Preachers are People Too


“Granville Oral Roberts was born into poverty in Bebee, Oklahoma, on January 24, 1918, according to a brief biography released by Ethridge. His Christian ministry began with what he described as his own miracle healing of tuberculosis at age 17.

Roberts pastored churches in Oklahoma and Georgia and preached at revivals around the country while studying at Oklahoma Baptist University and Phillips University in Oklahoma, according to the biography.

In 1947, he founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association in Tulsa, “and began conducting crusades across America and around the world, attracting crowds of thousands — many who were sick and dying and in search of healing,” the biography said. “Through the years, he conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents” and “laid hands” on an estimated 2 million people, according to association officials.” (CNN)

Oral Roberts was the Godfather of modern Pentecostalism. I have vivid memories of watching those snowy telecasts on black and white TV where people gathered under a huge tent to hear this man talk about God and the Bible and to have him pray for their healing.

While I disagree with much of the theology in the Robert’s tradition I honor him as one who preached the gospel. Paul’s attitude should be mine when he said long ago of those preachers he disagreed with

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love,knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15-18)

May God comfort the family and friends of Oral Roberts. RIP
_________

I heard the news today that Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Highland Village, Texas received word from his doctor that a tumor just removed proved to be malignant and that he couldn’t get it all.

As expected, Matt and his young family are taking the events with much grace and dignity. It is my hope and prayer that his life can be saved. But, I fully expect that whether he lives a long life or only a few more months he will glorify Christ the best he can.

I recently listened to a sermon Matt preached to a room of seminary students using as his text Hebrews 11. He pointed and sobering message made the case that there are many who want to stop the mouths of lions and be delivered from the flames but no one is lining up to be sawed into or sleep in a cave. Whatever their circumstance, all of those heroes of the faith were indeed ‘faithful and faith filled” people.

Now it is Matt’s time to live out his sermon. I fully expect many to consider Jesus as they watch this young man of God suffer and give God glory as he does.

Please remember Matt Chandler and his family, and the Village Church when you pray.

_____

John Piper, pastor, theologian, and author is a close friend of Matt Chandler and since they are both of the Reformed theological persuasion, have a lot in common. Piper himself was very young when he left a professorship to become a pastor.

In 2006 John Piper was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he published a sermon he preached at Bethlehem church, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer. I recommend it, especially if you or a loved one has cancer. You might not agree with all of it, not sure I did, but it is very sobering and worthwhile.

I love and appreciate every person who stands before God’s saints with an open Bible and preaches biblical messages that lift up and honor Christ. I don’t know even one preacher with whom I agree about everything. But, unless they preach “another gospel” and pervert the gospel of the grace of God I’m for them and have deep respect for them.

Many folks think preachers only work a couple of hours a week and are way over appreciated and over paid. HOGWASH! If some of you hypocrites would follow a pastor around for a week you would that he carries a heavy weight of responsibility, is on call 24/7 just like a doctor, and is often treated like a second class citizen even by some of those supposedly mature brothers and sisters in his own congregation.

A word of advice. You had better be very careful how you treat God’s servant!

Royce

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