us all out, but no matter where we stand it's a burden to defend the faith against heresy, and if your sincere in your beliefs, then you must stand on them.

I do think we could all use lessons in gentleness in writing though. :)
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#4
Always learn from our Savior…………..always.
 

GaryA

Active member
Aug 10, 2019
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mywebsite.us
#5
There is one type of post here that I must admit gets under my skin a bit....uhm, maybe a lot.

There are lots of theological points that are very much up for debate and many various schools of thought. One that springs immediately to mind is the whole debate over grace and works and the role or prominence of each. I see so many posts here that come across as someone jumping up on a soapbox (or ascending a mountain) to proclaim:

"Attention everyone, I have learned the truth....if everyone will just listen to me I have been granted full authority and I know all things".
Try to remember to simply "see" every post as someone's opinion - because - in the big scheme of things, that is all it really is.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
5,696
2,357
113
#7
There is one type of post here that I must admit gets under my skin a bit....uhm, maybe a lot.

There are lots of theological points that are very much up for debate and many various schools of thought. One that springs immediately to mind is the whole debate over grace and works and the role or prominence of each. I see so many posts here that come across as someone jumping up on a soapbox (or ascending a mountain) to proclaim:

"Attention everyone, I have learned the truth....if everyone will just listen to me I have been granted full authority and I know all things".

It strikes me that this is what caused some to look upon Jesus with awe and wonder, and at times with scorn, because Jesus spoke with authority. As one who does believe in The Trinity though, there is no issue for me with recognizing Jesus' authority on all things. But that same recognition does not extend to the anonymous poster on a message board....regardless of how sure they are of themselves.

There's a recent thread that started off in this vein, with the OP proclaiming that clergy should never be paid a salary....a point with which I mostly disagree, however I do know there is an admonition somewhere in scripture about preaching the Word for filthy lucre. It would be nice if we could discuss things while maintaining respect for those with differing views.
A message is either right or it's wrong..

If a person is confident in a positon and they believe that believe is a vital core doctrine of the Faith.. That it is needed to be believed for a person to be saved then you should expect that person to advocate for their belief with confidence and passion..

It is always better to try and focus on the message that is being given and not on the way the message giver is delivering their message..

If a lion roars that water is we.. does the roar make the statement truth or false?
If a mouse squeaks water is wet ,, does the squeak of the mouse affect the truth of the statement?
If a great intellectual states with eloquence that water is wet. Or if a simpleton grunts that water is wet is the truth of that statement affected by the way it is delivered?
 

Deade

Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
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yeshuaofisrael.org
#8
We can be certainly be wrong about subject one or two, and it may not remove us from salvation, but at some point will become a damnable heresy if we follow the road too far.

So I'm in the middle of the road I guess. I don't fault people for their confidence, just for what I see as error. People can be sincere in their beliefs, but believe sincerely wrong.

In the end it's God to sort us all out, but no matter where we stand it's a burden to defend the faith against heresy, and if your sincere in your beliefs, then you must stand on them.
Christianity was infected in the Fourth Century by the "son of perdition" (the spirit of antichrist) and certain truths were quickly deemed heresy. As long as we acknowledge Jesus as fully God, what difference does it make if we do or do not call God three persons.

When the Romans tried to win the world for Christ, all manner of evil erupted. When the Protestants broke off from them, they still carried away many of their errors. All of which is still going on, today. We are slowly finding our way back to God's real truths, but tradition is the main obstacle in our way.


If a lion roars that water is we.. does the roar make the statement truth or false?
If a mouse squeaks water is wet ,, does the squeak of the mouse affect the truth of the statement?
If a great intellectual states with eloquence that water is wet. Or if a simpleton grunts that water is wet is the truth of that statement affected by the way it is delivered?
The truth may not be affected by how it is delivered, but how it is received will be. We need to quit beating people over the head with scripture and start presenting it with love.
 
Aug 10, 2019
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#9
I believe that all preaching or teaching is done with authority. Scripture specifically tells us that teaching is exercising authority over others; its why women are not permitted to teach men in church, because teaching is an exercise of God's authority over them. :)
I am going to disagree with you on this specific point...and interestingly its a current and contested debate within my home church....we do not have women as elders in my home church....its something that is decided by a vote, and to elect women as elders would require a 2/3rds majority to effect a change.

Now with that being said....I am not 100% certain that my view that women should be allowed to serve as elders is the correct view. I am aware of the scriptural references used to assert that women are not permitted to teach men in church, principally 1 Timothy.

At the same time I also know that the prayer I say pretty much every day includes "on Earth as it is in Heaven" and Paul's letter to the Galatians tells me that: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus". Paul also refers to Phoebe in Romans as a woman and a deacon who has helped him....

For me its not a central point of my faith...if my home church votes to allow women as elders, then I'll be okay with it....and if they continue to not allow women, I'll still be okay.

On this point I lack total certainty....and that's okay for me, I don't expect to know everything.
 
Aug 10, 2019
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#10
A message is either right or it's wrong..

If a person is confident in a positon and they believe that believe is a vital core doctrine of the Faith.. That it is needed to be believed for a person to be saved then you should expect that person to advocate for their belief with confidence and passion..

It is always better to try and focus on the message that is being given and not on the way the message giver is delivering their message..

If a lion roars that water is we.. does the roar make the statement truth or false?
If a mouse squeaks water is wet ,, does the squeak of the mouse affect the truth of the statement?
If a great intellectual states with eloquence that water is wet. Or if a simpleton grunts that water is wet is the truth of that statement affected by the way it is delivered?
I'm currently reading C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' so this is a timely discussion....I do think there are central key points that are agreed upon by 99% of Christians. That Jesus is the Son of God, that He died and rose again....but beyond that, when it comes to smaller points related to things like behaviour, even within scripture there can be contrasting views and the reader is left to decide which among two (or perhaps several) takes precedence. Immediately the question Jesus is asked about the commandments, and which is the greatest of the 10 comes to mind....by naming the commandment to love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul and strength, and then to love others as one loves oneself.....by giving these precedence it is inherently inferred that a hierarchy of rules exists, and naturally there is bound to be disagreement among people.
 

Hazelelponi

Active member
Jul 8, 2019
190
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USA
#11
I am going to disagree with you on this specific point...and interestingly its a current and contested debate within my home church....we do not have women as elders in my home church....its something that is decided by a vote, and to elect women as elders would require a 2/3rds majority to effect a change.

Now with that being said....I am not 100% certain that my view that women should be allowed to serve as elders is the correct view. I am aware of the scriptural references used to assert that women are not permitted to teach men in church, principally 1 Timothy.

At the same time I also know that the prayer I say pretty much every day includes "on Earth as it is in Heaven" and Paul's letter to the Galatians tells me that: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus". Paul also refers to Phoebe in Romans as a woman and a deacon who has helped him....

For me its not a central point of my faith...if my home church votes to allow women as elders, then I'll be okay with it....and if they continue to not allow women, I'll still be okay.

On this point I lack total certainty....and that's okay for me, I don't expect to know everything.

I have struggled myself with the issue, since I was saved I've been called hard to share the Gospel..

Everything in me strains to hold this in with everything I have while I still learn, and it doesn't go away regardless of what I do.

But I do feel women are not called to Pastor or Elder positions. I have to stand in obedience, above all things - we all do. At some point, when the time is right, God will show me the who what when of it, and perhaps it's just this, talking online about my faith, sharing in such a manner that it moves others. Offering a word or two in Sunday school class...

I'd be happy with that. I believe we are all called to give out account, our testimony, share our faith in Christ no matter who we are. But like with marriage or any other topic, God has a way that is right, that is HIS way, and if we follow Him in truth, then we will submit always to His will, instead of making our ideas and will into something above His own.

When we pray on earth as it is in Heaven, we are asking God sincerely to change our will into His own. We asking our sovereign God to do His Will in us, and conform us more and more into His image, of whom Christ is our example.
 
Aug 10, 2019
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#12
I have struggled myself with the issue, since I was saved I've been called hard to share the Gospel..

Everything in me strains to hold this in with everything I have while I still learn, and it doesn't go away regardless of what I do.

But I do feel women are not called to Pastor or Elder positions. I have to stand in obedience, above all things - we all do. At some point, when the time is right, God will show me the who what when of it, and perhaps it's just this, talking online about my faith, sharing in such a manner that it moves others. Offering a word or two in Sunday school class...

I'd be happy with that. I believe we are all called to give out account, our testimony, share our faith in Christ no matter who we are. But like with marriage or any other topic, God has a way that is right, that is HIS way, and if we follow Him in truth, then we will submit always to His will, instead of making our ideas and will into something above His own.

When we pray on earth as it is in Heaven, we are asking God sincerely to change our will into His own. We asking our sovereign God to do His Will in us, and conform us more and more into His image, of whom Christ is our example.
It can be a thorny issue. I should point out that I am a man, although Paul tells me that in Christ I am not a Jew or a Gentile, not slave or free nor male or female.

Are women called to be Pastors and/or Elders? I know there are women in my home church who believe they are called to be Elders....am I to sit in judgement and say that they're violating scripture because of what it says in 1 Timothy? If so how do I respond when Phoebe and Paul's letter to the Romans is pointed out to me? Deacons exercise authority, both now and in the churches of Paul's time.

On issues such as this I start to wonder if we're perhaps falling into a behaviour that was all too common among the Pharisees. Pouring over the minutiae of scripture in order to regulate every aspect in the life of The Church. I know that there have been women of faith who have taught me great lessons.
 

GaryA

Active member
Aug 10, 2019
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#13
The truth may not be affected by how it is delivered, but how it is received will be. We need to quit beating people over the head with scripture and start presenting it with love.
I agree that the delivery does matter, and that we should do it with kindness while maintaining the specifics of truth that we are attempting to convey.
 

Hazelelponi

Active member
Jul 8, 2019
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#14
It can be a thorny issue. I should point out that I am a man, although Paul tells me that in Christ I am not a Jew or a Gentile, not slave or free nor male or female.

Are women called to be Pastors and/or Elders? I know there are women in my home church who believe they are called to be Elders....am I to sit in judgement and say that they're violating scripture because of what it says in 1 Timothy? If so how do I respond when Phoebe and Paul's letter to the Romans is pointed out to me? Deacons exercise authority, both now and in the churches of Paul's time.

On issues such as this I start to wonder if we're perhaps falling into a behaviour that was all too common among the Pharisees. Pouring over the minutiae of scripture in order to regulate every aspect in the life of The Church. I know that there have been women of faith who have taught me great lessons.

I personally think it's not dealing in legalism, it's a matter of whether an action is sin, and the greater accountability for sin of those in greater positions (elder and pastors) of authority within the church.

All disobedience is sin, and when the Bible says women can't do x thing, then the issue of whether or not women should do it anyway should be fairly straightforward. Given the greater accountability, to simply ignore scripture is, in my eyes, a sin that should be avoided.

It's easy to explain away scripture and we see the church as a whole doing this more and more, now we have women in positions unheard of throughout the entire church history, we are suddenly approving, condoning and calling same sex marriages God ordained.

No one wants to be "the bad guy" and churches are deviating so greatly that I don't think Jesus could even recognize what many mainline churches are becoming...

I don't believe our faith is by vote, rather, it's a covenant with God of which His people have a responsibility to.

Faith isn't politics, it isn't comfortable, it challenges our norms and I fear apathy will be our downfall.

anyway, I'll bow out, it's just my thinking. Nice speaking to you..
 
Aug 10, 2019
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#15
I personally think it's not dealing in legalism, it's a matter of whether an action is sin, and the greater accountability for sin of those in greater positions (elder and pastors) of authority within the church.

All disobedience is sin, and when the Bible says women can't do x thing, then the issue of whether or not women should do it anyway should be fairly straightforward. Given the greater accountability, to simply ignore scripture is, in my eyes, a sin that should be avoided.

It's easy to explain away scripture and we see the church as a whole doing this more and more, now we have women in positions unheard of throughout the entire church history, we are suddenly approving, condoning and calling same sex marriages God ordained.

No one wants to be "the bad guy" and churches are deviating so greatly that I don't think Jesus could even recognize what many mainline churches are becoming...

I don't believe our faith is by vote, rather, it's a covenant with God of which His people have a responsibility to.

Faith isn't politics, it isn't comfortable, it challenges our norms and I fear apathy will be our downfall.

anyway, I'll bow out, it's just my thinking. Nice speaking to you..
I recently read a book on early debates within The Church....and on this point there was much debate. There were communities where women did in fact lead worship, and others which decided who would officiate rites and services by lot...so that nobody could be seen as leading, given Jesus' teaching that those who wish to lead must follow.

I'm also aware that not all Bible scholars are in agreement than Paul is the author of all the letters his name is attached to, and one of the letters in dispute is 1 Timothy. Scholars use style and language comparatively and while some letters are regarded as genuinely Pauline, others are disputed. It was a well known practice in the first centuries of The Church for persons in positions such as Paul to have others write letters on their behalf, and to seal them as though written by the authority. In today's world its much this way with many prominent people and their Twitter accounts. Equally there are others who say 1 Timothy and other letters were written after Paul's death, because in the earliest compilations of Paul's letters 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and others aren't even listed.

Its for these reasons that I consider the debate over female ordination and the holding of office....its not a hill I'm willing to die on.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#16
The truth may not be affected by how it is delivered, but how it is received will be. We need to quit beating people over the head with scripture and start presenting it with love.
Telling people the truth is love..

And different people with different personalities respond differently to different styles of delivery..

I have seen more then a few threads like this on different forums where people preach about the right way to deliver the message of God and what i find is people put forward they way THEY would like the message delivered to them and they seem to assume everyone is exactly like they are.. But this is not the way the world is..

How much of an effect would an emotional care bare style of delivery have on a psychopath do you think?

There are some people who would be contemptuous of such a style of delivery.. They would look upon Christians as pathetic weak childish emotional beings..

Some people respond to the intellectual approach. Some to the fire and brimstone approach. Different people different styles.. No one style suits all..

It is my experience that if a person is determined to reject the Message of God it does not matter what style a person uses they will manufacture a reason in their mind to mock attack and reject the message and the message giver..

I just concentrate on delivering the message in a level headed way.. But i will find people who want to reject the Word of God will project any negative emotion they want upon me.. Projecting upon others evil intentions is such a common thing, it does not matter if there is not evidence of such an attitude.. people who desire to reject the message will project evil intent upon God and upon the one giving them the message. It is their defensive technique that makes rejecting the message easier on them..
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
16,569
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#17
I believe this was responded to by Deade quite thotoughly, and also his suggestion that we pass on the Word with Love is perfectly addressed. There can be no other manner. Even if people seem Pahisitical and make us angry at their attitudes we may be angry, but not sinful, just as our Lord found it necessary to upbraid many. He loved them even when they crucified Him.
 
Aug 10, 2019
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#18
Telling people the truth is love..

And different people with different personalities respond differently to different styles of delivery..

I have seen more then a few threads like this on different forums where people preach about the right way to deliver the message of God and what i find is people put forward they way THEY would like the message delivered to them and they seem to assume everyone is exactly like they are.. But this is not the way the world is..

How much of an effect would an emotional care bare style of delivery have on a psychopath do you think?

There are some people who would be contemptuous of such a style of delivery.. They would look upon Christians as pathetic weak childish emotional beings..

Some people respond to the intellectual approach. Some to the fire and brimstone approach. Different people different styles.. No one style suits all..

It is my experience that if a person is determined to reject the Message of God it does not matter what style a person uses they will manufacture a reason in their mind to mock attack and reject the message and the message giver..

I just concentrate on delivering the message in a level headed way.. But i will find people who want to reject the Word of God will project any negative emotion they want upon me.. Projecting upon others evil intentions is such a common thing, it does not matter if there is not evidence of such an attitude.. people who desire to reject the message will project evil intent upon God and upon the one giving them the message. It is their defensive technique that makes rejecting the message easier on them..
Thank you Adstar for pointing to the log in my eye in a gentle fashion. I attend a Reformed Church in the town where I live, which is not the tradition in which I was mostly raised, and I don't view it as perfect by any stretch, but its where I find that my soul is best fed. The church I was attending prior to switching also fed my soul, but I was always still feeling a spiritual hunger, like my spiritual gas tank was in need of a top up.

Just last week a snow storm resulted in the cancellation of worship at my home church, and I really enjoy worship. Missing a Sunday, when it happens, it leaves me feeling like I'm lacking something. As it happens I play tennis in the summer with the Pastor of a local Pentecostal church and his wife. Checking facebook I saw that Glen's church was having worship regardless of the weather....so I went there, my 3rd time in the last two years or so.

I know there are significant differences between Reform and Pentecostal theologies, but I believe that the similarities are even more significant. The style of delivery in the Pentecostal church is far more 'fire and brimstone' to echo your use of that time worn phrase.
And while that isn't the style I most prefer, I still left the service feeling like my spiritual gas tank was sufficiently filled to help me confront the days ahead.

Put another way, I listen almost exclusively to a Christian radio station at home and in my car.....but I don't enjoy all the music equally....if a hip hop or rap style song comes on the air I reach for the volume button to turn it down. But taking your point that different people respond to different deliveries, I see that God's message of love, grace and redemption might best be heard by some in a style of delivery that I myself don't enjoy, and that's the goal....to help display God's Kingdom here on Earth.

Blessings and thank you again my friend.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
5,117
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#20
I think in some forums its like Speakers Corner in Hyde Park where everyone gets to jump up on a soapbox it can be quite entertaining. You dont need to respond or listen if you dont feel inclined just go to other areas of the forums.

I do appreciate that some people really need to get things off their chest and might come into a bit of heckling for it, but here nobodys going to chuck tomatoes at them. (or throw money...take your pick)