The sins of the Preachers in America.

The other day I was reading the March/April 2011 edition of the Baptist Bread, and I came across an interesting article. It was actually the 4th and 5th part of a 7-part series titled “How Not To Reap What You’ve Sown” written by Dr. Tim Green.

I’m going to post parts 4 and 5 for you to read below…

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in they sight.” ~ Psalm 51:3-4a

In April of 1984, there was a conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a prayer and fasting convocation, and they made up the following list at the conclusion of the meeting. It was entitled “The Sins of the Preachers of America.”  It is quite convicting:

  1. Exalted the laws of man above the laws of God and Christ’s lordship.
  2. Failed to apply the Word of God to all walks of life. Preached without making practical application to the home, church, and society; the equaling half truths, which equal another gospel.
  3. Pride, an unholy emphasis on academic status, ministerial accomplishments and peer associations. (We need not know key men if we know the Keeper of the keys!)
  4. Striven in the flesh and failed to appropriate God’s power, adopting humanistic, worldly, pragmatic methods.
  5. Grieved the Holy Spirit by an inordinate emphasis on buildings, attendance, seeming success, and using selfish, entertaining, and compromising media.
  6. Frivolous spirit toward worldly entertainment, amusements, and sports in our lives.
  7. Violated God’s laws on personal debt.
  8. Selfishness, becoming “tunnel-visioned” regarding our “own” ministries.
  9. Sinned by silence – not crying out against “popular” sins.
  10. Failed to exercise biblical holiness in every area of our lives and requiring the same from our members.
  11. Our silence regarding immorality, abortion, and sodomy that has brought our nation to the brink of God’s judgment.
  12. Failed to cry out against socialism and welfare that has produced an over-taxed and lazy nation.
  13. Sinned by accepting government subsidies.
  14. Neglected our wives and children in order to build “our” ministries; thus, allowing the influence of worldly, satanic Hollywood to capture the minds of our families.
  15. Sinned by sowing discord, gossiping, slander, libel, and the “poison pen” in our periodicals.

Friends, we have sinned as a people, as a church member, as a leader by our failure to acknowledge, confess, forsake, and repent of our sins. The only safe, sound direction to go is to our knees and on our faces before our Holy God. We must denounce the unfruitful works of darkness in our lives. We must destroy the idols we’ve hidden in our hearts. We must confess fully and completely the folly of our ways. We must forsake the wicked ways that have laid down, deep-trodden paths that others are vainly following. We must return to the God of our fathers, the faith of our mothers, and the God of the Bible. We must retrace our steps and get back to basics and the main, tried, and true road to righteousness. O may God hear our earnest prayer and answer with revival.

Remember: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heave, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” ~ II Chronicles 7:14

What are your thoughts?
Is there anything you would add to the list of sins above?


Posted on July 1, 2011, in Christian Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Interesting post. My only thought would be what is the ‘basics and the main, tried, and true road to righteousness’ ? To so many people this means a plethora of ‘true ways’. etting back to following the God of the bible, is that the Evangelicalism, God of Luther, Origen, Augustine, or does he really mean the Bible as in the one book that gives so many people justification for the different ‘right’ answers…

    Hmmm, I love this blog post, he is so honest, I would love to have a coffee with him and learn more about what he means 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment, J.

      He has preached at my church a time or two. He’s a great man.

      hey – also, I had a question for you but I couldn’t find an e-mail address on your blog. do you think you could shoot me an email please at
      growup318 {at} gmail {dot} com :]

  2. 16. Failure to Instruct the Flock on the doctrine of God.

    Seriously, when was the last time you heard a sermon just about GOD? When was the last time you heard a sermon on at least one of the attributes of God? That affects everything, how can we know to live if we do not know the standard to live to? God is the standard. How can we know what “be ye holy as I am holy” means unless we know He Who is first holy?

    Just a thought.

  3. I love this post. It reminds me that we have to be careful not to try and live by our own power. Sometimes, we get our paths confused and start to do things according to what we think is right. I think “basics and the main, tried, and true road to righteousness” is the way the apostles lived in the body. I think it means total surrender to God’s Word and the Holy Ghost, and COMPLETE repentance of our sin.

    I find myself convicted in my own ministries of having good intentions, but they mean nothing without God’s power. Not allowing God full reign is a sin (one every single one of us is guilty of!). I think one thing he is saying is that if we study our Bibles and adapt to the ways of the first church in Acts, we will see a revival like never before! Would it not be AWESOME to see 3,000 people saved at one time?!!!

    I think many of us, though not consciously, don’t believe that can happen anymore. In reality, if we lived with the faith of the early church, it could!

    Praise for an AMAZING God and Lord!!!!

    (I may have gone on a rabbit trail, but it’s one I like . . .)

  4. Well…I don’t like the article or the list or the conclusions. Frankly, I see a lot of repentance. But where is the forgiveness of sins? Where is the Gospel? I read “this is what we should do…this is what we resolve to do” and I can’t help but think:

    God didn’t answer this request, made so long ago, because it doesn’t embrace the Gospel. It’s all about what *we* should be doing as pastors and not about pointing people to what *CHRIST* has done for their sake.

    Repentance and faith. Both are neeedful. When either is neglected, everything gets really out of whack…even when well-intentioned pastors are at the helm.

    • I think this article was more or less a “follow up” after the forgiveness of sins, the stuff we should focus a little more time on after the Gospel is understood and accepted in our lives – what will helpa Christian grow, etc.

      What I don’t think the article was doing was making little of or neglecting Repentance and Faith at all.

      The Baptist Bread is a devotional book for Christians. It’s a tool to help those that are already saved grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord.

      Thank you for the comment, Dave!

      • Let me give just a *little* push-back here, because I think it’s telling.

        You said, “the stuff we should focus a little more time on after the Gospel is understood and accepted in our lives – what will helpa Christian grow, etc.”

        I think you’re misunderstanding my intent. I’m not talking about initial repentance unto salvation. I’m talking about how the daily focus on the Gospel actually fuels the sort of revival that the authors of this document seem to be looking for.

        But, I would assert, because they negelect the very fuel for the change they seek, their quest is…well…futile. This is the Gospel, not just for salvation but for sanctification.

        How do I know it’s for both? Where do I even get that sort of idea? Galatians 3 is one place. Having begun in the Spirit, I am *not* now being perfected by the flesh. In short, the Gospel isn’t simply the gate we walk through (though it *is* that), it’s also the path we tread. In short, the Gospel isn’t just for the unsaved…it’s for the saved.

        I can appreciate that the book is written for the already-converted, but the converted are sustained by the Gospel, NOT through exhortations to “do the biblical thing” *apart from* the Gospel, as Paul sems to indicate in the passage I’ve lareday cited.

        Thanks for sharing the part of this book…I do still disagree with how the petition is framed and described. The solution for sin, whether for sexual immorality or not shepherding a flock properly is never “straighten up and do it, with the Lord’s help.” Instead, the solution is, “repent and believe that Christ has bled died even for THIS sin.”

  5. Item # 2 struck me – I think we all know that Jesus said the Bible’s two most important commands are to love God and to love and help our neighbors, both wholeheartedly. (And we sometimes miss the fact that, in John, Jesus didn’t just say to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” but to “love each other as much as I have loved you.” That’s a challenge.

    I’ve heard literally hundreds – maybe thousands – of sermons on loving God. But on loving our neighbors, which # 2 above certainly refers to? In about 55 years of attending church, I have NEVER heard a sermon on that. NOT ONE! And missing that has drawn us into a variety of other heresies, some of which also show up in the list above.

    Shouldn’t we live, and preach, BOTH of Jesus ‘top two” commandments?

  6. I will limit my reply to “See above comments.” This is definitely a straight-forward message, and oh so true.

    Thank you.

  1. Pingback: bitterness is never hidden. « Grow Up!

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