History of Preaching
History of Preaching: ubilee 98 spent an estimated 1/4 million dollars show casing performance preaching. However, preaching is evangelism and has no permanent role in the established church. Perhaps God is now punishing the "one another" churches or families for allowing the "threshing oxen" to move into the tent and become surrogate father and even husband. God ordained that the elders be the Pastor-Teachers over the local flock and allowed monetary "honor" for those full time preaching and teaching.
The following notes certainly do not describe the earlier minister who was at the disposal of the local congregation as their employee rather than as their master "stopping the fountains of learning." After all, Jesus fired those "taking away the key to knowledge."
By establishing this as the "ground zero" of Biblical authority it may be appropriate to build upon this with ministers but there is no role for professional, one-man rule of pastors.
Captain Edward Johnson, in about 1631, wrote on what became Harvard University. The learned, reverend, and judicious Mr. Henry Dunster had received a patron for establishing a college. And he notes:
"And as in all the other passages of this history the Wonder-working Providence of Sion's Saviour hath appeared, so especially in this work, the Fountains of learning being in a great measure stopped in our native Country at this time, so that the sweet waters of Shilo's streams must ordinarily pass into the Churches through the stinking channel of prelatical pride, beside all the filth that the fountains themselves were daily encumbered withal, insomuch that the Lord turned aside often from them, and refused the breathing of his blessed Spirit among them, which caused Satan (in these latter days of his transformation into an Angel of light)
to make it a means to persuade people from the use of learning altogether, that so in the next generation they might be destitute of such helps as the Lord hath been pleased hitherto to make use of, as chief means for the conversion of his people and building them up in the most holy faith,
as also for breaking down the Kingdom of Antichrist."
The Post-Modern view is that all that is valid in the Bible is the "Core gospel." This denies the value of the Doctrine or teaching by and about Jesus. At the same time, those who see themselves and their books as inspired add their own doctrine which often conflicts with Paul's doctrine.
Furthermore, even without imbibing the Spirit of the Word, an increasing number of ministers (servants) see themselves as having command authority to run the church they are hired to serve.
Because of this fact all faithful believers should follow a "scorched earth" policy and, like Paul, deny the located preacher any command authority and see them as employees for whatever extra-Biblical ministeries they need
By removing the legalistically presumed authority to camp out in a local church in order to usurp the entire authority from the elders and senior leaders of the church,
it is possible to rebuild or restore the church to its original position and to be faithful to the leaders of the American Restoration Movement whose primary "restoration" was to, like Jesus, fire the clergy who "take away the key to knowledge" and thereby tear down an Old Testament legalistic framework of priests and musical Levites still demanding the tithe
This, of course, involves local leaders unselfishly seeing that their financial aid should go to sending ready and willing men and women into all the world.
Out of Jubilee 98, Jubilee 99 and Jubilee 2000 comes the machinery for dominant pastors to manipulate the local assembly by adding unlawful "miniseries" such as Musical Worship Teams and stand-up or non-sedantary women preaching with a tune. This outlawed "authority."
Out of the Zoe Group comes the machinery for theatrical performance sold as "worship" or "worship leadership." This is defacto ruling over the church because Biblical rule is teaching.
In a conspiracy, churches which have grown effete from consuming too much "chichen soup for the soul," seek to elevate women to a co-equal but equally unscriptural role and at the same time diminish the role or growth potential for developing male leadership. Perhaps it is easier to "control" female, stand-over rule than that of mature males. However-
Having disposed of "doctrine" it is easy for those usurping authority to discount as inspired Paul who demanded:
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 1 Timothy 2:12
The only way that women can ignore this 'doctrine' is to deny inspiration or falsely Accuse Paul. This denial along with performance preaching "with a tune" is the first step to exercising feminine or effeminate sexual authority. There can be no stand up or non-sedantary roles for women in the public assembly which does not ignorantly put this sexual power into operation. Seeker forms of performance worship is a deliberate attempt to use feminine or effeminate sexual authority to "attract the customers." And so all history identifies musical worship with this form of sexual authority. The word Paul used is:
Authenteo (g831) ow-then-teh'-o; (a worker); to act of oneself, i.e. (fig.) dominate: - usurp authority over
The silence which contrasts with usurping authority is:
Esuchia (g2271( hay-soo-khee'-ah; fem. of 2272; (as noun) stillness, i.e. desistance from bustle or language: - quietness, silence.
Esuchios (g2272) hay-soo'-khee-os; a prol. form of a comp. prob. of a der. of the base of 1476 and perh. 2192; prop. keeping one's seat (sedentary), i.e. (by impl.) still (undisturbed, undisturbing): - peaceable, quiet.
Men who endorsed or participated with women "thrusting themselves forward" were almost universally effeminate or homosexual theatrical performers or involved in the pagan temples where sexual services were what fueled the "collection plates."
"The adored wife of the fallen Hector, is taken as a concubine by the authentes, who can command her domestic and sexual services. The word also occurs in a homosexual sense in a speech by Theseus, king of Athens, where love of young boys was considered a virtue rather than a vice." ( Charles Trombly, Who Said Women Can't Teach, p. 174)
At the time of Christ, authority was used in the sense of a "self-thrusting one" could mean both to murder and to create. In magical circles it has to do with source or originator which had a sexual meaning.
"Michael Clycas, the Byzantine historiographer, uses this verb to describe the woman, 'who make sexual advances to men and fornicate as much as they please without arousing their husband's jealous.'" (Charles Trombly, Who Said Women Can't Teach, p. 176)
Ephesus was famous for its shrine of Diana, where thousands of sacred prostitutes believed fornication
brought believers into contact with deity
in much the say way the Gnostics used authentia to bind the flesh and the divine together.
When these owm converted to Christianity they had to unlearn these pagan practices.' Trombley, p. 177)
A pro-feminist author nevertheless confesses: "By thrusting themselves forward as the originators or inspirers of religious hymns or creative drama, the woman would be exercising sexual authority. This has nothing to do with "authority to speak" because non-inspired men not "senior male husbands" have no more authority.
"Ephesus was famous for its shrine of Diana, where thousands of sacred prostitutes believed fornication brought believers into contact with deity in much the same way the Gnostics used authentia (authority) to bind the flesh and the divine together. When these women converted to Christianity they had to unlearn these pagan practices. 'Virtually without exception,
female teachers among the Greeks were courtesans, such as Aspasia, who numbered Socrates and Pericles among her students. Active in every major school of philosophy,
these hetairai made it evident in the course of their lectures that they were available afterwards for a second occupation.
But the Bible teaches that to seduce men in such a manner was indeed to lead them to slaughter and the halls of death (cf. Prov. 2:18; 5:5; 6:27; 9:18).
The verb authentein is thus peculiarly apt to describe both the erotic and murderous." (Trombley, Who Says Women Can't Teach, p. 177).
Rather, it is not possible to use performing women or non-sedantary women without the shameful exercise of sexual authority. This is why Paul identified public performance by women as a shameful thing. Because the nature of men has not changed, the law has not changed:
women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 1 Corinthians 14:34
If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:35
This applied also to men unless they had an inspired revelation which others did not know:
But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:28
Talent-based performance by either male or female presumes some kind of authority which neither has. This authority was that by performance power or even madness they believed that they could ignore "doctrine" and originate new doctrine:
Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 1 Corinthians 14:36
............ If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that
............ what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 1 Corinthians 14:37
............ ............ If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored. 1 Corinthians 14:38
Outside the assembly (1Cor 11:1-16) men who caught their wives standing over men having abandoned the symbol and means of her devotion to her husband would be infuriated. However, their wives and daughters can stand over and exercise the same sexual authority (to get 'em back Sunday night, dead or alive} and the men are seduced into believing that it is spiritual. However, to use women to attract "customers" or "attendees" to "church" is to restore the "sacred prostitute" who could be both male and female.
Much of the error which came into the church was based upon the inability to differentiate between Christian or Pagan worship or the Old Covenant and its sacrificial worship system and the New Covenant with its rational worship service. For instance, the introduction of musical instruments is based upon the use of instruments connected with animal sacrifices in the OT. And the introduction of soloists or choirs is based upon the fact that there was a class of officer called the Levitical singers.
The False Commercial Prophetesses
Prophesying in the secular or "like the nations" sense meant with musical instruments:
MOREOVER David and the commanders of the army separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was: 1 Chronicles 25:1
However, these men did not predict future events or teach the Word of God.
No man or woman had the authority to invent or compose something which had not been written. Paul's statement indicates that none of the Corinthians were inspired -- as we might expect from the role of the Apostles -- and they should give attention to what had been written.
Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, Ezekiel 13:17
And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? Ezekiel 13:18
And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Ezekiel 13:19
Chalal (g2490) khaw-lal'; to wound, to dissolve; figurative to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play the flute: gather the grape thereof, take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.
The "law" Paul alluded to included the Seeker-Friendly women who prophesied (this prophesying was with musical instruments) in order to attract seekers by making their souls "fly" To fly is to "extend the wings" perhaps to "come into the presence of God" as advertized by modern Musical Worship Facilitators. It is to "blossom" to break forth or to "flourish" or "grow." This is essentially the salvation which only God can do:
Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly (flourish). Ezekiel 13:20
This was the use of sexual authority to hunt souls to increase the customers for the personal gain of the prophesiers:
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: Proverbs 6:23
To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Proverbs 6:24
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. Proverbs 6:25
For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life. Proverbs 6:26
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Proverbs 6:27
The talent as well as the dress of the false prophetesses exercised sexual authority to make people reject the word of God and accept the "doctrine" right out of her head:
Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 13:21
Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: Ezekiel 13:22
Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 13:23
The false Commercial Prophets
Isaiah wrote God's warning about Israel's daily "religious festivals"-
And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Isaiah 5:12
Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5:14
These same leaders who substituted musical rejoicing for the Word of God:
Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him Isaiah 5:23
These people were busy building up the house by the use of Seeker-Friendly worship or threats. However, the motive of the clergy leaders was "seeing godliness as a means of financial gain"=
They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. Micah 3:10
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. Micah 3:11
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Micah 3:12
BUT in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. Micah 4:1
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:2
Financial Authority only Through Domination
Because both male and female performers believed that even their madness came directly from their gods as a form of inspiration, they saw "talent" as religious and "godliness as a means of financial gain."
The Didache prescribed the itinerant "prophet" who later became "resident"&emdash;
"Let every apostle, when he cometh to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, a second likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet. And when he departeth let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he findeth shelter; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet." (Didache or The Teachings of the Apostles, 11)
"But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work for and eat his bread. But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware of such men. In like manner a true teacher is also worthy, like the workman, of his food." (Didache Text)
Jesus gave a direct command and set an example for this practice:
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. John 4:36
And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. John 4:37
I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. John 4:38
Because many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus they asked him to remain with them:
So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. John 4:40
Paul did not bring the gospel into disrepute as other pagan religions by working when the people worked and then taught them when neither was working:
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. Acts 18:2
And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought (ministered by working): for by their occupation they were tentmakers. Acts 18:3
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Acts 18:4
Reasoned is not the same as "preaching" but is discoursing the revealed Word of God:
Dialegomai (g1256) dee-al-eg'-om-ahee; mid. from 1223 and 3004; to say thoroughly, i.e. discuss (in argument or exhortation): - dispute, preach (unto), reason (with), speak.
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Acts 17:2
Example: Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. Acts 20:34
Direct Command: I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
The "many" throughout the churches were self-elected preachers. However legal it might be for temple servants to eat of the offerings in the temple, or a threshing oxen to nibble the grain while it threshes or the soldier to get his daily dole of food, the Christian church does not depend on "you owe me a salary" but "I am a slave of Lord Jesus Christ and slaves make no demands." Paul told the Thessalonians:
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 2 Thess 3:7
Neither did we eat any mans bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 2 Thess 3:8
Paul's example actually becomes a command for others:
Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 2 Thess 3:9
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thess 3:10
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 2 Thess 3:11
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 2 Thess 3:12
Only those who presumed to be priests of this new opportunity would suggest that they should eat without working. Others would simply be allowed to starve to death. However, by pretending as in Corinth to be "super apostles" they could fool the people into treating them as they did the pagan priests and priestesses.
Seeing that many glory (rejoice, boast as prayer see halal or o.t. praise) after the flesh, I will glory also. 2 Cor 11:18 (Music hits the flesh)
For ye suffer fools (ignorant, mind-rejecting, egotistical) gladly (with sensual delight, lust), seeing ye yourselves are wise (conceited) . 2Co.11:19 (This is irony)
............ For ye suffer,
............ if a man bring you into bondage,
............ if a man devour you,
............ if a man take of you,
............ if a man exalt (lift up, puts on airs) himself,
............ if a man smite you on the face. 2Cor 11:20
But who is going to be "staff" and administer all of those programs? Well, the underemployed people with no Biblical authority or visible means of support naturally hatch programs out of viper's eggs to keep everyone busy.
But how can I build my retirement plan and be a servant of God? Well, history proves that God gets His job done only with those whom Paul claimed would be better off if they did not marry and not expect to live long enough to retire. The early church spread into the whole known world by men who took vows of poverty: the church ended its grouth when clergy restored an Old Testament priesthood.
The love for charismatic speakers has always been thicker than the blood of Christ. Those who accept such lustful worship should remember Herod:
And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. Ac 12:21
Demegoreo (g1215) day-may-gor-eh'- o; from a comp. of 1218 and 58; to be a people-gatherer, i.e. to address a public assembly: - make an oration.
Demos (g1218) day'-mos; from 1210 (bind or bond) ; the public (as bound together socially): - people.
Agora (g58) ag-or-ah'; , (to gather; prob. akin to 1453); prop. the town-square (as a place of public resort); by impl. a market or thoroughfare: - market (-place), street
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market place unto the rulers, Ac.16:1
And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god (theos or chief), and not of a man (ordinary fellow). Ac 12:22
Phoneo (g5455) fo-neh'-o; from 5456; to emit a sound (animal, human or instrumental); by impl. to address in words or by name, also in imitation: - call (for), crow, cry.
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. Ac 12:23
But the word of God grew and multiplied. Ac 12:24
Many preachers claim to be Post Modern. That is, they accept only the "core" that Jesus is Lord. After that they believe that they have their own "assignment" for their time and place to be the twentieth century Christ.
Others denounce the God-given and history-honored belief that authority comes from God through "commands, examples and inferences." One eldership (preacher dominated) claims that they have graduated above the commands of God.
We accept the spoken and written word of people as authority. All who preach and all who write and publish believe that they can exert their mind, spirit and influence through ink on paper. In a much more powerful way, the witness of God (the witness of the Spirit) is greater:
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 1 John 5:9
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:
he that believeth not God hath made him a liar;
because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 1 John 5:10
The First Wide-Spread heresy history of preaching, history of preaching,
"The McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia not only speaks, in general terms, of 'heresy largely pervading the church and making rapid headway' at that very time, but it specifies 'the appointment of singers as a distinct class of officers in the church' with 'the consequent introduction of profane music';
and why should not instrumental music have been introduced if the carnal wishes of the people called for it" (Kurfees, p. 123)
"The first change in the manner of singing was the substitution of singers who became a separate order in the church, for (to replace) the mingled voices of all ranks, ages, and sexes, which was compared by the great reformer of church music to the glad sound of many waters" (H. H. Milman, Hist. of Christianity, Vol, iii, pp. 406, 409).
You are forced to denounce "doctrine" because doctrine or the inspired teachings of Paul is that "I permit not women to teach over you." The 'silence' actually demands that women be sedentary and not try to imitate the preacher and song leader by hop, skipping, and wringing hands to violate the silence demanded by all non-inspired people who presume authority.
Musical worship teams manned by clergy women presume top be Levitical or lower-clergy with authority to usurp authority and preach as long as they use a tune. This was one of the earliest heresies.
"The lower clergy were almost universally the presenters, for the singing of the congregation was regarded as such an integral part of the divine service that only clerical officers should direct it." (John Fletcher Hurst, History of the Christian Church, vol. I., p. 357).
Another heresy was replacing the Biblical Text with self-composed songs and sermons:
"In Gnostic circles religious poetry arose to compete with the Old Testament Psalms. Some Catholics therefore distrusted the composition of hymns after this pattern, on the ground that they might smack of heresy. Yet from at least the second century hymns were written by the orthodox which, like their Gnostic counterparts, employed the forms of Greek poetry...
Until near the end of the fourth century, in the services of the Catholic Church only the Old Testament Psalms and the hymns or canticles from the New Testament were sung:
the other hymns were for personal, family, or private use. Gradually there were prepared versical paraphrases of the Psalms, hymns with lines of equal length, and hymns which were acrostic." (Latourette, p. 207).
A third heresy was the introduction of preachers trained in the Greek Theater:
Changes in the beliefs and practices of the church are never to be seen in isolation. For instance, it is generally agreed that one form of worship will exist where the church meets in the home as a community worship center but quite another if one builds a huge building in an attempt to restore the Temple. One might feel quite rational speaking Biblical truth to one another while a pipe organ thunders in accompaniment but embarrassed beyond belief if our child insists upon playing the accordion to enhance our effort to teach our neighbor in our home.
And the same teacher who stands in the pulpit, pumps up his chest, thunders denunciation, takes samples of the Bible and supplies his own application, would hide his face in shame if caught using the same methods while teaching his child how to operate the video recorder.
What one practices in religion then is directly related to the place where he worships and it is no accident that most deviations from Biblical worship followed changes in the way the church was organized, how it saw itself, and the the nature of its worship center.
Emphasis upon Preaching as Heresy
It would be difficult to imagine a liberal theologian singing, dancing, playing instruments or any other ecstatic act in the belief that they will somehow come into contact with their god. However, liberal theology has developed from the subjective mind. The formulators of such doctrine believed that their "left-brained" rationalism has arrived at a "right-brained" view of God. The proof that liberalism prevails is contained in the very sermons themselves. Talk about me, talk about you, talk about Philosophy, talk about modern experience, talk about the urban church outgrowing rural songs, but never deliver the "Word as it has been delivered." It must be enhanced so that the little people can understand.
MOST CHRISTIANS TODAY call the main Sunday morning hour "the worship service." This is dead wrong for several reasons! Though worship is part of what the congregation should do together, "teaching" is to be the driving activity of the Local Church. Too, an I must be careful here, though worship is for all -- male and female -- the way it's carried out today, often
............ it's a FEMININIZATION of the church service.
............ Whereas, teaching is VIRILE and MEATY and speaks head-on to males.
And still, little content:
"According to Marshall McLuhan in his theory of communication, hot communication is communication that has content, that appeals to men and moves men through the mind on the basis of that content.
Cool communication is a kind of personal first-order experience wherein one is moved but without any content passing through his mind, his reason. Click for more.
"Father John Culkin, Director of the Communications at Fordham University, a follower of McLuhan, says this: 'Gutenberg came and the Reformation came. Electronics comes and the ecumenical movement comes.' He means that the ecumenical movement is rooted for its unity in the midst of a contentless situation, a situation that is completely cool and has nothing to do with objective doctrinal truth.
"Equally, the new existential theologians in our churches live only in the area of cool communication. They have denied content&emdash;content is not important to them...T.H. Huxley in 1890 saw that the day would come when theology would be separated from everything that has anything to do with fact and as such would never be open to challenge." (Schaeffer, The Church before the watching world, p. 68).
A Preaching performance as a profession developed from the Greek theater and was performed by those whom Paul said saw godliness as a means of financial gain. Dominant preachers and a dead, silent church go together. No wonder they need visiting preachers, musical worship teams and other devices to prop up a failed institution.
"The priests of the pagan temples had been paid from the purse of the Empire, but now Caesar was a Christian and the priests of Mars and Venus hastened to their baptisms.
For the first time in the history of the church, salaries were paid to Christians workers. Tradition has it that Constantine's mother was the first to give the money for the erection of a church building... All this (meetings in homes) was over now. The rags of persecution gave way to softer garments, and the church began to enjoy the feel of silk upon its flesh. Thus the Pergamos stage of church history came into being, the church was married to the world." (Barnhouse, D.G., Revelation, Zondervan, p. 52).
The world if filled with faithful gospel preachers whose motive is love for the truth and whose pay is subsistence. However, as in the early church, those trained in preaching performance of speaking, drama, singing, playing musical instruments or dancing saw "godliness as a means of financial gain." Because most of these forms were non-lethal battles between performers, most religious division is a battle over turf by the sensitives trying to be top billy goat who gets the girls and emasculates the guys:
"They made their voices sweet with musical cadences and modulations of tone and echoed resonances. They thought not of what they were saying, but of how they were saying it. Their thought might be poisonous so long as it was enveloped in honeyed words. Philostratus tells us that Adrian, the sophist, had such a reputation in Rome, that when his messenger appeared with a notice that he was to lecture, the senate emptied and even the people at the games abandoned them to flock to hear him..
"You might hear many poor wretches of sophists, shouting and abusing each other, and their disciples, as they call them, squabbling; and many writers of books reading their stupid compositions, and many poets singing their poems, and many jugglers (buffoons) exhibiting their marvels, and many soothsayers giving the meaning of prodigies, and then a thousand rhetoricians twisting lawsuits, and no small number of traders driving their several trades.
"The Greeks were intoxicated with fine words; and to them the Christian preacher with his blunt message seemed a crude and uncultured figure, to be laughed at and ridiculed rather than to be listened to and respected. (Barclay, William, First Corinthians, p. 19-20)
"Perhaps professor would be a rough modern equivalent to Sophist. It has a similar range from Professors of Greek to Professors of Phrenology and although some Professors research,
all teach, and all are paid which was a great reproach to the Sophists.
Some of them were serious philosophers, educators or scholars; others only cheap-jacks, who professed to teach only the sublime art of getting on. Did you want to improve your memory: Did you want to be a £1,000-a-year man? Some Sophist would teach you--for a fee. Sophists went from city to city, lecturing on their particular subject, some indeed undertaking to lecture on any subject, but always for a fee. (Kitto, The Greeks, p. 168).
To make the point, Paul worked when the congregation worked and he dialoged when they were not working. He told the churches: "If they will not work do not let them eat" from your hard-earned plate.
Sure, an ox eats while he is threshing but when the field is threshed he does not keep on until the grain is all gone. He moves on to the next field. Paul would say that the honest evangelist increases the harvest in white fields.
The modern preaching performance movement could not function without a charismatic leader who can, through anticipation and mind-altering devices cause someone to begin the tongue speaking "exercises." He depends on personal relationships "thicker than the blood of Christ." Like modern singing, preaching is often a charismatic affair where the preacher "soars away."
"It is not uncommon for linguists to be able to tell which prominent itinerant glossolalist has introduced a congregation to tongue-speaking. Relatively few men and women travel the tongue-speaking circuit. The glossolalic styles of Bennett, Bredesen, Christenson, du Plessis, Mjorud, and Stone are distinctive enough to be identifiable by observant linguists." (Kildahl, John P., The Psychology of Speaking in Tongues, Harper and Row, 1972, p. 53).
The pattern has almost always been an authority figure who expects someone to exercise some phenomenon. An immature person often a child performs the exercise, others see this as proof of authority and repeat the condition, when one loses confidence in the preacher the phenomenon often stops and the person feels that they have been duped. A colonial period writer jokes about a preacher who was disappointed when a sermon did not get response because it worked on everyone else.
Like Pavlov's dogs, it has been pointed out that these men or women do not necessarily have to speak in tongues, get excited, or even suggest that others speak in tongues. The group is so conditioned that when the "guru" begins to speak a simple nonBiblical sermon the reflex action occurs and people begin to speak in tongues who could never have been induced to do so with a very powerful but less-known public figure. This is why, perhaps, that a select few men can rip off over a hundred million dollars a year from people. However, their are many more petty criminals whose take is substantial.
We need, therefore, to look at some of the conditions which ripped the preaching task from the hands of self-sacrificing men who had no charisma and placed it in the hands of men and women who can manipulate others.
In his discussion of the tongue speaking phenomenon in Corinth Bruner says:
"At a time when there is a rising protest against monologues and therefore sometimes monotonous "one man ministries' in the churches, and when it is complained increasingly that
the preacher is one of the few remaining public figures whose formal remarks allow no public interrogation or discussion (even Presidents are subjected not to the discipline of public interview),
it is perhaps in order for the churches to look here in Corinthians to their earliest structures. Perhaps the worship services should include or append a period of thoughtful discussion following the sermon--or sermons (v. 29)--in place of the often dull and unprofitable responsive readings before it and of
some of the singing which seems to be often, at the conscious or mental level at least, low-level glossolalia with instrumental accompaniment." (Bruner, Frederick Dale, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, Eerdmans p. 300).
The Original Condition
When the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity the clergy built their pitiful little temple which brought tears to the eyes of the people who had worshiped Solomon's temple; but the common people went out into their communities and even Nehemiah's cursing them and pulling out their hair could not bring them back to support the Temple. While he called the people back to devotion to God many of the people returned--as had been prophesied--to a life which the prophets characterize as the harlot returning to the streets with her harp to solicit business. Many of the devout people built community schools (they were not "church houses") in which they could instruct themselves and their children in the Word. It is said that the people "abandoned the symbol in favor of the book."
In the Synagogues a course involved reading and explaining their Scriptures in three years. Connected to many of these synagogues was a school for teaching the Word to the children.
"The rabbi Simon ben Shetach, brother of the queen Salome Alexandra and the president of the Sanhedrin, opened the first beth ha-sefer, house of book, in Jerusalem. His example was followed, and little by little a whole system of public instruction came into existence.
Some thirty years after the death of Christ, in about the year 64 A.D., trabbihe high priest Joshua ben Gamala promulgated what may be considered as the first educational legislation: there was nothing wanting--the parents were obliged to send their children to school, there were punishments for idle children and those too often absent." (Quoted in Wilson, Hermon O. and Womack, Morris M., Pillars of Faith, p. 192).
You can bet that this priest did not occupy the little boys with cut outs and paste ups when they were at home "surfing the internet."
Of the education of the youth, the Talmudic tractate Pirke Aboth, says that "At five he must begin the sacred studies; at ten he must set himself to learning the tradition; at thirteen he must know the whole Law of Yahweh and practice its requirements; and at fifteen years begin the perfecting of his knowledge." Paul attended such a school and then studied under Gamaliel.
Paul instructed Timothy to give himself to the public reading of the Scripture and to preaching. That is, he preaches to the outsider but he reads and explains what Scripture he had available to the congregation. Preaching "in church" would consist of explaining the Word without cutting and pasting it into a sermon.
Paul went into the Synagogue and argued about the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8) and when he had to leave that place he hired the lecture hall of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9) and took his disciples with him and had discussions on a daily basis. The word is disputing in the KJV but it comes from dialegomai which means that he "reasoned" or "discoursed" with the people.
When it is said that "Paul preached until midnight" our legalistic mind cannot imagine preaching until midnight without a "preacher." However, when Paul "preached" he was always the keriah or crier who spread out into the community with the "news." He was the kerusso who was "to cry or proclaim as a herald." He was the euagellizo who "announced the good news." He was, in short, defined by the only Biblical title which was not preacher but evangelist. The evangelist preached (out there) and the Pastor-Teacher taught the word in his own small house church or converted synagogue.
When Paul is said to preach in English, he "dialogued" in the Greek:
"DIALEGOMAI primarily denotes to ponder, resolve in one's mind; then, to converse, dispute, discuss, discourse with; most frequently, to reason or dispute with." In Acts 20:7 and 9 "the A.V. (KJV) translates it 'preached,' this the R.V. corrects to 'discoursed,' lit., 'dialogued,' i.e. not by way of a sermon, but by a discourse of a more conversational character." (Vine, p. 319).
Learning from a sermon or lecture is almost impossible.
When Paul went into an established church the assembly would be more like our Sunday Schools than our worship service which makes a deliberate effort to focus the congregation on the celebrative preacher.
"Although the sermon was not an essential part of the synagogue service, the translation and explanation of the Scripture lesson was a step in the direction of a preaching service. There is evidence that an exposition of the lesson formed a part of the Sabbath afternoon service. In earliest times the sermon seems to have been connected with the reading from the Prophets. Anyone able to instruct might be asked to preach (Acts 13:15).
The preacher spoke from a sitting position on an elevated place (Luke 4:20). (Feiffer, Charles F., Between the Testaments, p. 63 Baker Book House).
Following this early model would almost guarantee that the church would never fall under the clutches of a charismatic preacher. Can you imagine what would happen if the church put its focus upon the Word instead of the "Preacher?" What would happen if the church honored its members by allowing the one with information to speak? What would happen if the preacher had to read a long passage and then restrict himself to explaining the passage? Wouldn't the Holy Spirit who inspired the Word rejoice and bless the reading? How about making the preacher sit down, quit pacing to excite the crowd, speak in a conversational or dialogue fashion, and tape his arms to his side so that he could not wave them like girlish antenna.
A comedian recently said that he had to be careful not to wave his hands above his shoulders for fear of being seen as gay. The church "fathers" agreed.
After the evangelist set the church in order this reading-teaching task was assumed by the pastor-teacher who "read the Scriptures for up to three hours and discoursed in the sense of explaining any difficult passages."
The evangelist is the spreader of the news--he is not the author of the news. Robinson says,
"At its heart, this is a moral matter. In the ancient world the herald not only had to possess a powerful voice, but qualities of character as well. Hauch Friedrich observes":
"In many cases heralds are very garrulous and inclined to exaggerate. They are thus in danger of giving false news. It is demanded then that they deliver their message as it is given to them. The essential point about the report which they give is that it does not originate with them ...The herald does not express his own views. He is the spokesman for his master... Being only the mouth of his master, he must not falsify the message entrusted to him by additions of his own." (Robinson, Homiletics, p. 804).
Paul insisted of the elders:
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Tit.1:9
Robinson gives as an example the following passage which charismatic often use to prove that if two people pray in agreement that God is virtually under bondage to do whatever we demand. This is simply an example of the pagan belief that God can be "captured and put in a box or in a house." Here is the passage--
Plucking proof-texts out of the air to defend modern performance religion may be a denial of God's power rather than demonstrating trust. MacAuthur in Homiletics and Hermeneutics says:
"Preaching appears in the Bible as a relaying of what God has said about Himself and His doings, and about men in relation to Him, plus a pressing of His commands, promises, warnings, and assurance, with a view to winning the hearer or hearers ...to a positive response." (Homiletics, p. 820).
When Paul "preached" he was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and his sermons or letters became "case law" once they were recorded. No person who is not divinely inspired can preach in this way. Those who follow the inspired messengers can do nothing but teach and repeat that message faithfully. Change occurred when men observed the theater and ecstatic prophets or prophetesses and adopted the same psychological devices.
The weapons of the church are weapons against supernatural manifestations or anything which minimizes the
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:3-5
Paul instructed Timothy how to conduct "church" and he as a delegate from an Apostle had the responsibility to transfer this information to senior men within the church so that when Timothy went on to his next assignment the local assembly could continue to read and study the Word.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:14-17
Again, Paul defined the resources of teaching and this excluded "composed" songs or sermons:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Col 3:16
Again we say: if Paul demands that the Colossians "teach" and "admonish" one another as they speak the Word, in this passage he shows us the only source which is suitable to get the job done.
Paul further warned Timothy:
Preach (publish as a herald with no changes) the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (preacher's jokes and mythical illustrations). 2 Tim 4:2-4
Notice that Paul did not say "preach about the Word" but preach the word. We ask the same question: can we correct, rebuke, and encourage without using the Word? When the symptoms are that we want to make our worship services more dynamic and exciting can we know with certitude that we are not tickling ears?
Paul makes it clear that only Holy-Spirit revealed material is suitable for the assembled church and his instructions to Timothy is consistent in all of the other epistles and church history for hundreds of years where what we not call "singing" they called "reading the Word" perhaps in the style of cantillation:
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 1 Tim 4:13 (See also 1 Thess. 5:27; Col. 4:16).
What would our Lord or Paul say to us when we read 1 Cor. 13:2 part "c" and then expand this into a forty-five minute sermon? A friend once said that sermon notes were like "dried tongue--the longer you chew them the bigger they get."
"The word that is employed for this "anaginosko, anagnosis) is the technical term for the cultic reading aloud of the Old Testament in the synagogue. By applying this terminology to the reading of his own epistles
he not only ascribes the same authority to the apostolic word as to the Old Testament writings...
He also combines a quotation from the Old Testament with a word of Jesus and introduces the whole with the familiar formula: 'for the Scripture says.'" (Ridderbos, Hermon, Paul, P. 483 an Outline of His Theo., Eerdmans)
Not even Balaam violated the explicit command of any kind of prophet. That is, what God gave him to speak he spoke and could not do otherwise.
Balak said to Balaam, "Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn't you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?" "Well, I have come to you now," Balaam replied.
"But can I say just anything? I must speak only what God puts in my mouth." Num 22:37-38
Not even Jesus Who was full Deity (Col 2:9) spoke anything from His human wisdom. Rather, the man Jesus spoke only what the Spirit Father in Him told Him to say:
Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. Jn. 8:28
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. Jn. 8:38
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. Jn.12:49
Therefore, those who claim a new "assignment" to preach the "core" and rise above 'command, example and inference" from Jesus or His inspired apostles have become deluded and therefore themselves strong deluders. There is nothing more powerful than defending a "pay check" which most are receiving by stealing from the poor.
Balaam demonstrated a high ethical standard when he said:
'Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold,
............I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad,
............ to go beyond the command of the LORD--
............ and I must say only what the LORD says'? Num 24:13
The primary failure of the early and modern church is the failure to see God's spiritual influence as a teaching influence and not to produce ecstatic preaching. Unless a speaker claims divine inspiration he is under the Balaam Rule not to go beyond what the Lord has commanded. Initially the apostles had the power to proclaim God's Word and did not dare go beyond it; they considered their writings inspired and final; and, therefore, those who are not supernaturally inspired are left with the Biblical record--honestly presented and unembellished.
"They were taught the doctrines concerning God, creation, providence, sacred history, the fall, the incarnation, the resurrection, and future rewards and punishments. Their books were portions of the Bible...
When the ecclesiastical spirit overcame the apostolic and Gospel teaching,
the study of the Bible was largely displaced by ritual ceremonies and priestly confessionals. A few faithful continued to teach the Bible, as the Waldenses and the Lollards." (Schaff-Herzog Religious Ency., Sunday schools, p. 159).
"Christianity had ceased (about AD 200) to be the close brotherhood which it was at first; it had developed a complicated organization,
with a marked distinction between clergy and laity;
the conception of priest and sacrifice had won a place.
And as the body changed, so did its worship; the place which had sufficed for the simple, informal gatherings of the first Christians was no longer adequate" (Shaff-Herzog, Architecture, p. 264).
"The public portion of Sunday worship began with Scripture reading, interspersed with the singing of psalms. These selections presented three passages, the prophets, the epistles, the Gospels, and were so read as to cover the Bible in the course of successive Sundays...
In the Arian struggle the use of hymns other than psalms grew common, and was furthered in the West with great success by Ambrose of Milan.
"The latter part of the fourth and the first half of the fifth centuries was above all others an age of great preachers in the ancient church...In form it was often highly rhetorical, and the hearers manifested their approval by applause. Yet, while this preacher was probably never excelled, preaching was by no means general, and in many country districts, or even considerable cities, few sermons were to be heard." (Walker, Williston, Hist of Ch. Ch., Charles Scribner's Sons, 1918 p. 167-168)
"The bombastic rhetoric which had ruled in the Roman world since the death of Cicero
was now introduced into the Christian pulpit, and the congregation burst forth in applause extravagant enough for a welcome to a chief returning from the conquest of a new province." (John Fletcher Hurst, History of the Christian Church, vol. I., p. 357).
Just as the Jews sought to enhance God's Word by preaching and having these thoughts given greater weight than the inspired record,
the early churches after the clergy grasped control over the presbytery violated the Jewish mandate against formalized preaching; and rhetoric began to compete with the substance of the Word.
Style over content is an old Greek concept which has progressively grown worse to the almost total demise of reading the inspired Word which was preached once for all times by the inspired apostles, prophets, and writers. The preachers put themselves in the place of God Himself by feeling that their explanations of the Word were more important than the inspired message itself.
One of the oldest sermons in Second Clement concerned repentance. It was taken from Scripture and the writer says:
"Brothers and sisters, after the God of truth, I am reading to you an exhortation to give attention to the things written, in order that you may save yourselves and one reading among you. (19:1; cf. VI. 25)
As late as Justin Martyr, A.D. 150, the emphasis was upon reading the writings of the apostles often for three hours while evangelists were doing the work of the evangelist by traveling where the Gospel had not been preached to convert people and establish new churches.
"On the Lord's Day all all Christians in the city or country meet together, because that is the day of our Lord's resurrection; and
then we read the Apostles and Prophets.
This being done, the President makes an oration to the assembly
to exhort them to imitate and to practice the thing which they have heard,
and then we all join in prayer, and after that we celebrate the Lord's Supper" (Justin Martyr, Apology).
Justin defines exhorting as urging the compliance with what has been read for up to three hours. This too was the function of the Synagogue reader who read and urged but did not in the beginning "preach."
As having the pastor-teacher read and explain the Word gave way to celebrative and ceremonial showmanship in preaching, the simple singing of Biblical materials lost out in the race against soloists, choirs, hand clapping, dancing in the aisles, and other activities which repulsed the more spiritual.
"After each verse an Aramaic rendering was given by an interpreter, who in Palestine was bound NOT to use a written translation and not to allegorize" (The New Shaff-Herzog, Ency., p. 215).
"...the sermon was missionary and apologetic in type and suited to instruct the catechumens. It took the form of explication and application of the text, using particularly the method of allegory,
which from that time on became prevalent and controlled the homiletical use of Scripture until the Reformation" (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Preaching, p. 150, Period 200-300 A. D.).
The changes which occurred
With the arrival of the church building, recognition by the state, and the turning inward of the church, the preacher who had been the evangelist out in the cities and villages preaching, setting churches in order, and then moving on in search of souls, became the bishop usurping local authority and began preaching to the saved. The following quotation takes note of the daily meetings of the church and an intimate connection between the social and worship activities of the church. Into this melee the church added various musical forms including antiphonal and responsorial singing and daily preaching.
"With the victory of Christianity and the development of the service
came a soaring of the sermon. Preaching became more frequent, being employed even during the week and during fast seasons in some places daily.
As the Church during that period assimilated more and more Greco-Roman culture, the sermon developed para passu. The most noted Christian preachers had not seldom been educated in the rhetorical schools of the heathen, and employed in their sermons the rule of rhetoric and the artistic effects taught there, and polish became almost an end, often giving more brilliancy than warmth.
The hearers came to look for esthetic satisfaction rather than for edification, leaving after the sermon and before the Eucharist." (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Preaching, p. 150, Period 300-450 A. D.).
"In the East the sermon was often imaginative, poetic, even bombastic and wordy; in the West the rhetoric was more sober, and the sermon practical, simple, and clear." (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Preaching, p. 150).
In later church history, the preaching took precedence over Bible teaching and study and rhetorical styles became very popular. Church history is abundantly clear that placing the emphasis upon pomp and ceremony--at the expense of the word of the Holy Spirit, the Bible--led to various styles of worship services which were to attract crowds or cater to the ego of the speaker.
Preaching by the direction of the Holy Spirit was fundamental in the forming churches and reading the work-product of the Spirit through the apostles and prophets with explanations continued until the very nature of the church changed and it reverted to being priest-oriented. A preaching performance was necessary when the preacher gave up on the Word:
"The public prayers had now lost much of that solemn and majestic simplicity, that characterized them in the primitive times, and which were, at present, degenerating into a vain and swelling bombast." (Mosheim, Eccl. Hist., Vol. I., p. 303).
This repulsive formalism is the inevitable result of seeing prayer as an act of worship rather as a means of communicating with God and seeing singing as an act of worship concedes defeat to those who want to enhance the act.
During the early Restoration Movement, Isaiah Boone Grubbs, Professor of NT Exegesis and Church History in the College of the Bible, Lexington, Ky., in decrying the secularizing influence of formalized music said,
"There sits the congregation, mute as in death.
Here the godless choir and noisy fiddler fill the air with soulless strains,
while the preacher, precious man, speaks his pretty piece of poetry
as musically as possible by way of a solo, or as a sort of interlude." (Kurfees, Instrumental Music, p. 233).
The very purpose of preaching modeled after the Greek drama was to excite and incite the congregation through loud speech, a rhythmic almost sing-song chant so common among television preaching, gestures to excite the audience, and the neglect of quiet Scripture reading. Reading was abandoned simply because the masses could not be attracted by Scripture designed for those "seeking the narrow way and the small door."
When the church abandons pure Biblical studies and turns to preaching as performance or personality-based rhetoric the church, as Amos warned, is hungering and thirsting for the Word and cannot find it.
And of these, a great part build so much on their ceremonies and petty traditions of men
............that they think one heaven is too poor a reward for so great merit,
little dreaming that the time will come when Christ,
............ not regarding any of these trifles,
............ will call them to account for His precept of charity.
One shall show you a large trough full of all kinds of fish;
............ another tumble you out so many bushels of prayers;
............ another reckon you so many myriads of fasts,
............ and fetch them up again in one dinner
............ by eating till he cracks again;
another produces more bundles of ceremonies
............ than seven of the stoutest ships would be able to carry;
another brags he has not touched a penny these three score years
............ without two pair of gloves at least upon his hands;
another wears a cowl so lined with grease
............ that the poorest tarpaulin would not stoop to take it up;
another will tell you he has lived these fifty-five years like a sponge,
............ continually fastened to the same place;
another is grown hoarse with his daily chanting;
another has contracted a lethargy by his solitary living;
and another the palsy in his tongue for want of speaking.
And yet these kind of people, though they are as it were of another commonwealth, no man dares despise, especially those begging friars, because
they are privy to all men's secrets by means of confessions, as they call them. Which yet were no less than treason to discover, unless, being got drunk, they have a mind to be pleasant,
and then all comes out, that is to say by hints and conjectures but suppressing the names.
But if anyone should anger these wasps, they'll sufficiently revenge themselves in their public sermons and so point out their enemy by circumlocutions
that there's no one but understands whom 'tis they mean, unless he understand nothing at all;
nor will they give over their barking till you throw the dogs a bone. And now tell me, what juggler or mountebank you had rather behold than hear them
rhetorically play the fool in their preachments,
and yet most sweetly imitating what rhetoricians have written touching the art of good speaking? Good God! what several postures they have!
............ How they shift their voice,
............ sing out their words,
............ skip up and down,
............ and are ever and anon making such new faces
............ that they confound all things with noise!
And yet this knack of theirs is no less a mystery that runs in succession from one brother to another; which though it be not lawful for me to know, however I'll venture at it by conjectures.
A preaching performance for profit will doom both the preacher and his audience. There simply is no way of encouraging women to become performance preachers with or without a tune without looking to the unlawful role of uninspired preachers presuming to exercise the mediating role of Jesus and emasculating the male leadership of the church.
However, it is not possible to get women to abandon performance roles as long as men usurp the authority of Christ, the Word and the body of Christ in performance preaching.
This is the historical view of the early church Fathers and the leaders of the American Restoration Movement. To the extent that churches have allowed themselves to again slip back under dominant pastors they have abandoned the ideals of restoration.
It is a fact that probably most located preachers would love to obey the Great Commission and go preach where the gospel is unknown. However, selfish leadership demands "seeker-friendly" performance to attract the local audience to pay for the building and largely ignores the demand to send those willing to go.
"Those who lord it over the people will soon begin to destroy them. The word Balaam means 'the destroyer of the people.' If we turn back to the history of this strange figure as recorded in the book of Numbers we find that which clarifies three passages in the New Testament where 'the error of Balaam' (Jude 11), 'the way of Balaam' (II Pet. 2:15) and 'the doctrine of Balaam' are discussed." (Barnhouse, D.G., Revelation, Zondervan, p. 54
Counter added 4.10.05 11:36a 2339