Friday, December 16, 2011

A thank you for doctrinal integrity, by Dan Phillips

Excerpt of Dan Phillips'  Open Letter to Dr. John MacArthur. I HEARTILY second his sentiments. In a world where the average time a pastor spends "shepherding" his flock has dwindled to (depending on source) 3 to 7 years, Dr. MacArthur's stay at Grace Community Church for 42 years is extraordinary. Also extraordinary in this tv, short sound byte age, is his biblical preaching verse by verse (expositional) as opposed to topical, or Gospel Lite, or worse, Prosperity/Word-Faith preaching. And most extraordinary of all is that he preached through the entire New Testament, finishing last June. The wealth of sermons, devotionals, and study materials at his website is staggering. I recently listened to a sermon and when it was done I was astounded to see the date was 1969. It had sounded so fresh! So relevant! That is because the bible is fresh. When you preach it and it alone, the Word will always be fresh and relevant. We do not need gimmicks, fads, church growth strategies, or anything else to make it relevant. It already IS.

I've also watched Dr. MacArthur on Larry King's CNN interview show. He is always unequivocal about Jesus, that Jesus is the one true way to heaven, explicit on what happens after we die, and the truth of the bible. I've watched Billy Graham and Joel Osteen on the same show when they appeared at different times, and both of those latter men took the opportunity to deny Jesus as the only way. So that speaks volumes. In this increasingly apostate world, we should value, pray for, and support the fewer and fewer true pastors who are unequivocal about doctrine and courageously stand by it. Anyway, here is the Open Letter excerpt from Dan Phillips:
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Dear Dr. MacArthur,

"First, thank you. Thank you for being a model of doctrinal, pastoral, and personal integrity. It means a great deal to me that I can know for certain that if you are given any opportunity anywhere, you will always and only use it as an opening to speak the Word and Gospel of the Lord. That is huge, and I applaud you for that, without reservation. You have set an example of emphatically Biblical preaching and writing to an entire generation. In that vein, you have just concluded preaching through the entire New Testament. God be praised, and thank you."

Yes, thank you to all good pastors who reliably and loyally feed the sheep the Word, and who love us with a true shepherd's heart.

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