Friday, April 15, 2011

Arrogance is the New Humility

The context for the below video is set in the current controversy over Rob Bell, his heretical universalism, and "evangelicalism's" utter disbelief that anyone would ever call him out on it. That's not what this blog post is about. Rather, in answering this question, Doug Wilson makes some phenomenal points about the nature of Christian ministry that I was hoping to echo in this series, and particularly in this post.

I absolutely love what he says about being a herald. Pay close attention to that around 3:00.

This must characterize our ministry. We are not to preach ourselves. We are not orators who have the luxury of altering our message or our method in order to win the favor of our audience. We are heralds -- men under assignment who must preach the message with which they've been commissioned and let the chips fall where they may.


Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Joyce Meyer comes to mind right away. Her whole ministry is focused on herself; her struggles, her anointing, her childhood abuse, her issues with her husband and her children, and for good measure she throws in a few pertinent and relative Scripture passages that line up with HER long-standing issues. She just seems so humble, and victims are very, very good at this. It is nothing more then false humility.

In her case, Jesus is just a back-seat driver, an after thought, who just happens to support her views. There is a whole psychology behind the motives of so many false teachers, some are subtle and some not so subtle, and sometimes you have to dig deep to see it, and other times, such as in Rob Bell’s case, it is patently obvious.

The devil uses either tactic, and both seem to fool the masses. I like what Doug had to say. Thanks for the video, Mike.

Mike Riccardi said...

Thanks Mary.

The take-away for those of us who recognize the obvious error of the Meyers and the Bells is that even we with a solid doctrinal statement might be caught doing ministry on this assumption without realizing it.

Much of what I see in the missional movement -- who are, for the most part, doctrinally sound, at least on paper -- is a bent towards "preaching themselves." They forget that they're not orators who get to tailor their message or their method to suit the fancies of their audience, but rather are heralds who, as one writer has said, are "methodologically obligated." We are commissioned not only to proclaim an unchanging message, but to proclaim an unchanging message. An unfavorable response from our audience doesn't indicate that we need to modify our methodology, but is simply evidence that the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

But to those who are being saved, the called (cf. 1Cor 1:18, 24), the message -- and the message alone -- is the power of God unto salvation. And to believe, or to act, any differently is to elevate entrepreneurial marketing strategies and human wisdom above the foolishness of God. It is indeed the height of arrogance.