Thoughts on Street Preaching?

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by Craig, Nov 21, 2004.

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  1. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    are you guys really serious? really?

    The only people on earth who can preach the Word of God must be ordained?

    By whom? In what denomination?

    Ah - there is the can of proverbial worms.

    Suddenly we do not know who is and is not lawfully ordained and so no one can preach the Word. Let the pulpits be silent!

    Any and every believer has an obligation to be preaching the Word to their families first and also to the people around them in life and work - teaching, witnessing, instructing, discipling, training, preaching, expounding, exegeting, rightly dividing - whatever you want to call it.

    EVERY believer is duty bound in love to Christ to PREACH, PROCLAIM, PROMOTE, PRESENT, PROFESS, PROFUSE, PROJECT, PROMULGATE, PRONOUNCE, PROVE, PROPOGATE, PROPEL, PROPOSE, PROPOUND, and PROTESTATE His Word.

    To say that anything and everything "given to the Church" is necessarily restricted in its use to the "ordained" goes beyond the Scriptures and creates classes of Christians. It is anti-reformational. Let the Reformation stop here - the people CANNOT preach.

    Disclaimer - I am not speaking of the ordinances as that is a whole other discussion - but only of PREACHING the Word of God.

    How dare any of us tell the member sof our church not to preach the Word. Shame. We will be held to account for that grievous bit of ungodly counsel.

    Phillip

    [Edited on 11-22-04 by pastorway]
     
  2. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    One last word on the topic -

    Acts 8
    4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

    Who was scattered?

    "1 At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered..."

    The members of the church at Jerusalem were scattered. They - the church (not the elders, evangelists, ordained members ONLY) - THEY "went everywhere PREACHING THE WORD."

    That is what the Bible says. That's enough for me.

    Phillip
     
  3. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Philip,

    So you believe women may lawfully preach God's Word?
     
  4. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    Yes.

    Just not in the corporate meeting of the church with men present or while functioning as an "elder", since that office is restricted to men.

    Should a mother preach the Word to her children - and even her husband? Surely she is to teach younger women - ie. explain the Word of God for godly righteous living (preaching).

    Or are you saying that only an ordained minister in the church is able to preach the Word to his wife and kids while the rest of the men and women in the church must wait for sevices on Sunday to get the Word preached to them by one who is duly ordained? Can a father not lead family worship and preach the Word to his kids? Can a mother not instruct her children in right living, expounding the Word of God for them to understand and apply?

    Maybe the best way to resolve this is to define "preaching." Because by your standard no one may comment on the Word of God in any fashion with any authority unless they are ordained.

    Phillip
     
  5. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Preaching God's Word involves declaring the gospel with authority vested in the office of minister. Preaching is done by a teaching elder, not a ruling elder, not a deacon, not a laymen, not a woman.

    Teaching may (and should) be done by husbands to their wives and children. Mothers may (and should) teach their children. Older women may (and should) teach younger women.

    Witnessing or evangelizing may (and should) be done by all Christians as the circumstances warrant.

    Do you honestly think a woman may properly preach to crowds of men as long as it is done outside and not done inside the church? Do you honestly think that children may properly preach God's Word? By your standard, apparently, as long as it is not done in church, anybody regardless of their qualifications can lawfully preach. I believe God is the one who calls preachers and has put qualifications on the office (ie., the qualifications relating to being a teaching elder/minister).
     
  6. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Andrew,
    Do you believe that evangelists should be ordained also?
     
  7. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Please define evangelist.
     
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    You previously mentioned that God calls preachers. You say that evangelizing can be done by the lay-person.

    Eph 4:11 And indeed He gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;

    It looks as if even the evangelist is ordained.
     
  9. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I appreciate the clarification. I used the term "evangelize" earlier meaning simply "to share the gospel." I mean that in the simple sense of one person speaking to another about the gospel. I equate that with a believer witnessing to an unbeliever.

    I do not believe the office of "evangelist" spoken of in the New Testatment is an office that continues today. If you mean by "evangelist" "missionary" then I would say that person needs to be ordained to properly and lawfully preach the gospel. They should be sent by the church, acting under the authority of the church and should therefore be ordained.

    All preachers of God's Word, in my view, need to be ordained. The only exception that I can think of is someone who is training to become an ordained minister.
     
  10. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Phillip,

    By NT usage, you have to make a distinction between Teachers, Preachers and teaching and preaching.

    1. Teachers and Preachers who Teach and Preach (karux) are ordained.

    2. Teaching and preaching (i.e. if you mean communicating the Gospel to family friends, etc.) is a different animal altogether. Parents instruct their children. Freinds instruct one another on holiness. People witness to thier next door neighbors. This is NOT preaching in sense 1. (You made the distinction between the sacraments adminsitered - which NEVER happens without preaching the Word).

    Are you making this distinction?

    I am following the church's distinction:

    WLC:
    Q158: By whom is the word of God to be preached?
    A158: The word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted,[1] and also duly approved and called to that office.[2]

    1. I Tim. 3:2, 6; Eph. 4:8-11; Hosea 4:6; Mal. 2:7; II Cor. 3:6
    2. Jer. 14:15; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4; I Cor. 12:28-29; I Tim. 3:10; 4:14; 5:22

    Also:
    First, it belongs to his office,

    To pray for and with his flock, as the mouth of the people unto God, Acts vi. 2, 3, 4, and xx. 36, where preaching and prayer are joined as several parts of the same office. The office of the elder (that is, the pastor) is to pray for the sick, even in private, to which a blessing is especially promised; much more therefore ought he to perform this in the publick execution of his office, as a part thereof.

    To read the Scriptures publickly; for the proof of which,

    1. That the priests and Levites in the Jewish church were trusted with the publick reading of the word is proved.

    2. That the ministers of the gospel have as ample a charge and commission to dispense the word, as well as other ordinances, as the priests and Levites had under the law, proved, Isa. lxvi. 21. Matt. xxiii. 34. where our Saviour entitleth the officers of the New Testament, whom he will send forth, by the same names of the teachers of the Old.

    No man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word without a lawful calling.

    Is this your assessment?




    [Edited on 11-22-2004 by webmaster]

    [Edited on 11-22-2004 by webmaster]
     
  11. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Good points, Webmaster.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    Wow...a lot of opinions.

    I am considering whether it would be most appropriate to read scriptures more so than "preach"....I'm also considering helping out at the Gospel Mission in town that reaches out to the homeless. I am not sure. I have a sense of urgency when it comes to telling others about Christ. I'm praying God will enable me and present me with opportunities to share the gospel.

    In regards to street preaching, I think I fall in line with Phillip. Has anyone considered that Paul was thankful that Christ was preached even by those who did so out of pride? Do we assume these men were ordained? Paul rejoiced the truth was being preached. I guess I am differentiating between a minister of the Word...ordained to ministry, and one simply proclaiming the truth. That is in a sense preaching, I wouldn't put that preaching in the same category as the Lord's Day sermon: that is for Christians specifically while gospel preaching is directed to those in need of repentance...the world doesn't need an ordained minister to point out sin and a Savior. Christ's flock needs shepherds ordained for ministry.
     
  13. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Exactly the point. But "preaching" is not a loose term. That is the second point.
     
  14. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I don't think these particular preachers that Paul was referring to help your case. Preaching Christ from wrong motives doesn't convince me that the Word of God approves of unordained preachers. The Lord may use such preaching -- just like some people may be truly converted under the ministry of Billy Graham, for example -- but that is despite the messenger not because of the messenger.

    [Edited on 23-11-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
     
  15. street preacher

    street preacher Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with brother virginia huguenot on this point. I believe that you speak the truth brother and give you two thubs up. I go out with a group from my church that is involved in our own inner city ministry in St. Louis, MO. that feeds the homeless, clothes them and gives them the gospel. We do not do street preaching in the sence that we set up a pulpit. Praise the Lord! God has set boundaries for the church in every aspect of life. :D
     
  16. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Thanks, Street Preacher! God bless your labors in the Lord.
     
  17. street preacher

    street preacher Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you my brother. May God bless you as well. Praise God for His Word and the Reformed faith!
     
  18. Bro.Jon

    Bro.Jon Inactive User

    Too funny!:lol:
     
  19. Joseph Ringling

    Joseph Ringling Puritan Board Freshman

    How so?
     
  20. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    "Blow the dust off your Bible" for a moment and let's go through a few Scriptures and discover for ourselves what the Scriptures say about who ia commissioned.

    1. Did Jesus send only the apostles to preach the gospel?

    Luke 9:1-6

    Luke 10:1-22

    1. How many people did Jesus tell to preach the gospel? What later happened to the 70 in Luke 10?

    2. Did Jesus want people to spread the news of what God had done for them - even if they were recently "troubled" people?

    Luke 8:26-39

    What have you believed about those who Jesus wanted to spread the good news? Have you been open to people who have had serious problems "representing" the gospel? Is there a level of "qualification" a person must have before they can tell others about Jesus?

    3. Did the New Testament Church of God limit the preaching of the gospel and making disciples to only the ordained ministry?

    Acts 8:1-40

    Acts 11:19-30

    Acts 18:18-28

    Notice that those who were scattered were among the first to bring the gospel to the Gentiles - with great results! Did the apostles try to stop the evangelizing by church members, or did they support it?

    The Spirit of God told Philip to go up to the Ethiopian eunuch. If Philip's pastor taught that members should not personally evangelize, but rather leave it to the professionals, would Philip have even recognized the urging of the Spirit of God? Would he have thought that such an urge to interrupt someone's Bible study would be of Satan, since it went against his pastor's teaching?

    How did Pricilla and Aquilla treat Apollos, who knew only the baptism of John? Did they attempt to restrict him, or did they support him? Would your church send someone like Apollos to sister congregations right away, or would Apollos have to go through training and evaluations first? Would Philip have felt that since he was not a minister that it was wrong for him to teach this Ethiopian about the Scriptures?

    4. To whom was the commission to make disciples given?

    Matthew 28:18-19

    How we understand the meaning of Scripture has to be consistent with how the disciples in the New Testament Church of God understood the Scripture. Many of them traveled with Jesus and knew His will. How did the New Testament apostles, ministers and members interpret this commission - was it only to the ordained ministry, or just the apostles?

    Acts 9:20-31:

    We have already read where the members, including Philip, "preached" the gospel, just like the apostles "preached" the gospel. God blessed their efforts. The apostles supported their efforts. If God is recorded as blessing his efforts, who are we do say it was wrong?

    In Acts 9, what did Saul (later the apostle Paul) do immediately after being baptized?

    Did Barnabas condemn Saul for usurping ministerial authority by preaching fearlessly in the name of Jesus in the synagogues or was that proof he used to the apostles that Saul was no longer an enemy but a converted member of the church?

    Were the 70 in Luke 10 ordained, like the apostles? There is no record of them being ordained when Jesus gave them the instructions to preach the gospel.

    Did Barnabas upbraid or correct the members who preached to the Gentiles in Acts 11?

    How many specific examples of the members - not ministers - of the New Testament Church of God preaching the gospel as a means of evagnelizing are needed before we accept that the commission to make disciples is not for ordained ministers alone?

    Summary: It may be out of ignorance or out of fear that a pastor would demean the example of the New Testament Church of God and teach that members are not permitted to evangelize. Perhaps there are other excuses. The Scriptures are very clear that members were integral to the preaching of the gospel with the purpose of making disciples which were then baptized.



    It is time for each of us to shoulder our responsibility to evangelize. We need to do so in a manner consistent with the Scriptures. Not everyone is a "mouth" in the Body of Christ. Not everybody has the same gifts given by the Spirit of God. God wants to place us in the Body - in each congregation - in a way that allows us to contribute to the effort of the whole for making disciples. Some introduce people. Some teach. Some encourage. Some show exceptional hospitality. In a congregation that is yielding to the Spirit of God, each part works together to complete the mission of making disciples.

    Congregations are an important part of evangelism. What we do personally can be undone in an instant if we bring people into a toxic congregation. To be useful to God in evangelism, we need to have healthy congregations. Part of our conference materials focus on building a healthy congregation. What we do as individuals does not happen "in a void" - congregations should be directly involved in supporting evangelism at all levels.

    One can only imageine what a new person would experience if they came to church services for the first time - only to hear their friend who invited them being castigated publicly for engaging in "personal" evangelism and how "Protestant" such efforts are.

    We can do better than that - IF we begin with the Scriptures and not with traditions of men, personal fears or unbalanced opinions expressed from the pulpit. As members of the Body of Christ, we should challenge our leaders to support evangelism and send the right message. For Christian leaders to do otherwise is to work against the Spirit of God
     
  21. The Lamb

    The Lamb Puritan Board Freshman

    On Lay Preaching

    J. N. Darby.

    <01010E>131


    The question of lay preaching is one of the greatest importance, and one in which, it is obvious, the interests of the church are deeply concerned; because, if God give His Spirit to laymen for the purpose, there is positive loss in the hindrance, and the Spirit of God is grieved. The point to be proved by those who are opposed to it is this, either that no laymen have the Spirit of God in testimony; or that, having it, the sanction of man is necessary for its exercise. I do not purpose here a general investigation of the principles of the subject, but merely to inquire whether laymen are entitled to preach, if the Lord give them opportunity; or, whether there be any human sanction needful for their doing so. I affirm that there is not; and that no such sanction can be proved to be necessary from Scripture; and that no such sanction was therein afforded.


    The question is not, whether all laymen are individually qualified; but, whether as laymen they are disqualified, unless they are what is commonly called ordained. I say, commonly called, because the word, used in Scripture, does not in the original convey what it does to an English ear at present. I affirm that no such ordination was a qualification to preach in the days of scriptural statement. I do not despise order; I do not despise pastoral care - I love it where it really exists, as that which savours in its place of the sweetest of God's services. Though it may be exercised sometimes in a manner not to our present taste or thought, a good shepherd will seek the scattered sheep. But I confine myself to a simple question - the assertion that laymen ought not to preach without episcopal or other analogous appointment. My assertion is, that they are entitled; that they did so in Scripture; were justified in doing so, God blessing them therein; and that the principles of Scripture require it, assuming of course here that they are qualified of God; for the question here is not competency to act, but title to act if competent. Neither do I despise herein (God forbid that I should do so*) the holy setting apart, according to godliness, to any office such as are competent by those that have authority to do so.

    {*I leave the passage as originally published. My thoughts on ordination will be found elsewhere; as well as on appointment to office, which is the subject in this sentence - though I think. the distinction of office and place of service by gift was not originally clear in my mind. Gift is in the member of the whole body, and so in the whole body. Office, properly speaking, was local - as elder, deacon.}


    132 Let us see what Scripture says upon the subject. The question can only arise as to their speaking in the church, or out of the church. These admitted, all anomalous cases will readily be agreed in. And first, in the church. And here I remark that the directions in 1 Corinthians 14 are entirely inconsistent with the necessity of ordination to speak. There is a line drawn there, but it is not "if ordained or unordained." "Let your women keep silence in the churches" - a direction which never could have had place, were the speaking confined to a definitely ordained person, but takes quite another ground; and which implies directly, not that it is right for every man to speak, but that there was preclusion of none because of their character as laymen. Women were the precluded class: there the line was drawn. If men had not the gift of speaking, of course they would be silent, if they followed the directions there given. The apostle says, "Every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation." Does he say none ought to speak but one ordained? No; "Let all things be done unto edifying." That is the grand secret, the grand rule - "in a tongue by two, or at the most by three, and by course, and interpret." Prophets two or three, etc. "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." "For God," etc. "Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience."


    We have then a distinction, not of ordained and unordained, but of those who from their character - women - are not permitted to speak, and the rest are; and directed in what order to do so, and the ground of distinction stated. And this is God's plan of decency and order. For the rest they were all to speak, that all might learn, and all be comforted; not all to speak at once, not all to speak every day, but all as God led them, according to the order there laid down, and as God was pleased to give them ability, for the edifying of the church. I apply all this simply and exclusively to the question of laymen speaking; and I assert that there was no such principle recognised as that they should not, but the contrary.


    It will be said, I know, that these were the times of extraordinary gifts of the Spirit; but this is a false view of the case. Do they mean to argue that ordination did not begin as a distinctive title till after the departure of the Spirit of God? Moreover, the Spirit of God does not justify, by systematic rules, breaking through His own order: it would be most mischievous to say He did. But the case was not one of the prerogative of spiritual gifts, but of order; for women had spiritual gifts, as we read elsewhere, and directions are given for their exercise; but they were not to use them in the church, because it was out of order - not comely. But there was no hint that any of the men were not, but the contrary, because it was not out of order. Aptness to teach may be a very important qualification for a bishop; but it cannot be said from Scripture to be disorderly for a layman to speak in the church, if God have given him ability. Besides, though these extraordinary gifts may have ceased, I by no means admit that the ordinary gifts for the edification of the church, of believers, have ceased.


    133 On the contrary, I believe they are the instrument, the only real instrument of edification; nor do I see why, on principle, they should not be exercised in the church, or why the church has not a title to the edification derived from them. If I were to speak of lay preaching, I should be referred to the orderly way in which Christ had given, in His church, some apostles, etc. Now, unless one man centres all these in one person by virtue of ordination, I do not see how it applies. I read, Some one; some, another - "the Head, Christ, from whom the whole body, fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, to the edifying of itself in love." And I read, that there are given, one the eye, the other the foot, the other the ear, that there might be no schism in the body. And if we have lost many and ornamental members, it is no reason why we should cut off the rest; the word of wisdom, or the word of knowledge, or the like. If the Spirit of God be clean gone out of the church how came that about? Was it when laymen spoke, or office was maintained?


    It will then be said, they may do it out of, but not in, the church, Why not? Thus far, then, for speaking in the church. I advocate no system. I mourn over the departure of many of the comely parts, on which God set comeliness. I take these scriptures as scriptural evidence, that the notion of laymen speaking in the church being wrong, has not the Scriptures to rest on. I speak not here of elders, or appointed teachers - their value or not. I speak merely of the one point, the wrongness of a layman speaking in the church as such. If we are told of the danger arising from all teaching, I admit it at once. But we are warned against it, not by wrongness as regards office, or its effect merely on others; but as one of the things in which, as evil will come out, so the remedy is applied to the spirit from which it flows: "My brethren, be not many teachers, for so shall ye heap to yourselves greater condemnation." But the warning still again shews, that there was no such restriction of office as is now supposed, for it would have been, 'You have no business to teach at all, you are not ordained.' But, no; the correction was turned to moral profit, not to formal distinction of pre-eminent office.


    134 But it comes to be more important out of the church; because it precludes the testimony of the gospel by a vast number of persons, who may have faithfully borne it to others Let us inquire the scriptural facts. In the first place, then, all the Christians preached - went everywhere preaching the word; Acts 8: 4. Some critics have endeavoured to elude this plain passage by saying, that this is speaking, which a layman may do. The short answer is - it is not. It is "evangelising the word." And we read elsewhere, that "the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord." Now, unless all the church were ordained - I think they are, to preach, as far as they have ability - here is the simplest case possible, the case in point. The first general preaching of the gospel which the Lord blessed beyond the walls of Jerusalem, was by laymen; or, however, it knew no such distinction. It had not entered into their minds then, that they who knew the glory of Christ were not to speak of it, where and how God enabled them. And the hand of the Lord was with them. Paul preached without any other mission than seeing the glory of the Lord and His word - in a synagogue, too, and boasts of it. And he gives his reasons for Christians preaching elsewhere - "as it is written: I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak." Apollos preached; and when Paul would have sent him from Ephesus to Corinth, he would not go. Yet, so far from being ordained before beginning to preach, he knew only the baptism of John. And Aquila and Priscilla took him to them, and expounded to him the way of God more perfectly. At Rome many of the brethren, waxing bold by Paul's bonds, preached the word without fear. And here I must add, as critics vex themselves about this too, the word is 'heralds.' The same habits of wandering preaching we find in the second and third epistles of John, guarded not by ordination, but by doctrine. Nor is there such a thing mentioned in Scripture as ordaining to preach the gospel. Paul preached before he went out on his work from Antioch. And if they will plead his being set apart there, they are quite welcome; for I reason not against such setting apart, but against the assertion that laymen are incompetent to preach. But the case, if it proves anything for them, proves that laymen can ordain as well as preach, that is all. The only other passage not commonly quoted, but which seems to me nearer the purpose is, "The same commit thou to faithful men, able to teach others also." But the thing committed here was the doctrine, and proves tradition, if anything, not ordination; for it does not appear that they were ordained for the purpose.


    135 I have now produced ample evidence from Scripture, to a simple mind. I am not attacking ordination, nor anything that may, in the eyes of others, appear valuable, but simply the assertion, that laymen ought not to speak in or preach out of the church; and I say that this assertion is a novelty in Christianity, for that scripture recognises their doing so. I have abstained from diffusive discussions upon what has led to it, or the principles which are involved in it; I put the scriptural fact to anybody's conscience. And I call upon any one to produce any scripture positively, or on principle, forbidding laymen to preach, or requiring episcopal, or other analogous ordination for the purpose.


    And here I will advert to what is commonly adduced upon the subject, the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. It is remarkable that those who do so should pass by a case immediately preceding, bearing upon this immediate subject: Eldad and Medad prophesying in the camp, though they had not come up to the door of the tabernacle, because the Spirit rested upon them. "Would God," said the meek man of God, "that all the Lord's people were prophets!" What was here typically proposed - the pouring out the Spirit on all - was, in principle, fulfilled in the Christian dispensation. Then, subsequently, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram acted not under the influence and energy of the Spirit in testifying to the people, but would have assumed authority - the kingship of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron. This was their fault These things were typical of our dispensation. So the apostle states. They make universal preaching desirable and the assumption of priesthood a sin. If this be not the force of these passages, let those who object to the explanation explain what is. To the same end is the argument of the apostle applied, the exclusion from the office of priesthood save by such call as Christ had; in which, in one sense, all believers are partakers; in another sense He is alone, unaccompanied into the holy place. In a word, the assumption of preaching by laymen is right. The assumption of priesthood by any, save as all believers are priests, is wrong. This is the dispensation of the outpouring of the Spirit here, qualifying for preaching any here who could do so - in a word, speaking of Jesus (for the distinction between speaking and preaching is quite unsustainable by Scripture, as any one may see, if he take the trouble) - and in which Christ alone exercises the priesthood within the veil in the presence of God for us. This I believe, then, to be the force of these passages. The type of the pouring out of the Spirit in the camp, with the gracious wish of Moses, is the characteristic, the essential distinction, of Christianity.


    136 Accordingly we find its primary presentation to the world, the Spirit poured out on the one hundred and twenty who were assembled together, who thereupon began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance. And Peter, standing up, explains to the Jews, that they were not drunk, but that it was the thing spoken of by Joel, the undistinguished pouring-out of the Spirit upon men of all classes, servants and handmaidens, their sons and their daughters prophesying - the pouring-out of the Spirit upon all flesh. This was the characteristic of its agency, and this we have seen acted upon in the subsequent history: to deny this is to mistake the only power of the dispensation, and, I will add, to lose it. And what is the consequence? Irregular action goes on, and cannot be restrained, for kingly power cannot be assumed to such purpose, or they are taking the part of Dathan and Abiram; but the power of the Spirit, in which God would give competency to restrain evil, has been slighted; and office which has been relied on affords no remedy, unless the rights which the Roman Catholic system has assumed be attached to it, which is the assumption of power not given to the church at all. It is not for me to assert what is the evil of the present day. I am sure it is not the overflowing boldness of testimony against evil. And if evil teaching exists, the remedy is not in hindering or rejecting lay preaching (for hindered it surely will not be, nor can it be), but the cordial co-operation of those who hold the truth; by which the common energy (and common energy is infinite energy in this matter) should be exercised to sustain it against that which does not hold the truth, and the clergy and all may be persuaded it will be needed. Thus the distinction will be between truth and error, and not office and the Spirit, the most mischievous that human wit could have devised. In the meantime, those who hold office really from God will find those who have the Spirit, but not special office, gladly, aye, thankfully, most thankfully, recognise them in it, instead of being thrown into opposition, and colour given to those who have not the Spirit, in their apparent similarity of conduct; and apparent evidence afforded, that those who have office are opposed to the Spirit, in their prohibition of those who have it exercising it.


    137 The times call for decision; and the only thing which will withstand evil and error, is truth, and truth wielded as a common cause against error and self-will by the saints under the Spirit; and then God can be wholly with them, instead of being obliged to withdraw His countenance from them when they are opposed to their brethren and rejecting them, when He must justify them - when it is the order of His glory, and all their blessing to do so. May He by His Spirit guide us into all truth!
     
  22. Redeemed

    Redeemed Puritan Board Freshman

    Street preaching is a bold untaking and not to be entered into lightly. That being said, be prayed up :pray2:& studied up:book2:!
     
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