Tonight was Johnny’s night. I turned it on early and caught the tail end of his interview on Star News, and was sorry I missed it. I would like to have heard him on someone else’s show. Does anyone know if they upload these programs on Star 39?
So, anyway. To Johnny’s show.
I’m really at a bit of a loss about the program, because I agreed with quite a bit of what Johnny talked about tonight. His program’s “theme” was “God Calling Your Pastor”, and his thesis seemed to be that we shouldn’t just take a pastor’s word at face value. As his example, he referenced a local Baptist pastor, the pastor of Fairview Baptist in Gretna (a nearby community), who spoke tonight about Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10 at his church where Johnny was invited to visit. That pastor apparently talked about how Cornelius needed Peter to come and confirm the vision that Cornelius had, and how that is a picture of the way of things today, that if you have a vision, you need the pastor to come and confirm it. Johnny disagreed with this, and he called into question the “calling” of pastors in the first place.
Now, I agree with the point Johnny seemed to be making. I think that one of the biggest problems in the church today is that we have pastors saying “God told me this” and “God told me that”, but pulling what God “told them” out of thin air. This is why we so often get ministers living in the lap of luxury, as Johnny pointed out last week – because they use their power to take advantage of others.
Like I said last week, I agree with Johnny’s assessment of many of these pastors, and I think Jesus’ warning regarding false prophets in Matthew 7 is directly applicable to many of these men (and women): “by their fruits ye shall know them.”
But, I have an admonition for Johnny, too:
Be careful, Johnny that you aren’t doing like the lady in the picture to the right!
You see, I’ve known dozens of pastors in my day, in dozens of different denominations, and most all of the ones I’ve known have been men who didn’t presume to speak for God, but they pretty much across the board let God speak for Himself through His Word, much like Johnny, Norm and James do. Their interpretations of some things might be different, but their desire to be pleasing to God, and to stay true to what He says was sound.
The only real criticism I have is that Johnny seemed to be acting in a rather disingenuous way with the folks at Fairview Baptist. First, he had his patented sneaky camera along, and apparently the good folks at Fairview treated him too kindly to get any good footage for Johnny and Mitch. Second, in the snippet he played of his addressing the congregation there, he sounded almost ecumenical. He certainly didn’t sound the same as he did in the studio when he said about that same congregation, “we don’t think they are worshipping God.”
And he wonders why he has to go all the way to Los Angeles to find a pastor willing to debate him?
And you know, I think that it was interesting that at the beginning of the program, Johnny referenced 1 Peter 3:15 as his reason for going after folks the way he does. To remind you, that verse says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
It seems like Johnny and James, when they go after these guys, are not being obedient to this Scripture. They’ve taken it upon themselves to force men to give an answer. As if their Bible says, “and [be] ready always to get an answer from every man…”
Does your Bible say that?
Until tomorrow night…
Sola Dei Gloria!