Friday, April 6, 2007

Re:

Dear Brian,
I am beginning to enjoy your sermons, especially your passion for sound doctrine and teachers.
I have no problem with teachers or with sound doctrines.
My problem is the delivery method. Sermons amount to monologue.
The example you quote about Paul giving an all night sermon is an interesting point. Actually the disciples got together to have a meal on Saturday night and had it at least three times, early in the evening after breaking Sabbath, a second one after the commotion of the fall of Eutichus and probably a third one when Paul left early in the morning by ship. First day of the week is not Sunday morning for giving sermons.
The Greek word used for preaching is dialegomai which means to discuss, dialogue, dispute, argue, reason etc. It has nothing to do with what we call sermon today.
Jesus is accused of giving a sermon on the mount which does not last a couple of minutes to repeat.  Peter gave a three minute "sermon" and 3000 were converted. A modern day scholar gives 3000 sermons and can't get 3 people converted. The only time Paul gave an intellectual "sermon" was to intellectuals of Athens and no takers. He kicked himself all the way back to Corinth and was he glad to see his illiterate, nonscholarly worthless but true Christians.
Actually the word Sermon is not even biblical. Having a meal was an integral part of the NT church but definitely  not the sermon (Acts 2:42, 46; Luke 10: 7; 1 Cor 11:20). I believe the pulpit to be greatest heresy the church has invented as it is no where to be found in the Scriptures. The sooner we throw it out of the window the faster the dialogical interactive church will grow.
 
As I mentioned to you earlier that sound in doctrine to us means, the ability to convert those who contradict: such as Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, the lost sheep of New Israel (the church)
and many others who are not of faith as yet. The person who is sound in doctrine will go and preach the gospel where the gospel has not been preached, just as Paul did. Mere academic knowledge which does not fulfill the Great Commission is of little value.
 
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, not to make us scholars or theologians. There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than ninety nine Christians making a joyful noise on Sundays. Anyway  Jesus is not in the church on Sundays as he is out among the publicans and sinners. He will not waste  his time on bench warmers who have planned obsolescence in the church cemetery without ever winning a soul. We shall not be known for our academic knowledge or the ability to give great sermons but for our fruitfulness.[john.15:16,Matt.7:16,20]
 
I have great regard for Wm Carey. He is not known for his sermons but for the translation of the Bibles in 34 Indian languages and a few other important things. However in the  last 200 years since Carey, we have less than 1% Christianity in north India and in some parts zero point zero zero.. Something is drastically wrong with the way we do church and it is not working even in your country of adoption. If we are to believe George Barna that now nearly five million Americans have quit the traditional church and meeting in homes. In the next 20 years I wonder who will be listening to your sermons. Better change horses while there is still time. In Germany and London I saw some old diehard, codgers sitting in huge cavernous Cathedrals.
My reading of the church history is summed up by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) who in a press conference made a statement that he has archives of 25 million people who were murdered by the established church. He further said that this  probably represents only one third of what actually happened.  Most of the martyrs were house church leaders but were dubbed as heretics and killed. Throughout history the true Christianity survived not in the corridors of established church but in the homes of martyrs.
 
I agree that the church should be prophetic but with the clear understanding that the speakers are subject to questions by others even in the middle of their sermons just as Jesus was interrupted by Martha when he was holding forth in their home. (1 Cor. 14:29-32)
  
Have a great time with oodles of great sermons.
Shalom,
V.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 6:53 PM

> Dear Victor,

> I studied Early Church History in Belfast and at Waterloo U in Canada and have oodles of manuscripts, books, ebooks, tapes, MP3s and audio on their methods and own "sermons" ,teaching series  and letters of the early church fathers.  I have over 3000 "sermons" from the first 3 centuries of Christianity.
> I can learn from these fathers and the subsequent teachers who followed them right down to our age.
> Paul taught until midnight (to believers) and one youth fell down and was killed, Paul healed him with the intervention of the Holy Spirit.  One of the Gifts of the Spirit is Teaching, another Prophecy to expound on the word and the other simply means to Speak forth.  To deny these offices is to quench the spirit.

> I will not presume to tell you how to manage the house churches in India, if you will presume to not accuse me of "promoting sermonizers"  this is a pejorative term for the teachers I hold dearly.  These would also include my university professors and manifold teachers of the word throughout the years.  1 Peter 2:2
> says we are to desire the sincere milk of the word as babes in Christ.  What happens when we grow up?...we eat adult food and our parents teach us, as they have more experience and wisdom.  This is the example Paul is using.  Meat is not synonymous with higher learning it is synonymous with the deep and mature things of God(sound doctrine).  Watchman Lee wrote glorious books expounding the deep and meaty sections of the word of God.  He was a simple man from China who had been taught by a missionary and then studied alone.

> My objection is not all to do with how you organize your church in India, but your outlawing of the great Evangelizers, reformers, teachers, preachers, expounders and fathers of the church and reducing them to "sermonizers."  From Iranaeus to Chuck Missler your reject the sound doctrine and teaching of myriads of men of God.  Yet you promote the book of Rad Zdero (who is sermonizing in his book) and accept the teaching of Hollywood movies into your midst.  Don't get me wrong..they are useful and have their place, it is just the total rejection of the others that baffles and troubles my spirit.  If it is true for you it should be true for the other churches in the world and that dog won't hunt in North America, to use a southern expression.  Carey who is the father of the Mission field in India is no longer welcome.

> Paul uses a technique called "reducum in absurdum"  To reduce to the absurd or to take any argument or position to its logical conclusion or end and show its flaws and then he builds up teaching and right doctrine from that position.  If the methods used for the house church, teaching illiterates and pagans by experiential methods alone, and outlawing the "sermonizers" from the church, rejecting a plethora of christian resources...would this work for the church as a whole especially in North America and Europe.
> I am not illiterate or a first generation christian and I have grown by leaps and bounds listening to the teaching CDs and audio of Vernon McGee, Chuck Missler, David Legge, Willie Mullan, and many others.
> How can I join and remain in a movement which holds diametrically opposed positions to those that have been my experience and have been the guiding light and lamp unto my feet.  I read the Bible also and prayerfully meditate upon it, but the great leaps and break though I've experienced were when a light was put on a difficult passage and it was explained and became a blessing to me.  Glory to God.  I am the sum total of all that I have learned and 95% is from such teachers.  If they are "sermonizers" the I am "sermonized".  I am baffled at to why the Holy Spirit would use one method for almost 2000 years and then say no....I was wrong....let us use another method and throw out all I have taught over the past 19 centuries.

> I realize that there is much error in the "Higher churches"  Catholic and several of the Protestant denominations.  There seems to be a falling away from the tenets of our Biblical heritage.  Every wind of doctrine is coming into the church and much of it exaggerates the experience over the word.  That is my chief concern that as we said at sea .....if you have not set a course, and don't know your heading then any direction will do.

> I will leave you with a gem that one of these "sermonizers" (Chuck Missler) left me from one of his teaching audios.  In Genesis 5 there are the first 10 generations of Man listed.  If you take their names and translate them from the normal meaning of their names a wonderful sentence is produced.

> ADAM....................Man
> SETH.....................(is) Appointed
> ENOSH..................Mortal
> KINNON.................Sorrow  (but)
> MAHALEL..............The Blessed God
> JARED...................Shall Come Down
> ENOCH..................Teaching
> METHUSALA..........His Death Shall Bring
> LAMECH................(the) Despairing
> NOAH....................Comfort or Rest

> In the first 10 generations named and listed in Genesis 5 is the plan of salvation.  Hidden until just recently.

> Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching His death shall bring (the) despairing Comfort or rest.    This is the MEAT of the word as well as many deep teachings in Hebrews, Romans, Revelation and in every book of the Bible.
> I am not against you in any way...I am careful not to go against any move of the holy Spirit...so I reserve the right to be wrong.  My faith, experience and learning have brought me to the position that these teachers and the other resources I spoke of (commentaries, dictionaries, etc etc) are a wonderful and indispensable part of the armour and armoury of God in addition to the Word of God.  I will pray much for you and your flock, and support and help it and you in any way I can, even tho' we are not in agreement on this one item I'm sure we are in agreement on the other 99% of doctrine.  A final note...the above example you are not free to use or copy as it is written and discovered by a sermonizer.  :-)......;-)
> Just thought I'd end on a lighter note.

> In the bonds of Calvary

> Brian Brown

> Brian W. Brown
>
> PS.  I understand that native missionaries are much more effective that foreign ones and the methods you have developed are marvellous and to be lauded and supported.  It is not what you do that grieves me but what you omit.  Your services need not be disrupted and those who merit it should have the oppertunity to go to Bible College and failing that the resources to progress in their private studies.
>
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