Fake News in the Pulpit

By Mario Murillo

Recently, a man of God came to me in the same way Nicodemus came to Jesus one night.  I am not Jesus, and the subject matter in this case was not about being born again.  The similarity had to do with the fact that this man of God wanted to discuss something with me in private.

He said, “Mario, there are many of us who know that you are right about what the left, the media, and democrats are doing to the nation and the church.  But we know that speaking out will cost us tithing members and our non-profit status.”

“How do you feel about your silence?” I asked.  “I feel sick,” he said.  “How sick?” I replied.  He did not answer, but the pain in his eyes showed the depth of his turmoil. This is a good man who sincerely wants to do what is right.

These are the kind of people I am appealing to in this blog, sincere preachers, who honestly do not know how to preach a true and urgent message. By no means am I going to waste time attacking any pastor who has sold out to this culture.  That would be an entirely different blog.

So, I said, “You have no choice, you must speak out.” Then I proceeded to make my points.  I began by getting his attention.  “If what you say to your people every Sunday denies the crisis—provides no positive or practical instruction on how to combat it—then you are preaching fake news.”  

A man or woman of honor will never withhold truth because of personal consequences. Honor has become cheap. Honor is not accommodating the misconceptions of others, nor is it engaging in flattery.  It means courage and loyalty to the truth, no matter what the personal cost.

Preaching must proceed from the things that are important to God, and must not be based on what may or may not offend your audience. There are issues that are urgent to the Lord. He must see that you are willing to discern what is important enough to present to your people. How can you expect God to speak to you if He already knows you are going to run His Word through the unscriptural filter of ‘political correctness?’

By your silence you are taking other people down with you. Does it ever dawn on a preacher that he is actually damaging his audience when he only says what they want to hear? He is not leading them forward. He is not improving their condition or alerting them to danger.

The decision to do this often comes about when the preacher has given in to fear and no longer believes God can change society.  So, the best he can do is mouth soothing words.

David faced the temptation to blurt out his defeatism. Then he realized that the next generation is listening.  In Psalm 73:15 David wrote, “If I were to say, this is how I will speak, behold, I would deceive a generation of Your sons, (O Lord).

This is the biggest reason to speak outbecause there is still time to save the country. The ongoing destruction of freedom of speech, and of religion, has happened because God-haters have marketed a great lie to the masses. Their lie is wearing thin, and, as we have recently seen, their attempts to destroy our freedoms are slowing down very little. So, now is the time to hold their feet to the fire.  We have not yet been driven underground.  We are not yet being forced to secretly signal to one another that we are Christians by drawing fish symbols in the dirt or huddling in the catacombs, as the early church had to do.

Sorry if you don’t think so, but Trump is a merciful reprieve. He is flawed, as all human beings are, but he is one of the only things that stand between us and the Socialist Left who are trying to destroy our freedoms and many issues that matter to you and me…especially the Supreme Court!

 

How can we dare to ignore this opportunity to speak out?

The pulpit is responsible for more of what is wrong with our culture than we want to admit. Charles Finney said that the pulpit was first and foremost to blame for the failure of the church to impact the culture! There should have been a verbal firewall and there wasn’t.  We should have made the case for marriage and the unborn with greater force.  We didn’t.

Finally:  What makes our silence even more embarrassing is that many preachers refuse to preach the truth that their people long to hear. Many are misreading their congregation. Audiences are ready to listen to common sense preaching.  We must seize the moment. 

Jesus said in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

You should never speak out on certain controversial issues unless the Spirit of God compels you to. But you are asking too much when you say that God has not moved your heart to speak out about our government’s overreach and its persecution of Christians.

6 “If a watchman sees a sword coming (against a nation) and does not (sound the warning), and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes a soul from them, he is taken in his iniquity. But I will require the blood (of that man) from the hand of the watchman. 7And you, son of man, I have set you as a watchman to the house of Israel. And you shall hear the word from My mouth and warn them from Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, O wicked one, surely you shall die. And you do not speak to warn the wicked one from his ways, that wicked one shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood from your hand. 9 But you, if you warn the wicked from his way, to turn from it, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his own iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.”   −Ezek. 33:6-9

Oh, by the way, the IRS is not going to take away your tax exempt status. Trump overruled the hideous Johnson amendment. So do not hold back. SPEAK OUT!

 

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HOW SHALL WE THEN PREACH?

Are you preaching to what your people actually face? Are you awake to the fact that they are under intense persecution?   The left has morphed into a hideous mob.  How shall we then preach in this unprecedented era of darkness?

Liberals want a New American Civil War. When they tell us they want to silence the church—when they tell us their opinion is the only one allowed—when disagreeing will cost you your rights, your job, and even your life—when they burn buildings, protect killers, and convict innocent people—the church should have no response?  Do we sit back and just give away our freedom of religion and speech?

Having faced with brutal honesty the world of our congregants…how shall we then preach?

There is a story of tyranny in 1 Samuel 11 that answers the question.  Terrorists took control of a city and demanded that the entire city become slaves or face death.  It gets worse.  Just to stay alive every man, woman, and child had to agree to have their right eye removed.

The elders of the city begged for them to hold off 7 days so they could send messengers to get help.  Since the terrorists were spoiling for a fight they agreed.

1 Samuel 11:3 is one of the most chilling verses in scripture because it shows the unimaginable horror the people felt: “Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, ‘Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel.  And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.’”

Put yourself in the place of those men facing the disfigurement of their wives and children.  If you were one of those elders tasked with choosing messengers—what kind of messengers would you choose?  Who would you choose to go get help?

You would not pick smooth talking salesmen.  You would not want a wordsmith or an entertainer.  You dare not send a psychologist or a life coach.

 

They had to go get an army.  They had to make people cry and get angry.  They had to convince people—who might believe this was not their fight—to take a stand.  That is what we need in pulpits now!

The Bible says they went to Gibeah where King Saul was, and everyone who heard them began to weep.  King Saul was filled with holy rage and galvanized the nation to save the people of Jabesh Gilead in a mighty victory.

Who will save us from the disfigurement of America, and the church, by the left?  What kind of preaching shall we choose to loosen the grip of tyranny and regain our freedom?  The same kind of messengers the elders of Jabesh Gilead choose.

Much of the preaching today is of human origin.  It makes the church lifeless and impotent to do battle against the moral landslide in America.  Satan is behind this harmless preaching—preaching that will save no one.

E.M Bounds said, “Another scheme of Satan is to eliminate from the church all the humble, self-denying ordinances that are offensive to unsanctified tastes and unregenerate hearts. He seeks to reduce the church to a mere human institution—popular, natural, fleshly, and pleasing.”
The Holy Spirit is telling you my fellow preacher to face the real world.  He is sending out an urgent appeal: Preach as if they are stealing your country…because they are.  Preach as if your people are suffering under persecution because they are.  Preach as if God is able to make you not just a spokesman but a living weapon.  If you have the heart…God will give you the words.  Time is running out.