Milk Or Solid Food
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:12-14
he•don•ism n. 1Philosophy. The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good.
One Sunday morning I listened to prominent TV Evangelist and his one sided presentation of good and pleasant things and avoidance of unpleasant things! Obviously the TV Evangelist doesn’t practice discernment and is your typical carnal Christian babe who partakes only of milk and is unskilled in the word of righteous. He could not handle solid food because it belongs to those who are full of age and by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil! And they are not like Paul who had no problem calling sin “sin” and rebuking those who needed to be rebuked or Jesus Christ who made a whip and drove money changers out of the house of God at the start and end of His miracle ministry. And Paul told us The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do. And what did Paul do? He tells us in his words:
But from those who seemed to be something-whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man-for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. Galatians 2:6
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Galatians 2:11-16
Paul was not a respecter of persons and since God shows personal favoritism to no man neither did Paul and he had no problem rebuking Peter to his face! Mind rebuking people for their sins is not done anymore today and very few pastors preach about hell including this prominent TV Evangelist with his hedonistic gospel!
The Washington Post on Saturday, August 8, 2009, in an article title “Straight Talk About Damnation It’s a Mistake for Christians to Deny the Flip Side of Salvation, Some Pastors Say” By Greg Garrison Religion News Service stated:
BIRMINGHAM — Just when it seemed to have cooled off, the topic of hell is back on the front burner — at least for pastors learning to preach about a topic most Americans would rather not talk about.
Only 59 percent of Americans believe in hell, compared with 74 percent who believe in heaven, according to recent surveys from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
“I think it’s such a difficult and important biblical topic,” said Kurt Selles, director of the Global Center at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham. “There’s a big change that’s taken place as far as evangelicals not wanting to be as exclusive.”
At the recent annual Beeson Pastors School, Selles led two workshops on the topic “Whatever happened to hell?” He asked how many of the pastors had ever preached a sermon on hell. Nobody had, he said.
“I think it’s something people want to avoid,” he said. “I understand why. It’s a difficult topic.”
The Rev. Fred Johns, pastor of Brookview Wesleyan Church in Irondale, Ala., said after a workshop discussion that pastors do shy away from the topic of everlasting damnation.
“It’s out of fear we’ll not appear relevant,” he said. “It’s pressure from the culture to not speak anything negative. I think we’ve begun to deny hell. There’s an assumption that everybody’s going to make it to heaven somehow.”
The soft sell on hell reflects an increasingly market-conscious approach, Selles said.
It’s amazing that preachers today have chosen a soft sell on hell because of an increasingly market-conscious approach! What happened to the fiery preachers of yesterday including Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Dwight Moody and even Billy Graham?
John Wesley [ix]is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, with founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield. Methodism in both forms was a highly successful evangelical movement in the United Kingdom, which encouraged people to experience Christ personally.
Wesley helped to organise and form societies throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland; small groups that developed intensive, personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction among members. His great contribution was to appoint itinerant, unordained preachers who travelled widely to evangelise and care for people in the societies. Young men who acted as their assistants were called “exhorters” who functioned in a similar fashion to the twelve apostles after the ascension of Jesus
Under Wesley’s direction, Methodists became leaders in many social justice issues of the day, including the prison reform and abolitionism movements. Wesley’s contribution as a theologian was to propose a system of opposing theological stances. His greatest theological achievement was his promotion of what he termed “Christian Perfection”, or holiness of heart and life. Wesley held that, in this life, Christians could come to a state in which the love of God, or perfect love, reigned supreme in their hearts. His evangelical theology, especially his understanding of Christian perfection, was firmly grounded in his sacramental theology. He continually insisted on the general use of the means of grace (prayer, scripture, meditation, Holy Communion, etc.) as the means by which God sanctifies and transforms the believer.
In the beginning Billy Graham was known for the “Old-fashioned, Spirit-filled, Christ-honoring, sin-hating, soul-winning, Bible preaching!“ But along the way Billy became soft and his preaching stopped being an offense to anybody. So much that it was reported[x]:
Earlier, at a news conference, the famed evangelist thrilled the cockles of the homosexuals’ lusty hearts when he snapped to a reporter that he was tired of people trying to get him to criticize gays. “It’s not the biggest of sins,” Graham said. Billy followed this up by telling the smiling and happy liberal media: “What I want to preach about in San Francisco is the love of God. People need to know that God loves them no matter what their sexual orientation.” Graham also proudly confided: “I have so many gay friends, and we remain friends.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner (October 10, 1997), after hearing Graham’s latest milktoast sermon, Brian Jackie, a gay San Francisco Catholic, praised the evangelist. “Graham is a man of integrity,” said Jackie, adding that Billy Graham always has a “positive message.” Jackie’s friend, the Reverend Bill Byrd, homosexual pastor of the San Francisco Evangelical Gay Church, heartily agreed. “I have no problem with Graham’s preaching,” said the Reverend Byrd, “Billy Graham brings people together.”
So even though Apostle Paul stated “”Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead”(Acts 17:30-31), today’s gospel by prominent Evangelical preachers is about bringing people together! What happened to the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ including being rebuked as Apostle Paul and Peter told us?
Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-who set their mind on earthly things. Philippians 3:17-19
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 1 Timothy 5:20
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 1 Peter 2:7-8