Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sanctification By Obedience To The Pastor?

     When was the last time you attended a preacher's meeting and heard a sermon on the subject of sanctification? I am not referring to that word so much as that issue. Most of the preacher's meetings I used to go to emphasized soul winning, the King James Bible, or soul winning and the King James Bible. I don't go to many preacher's meetings these days. Not because I don't enjoy good preaching. I love good preaching. But there is very little good preaching being delivered at most preacher's meetings these days, at least the ones I stopped attending.
     I have little patience for a young guy haranguing me about soul winning and the King James Bible who is confused about the one and ignorant about the other, thinking the Bible versions issue is something of recent origin instead of an issue that originated in the Italian and French Alps more than a thousand years ago. For anyone who still thinks soul winning can be reduced to persuading someone to repeat the words of a prayer I commend Decisional Regeneration vs. Divine Regeneration by James E. Adams, published by Solid Ground Christian Books.
     That which seems most rare in preacher's meetings these days is preaching on issues related to sanctification. Where are you on the doctrines related to the spiritual growth and development of believers, preacher? Do you subscribe to Thomas Aquinas' proposition that the Law of Moses is vital to Christian growth and maturity? Or do you favor what is referred to by some as New Covenant Theology, whose chief spokesman is the British writer and preacher David H. J. Gay, a personal friend of mine? On reflection, I seem to recall that a number of my IFB friends eschew the Law of Moses as useful to sanctification, while most others are unfamiliar with NCT.
     In the Churches I am familiar with here in SoCal there have always been a number of Baptist Churches with a very interesting approach to Christian sanctification, seeing Christian growth and maturity, as well as spirituality, being very specifically compliance with the desires and demands of the pastor. That is, the standard of spirituality is not seen by many IFBs as yieldedness to some moral aspect of the Law of Moses, or even conscience compliance with the leading of the Holy Spirit and Scripture, but the expressed will and demands of the pastor.
     What do you think? Am I wrong? Is unity of the Spirit a oneness of mind and spirit around the dictates of God's Word and the expressed will of the Spirit of God? Or is it reduced to the commands and demands of the pastor? What would Spurgeon's position have been on this issue? Or Carey's? Or Judson's? Or Paul's?
     I would appreciate your response to my musings on this matter.