What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

In the second pastoral epistle to Timothy, the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy (a young pastor left to oversee the church in Ephesus), to be persistent in preaching the word of God. Be instant in season and out of season, for a time will come when those in the church will not endure sound teaching of God’s word, but will heap to themselves teachers who will tickle their ears. 2 Timothy 4:1-3

Involved in pasturing a church and having observed the operations of the church for some twenty-five years now, I have noticed how the church attendants often take on the spiritual demeanor of the pastor that stands in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday espousing whatever doctrine they propagate.

When the assembly takes in the ‘spiritual food’ fed to them from the pulpit the word takes on a personification, and that spirit akin to the doctrine of what is being preached. In some instances this is very good, especially when the word of God is the spiritual meat and the message is flavored with mercy and grace. Other times the results are not so good, at least in terms of “sound teaching”.

For the longest time I had difficulty understanding this picture. The photograph was taken at the ‘Steak Fry of Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on September 17, 2007 in Indianola, IA, while the National Anthem was being delivered. Time Magazine ran the photo in October 2007 without comment.


After hearing this week all that is come out with regard to the ‘message’ that has been preached by Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor of some twenty years, I am inclined to believe that the following truth not only applies to the spiritual realm but also to the political/secular. As Christ exhorted His disciples, “be careful what you hear and how you hear it“….

Senator Obama made the statement that he no longer wears a flag lapel pin.

The Illinois senator said “he stopped wearing the pin shortly after the attacks and instead hoped to show his patriotism by explaining his ideas to citizens“.Makes one wonder what affects Sunday after Sunday at Trinity United Church of Christ and sitting under the tutelage of Reverend Jeremiah Wright has had on Senator Obama?

When the preacher diverts from the sound teaching of God’s word, there is no telling what spirit will be conjured up.

There are those in the church (and the world) today that seem to believe whatever anyone tells them, even a preacher. The church at Corinth was warned of a different gospel, a different Jesus and to guard against another spirit. Sounds like good advice for both the church and America.


1 Comment

  1. […] A couple of months ago I ran a post “What’s Wrong With This Picture”. The purpose of the post was to raise questions surrounding the long term affects of one sitting […]

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