Is it a sin to critique a preacher?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dale-c, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    I came across a sermon the other day as many of you know. It was by Billy Sunday and had not one single scripture reference or even a mention of Christ anywhere in it.

    I was accused of "tearing down a man of God" but since when are "men of God" inerrant and above scrutiny?

    The most dangerous preacher out there is one who can command respect without having to backup anything with scripture.

    I do not believe I resorted to ad hominem attacks anywhere in my posts. If I did, please show me and I will apologize.

    But the larger problem here is the fact that so many preachers today still emulate that style of preaching.

    So my question is: why is Billy Sunday above questioning?
    Was he an apostle? Were his words inspired and therefore no scripture was needed?

    This is not an attack against the man himself but his message.
     
  2. TCGreek

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    Dale-c,

    Preachers need to learn from Christ and Paul and cast off the celebrity image that is derailing the cause of Christ.

    Early in my Christian life I read a Billy Sunday biography. To be honest, at the time, I was really impress with the man and his approach to preaching.

    Today, I don't think I feel the same way (I hope I'm not sinning :laugh: ).
     
  3. Dale-c

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    Well, it is as if you can "win a bunch of soulds" and then whatever else you do doesn't matter.
    It is toally results oriented. Totally pragmatic.
    He had x number of soulds saved this week so his message MUST have been right.

    In that case, Joel Osteen is the most spiritual preacher in the country today even though he refuses to even say Christ is the only way to heaven.
     
  4. TCGreek

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    Joel Osteen following is an example of poor souls being caught with an image and smooth speech.
     
  5. Dale-c

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    True.
    I would aslo say that many people drawn in by Billy Sunday types were "caught" the same way.
    The point is, what IS drawing people is a message without the scripture?
    If there is no mention of Christ, no mention of any bible whatsoever, then what is drawing men?
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Unless we believe the Spirit of God draws people apart for the Word.

    For example, I read about some seeker-sensitive churches that tell their members not to walk with a Bible to church if carrying a Bible offends the seeker.
     
    #6 TCGreek, Mar 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
  7. gb93433

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    The book of Esther has no mention of God or Christ.
     
  8. Dale-c

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    I am sure Billy Sunday and others like that would never even think about saying something like that but when you preach without the scripture, what's the difference?
     
  9. Dale-c

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    The book of Esther IS scripture.
    ANd it does point to Christ, the true savior of His people.
     
  10. drfuss

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    The Pharisees were the preachers of their day; and Jesus had plenty of criticism for them.
     
  11. Dale-c

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    Good point!
    And I might add that it was often for the very same type of thing,,,adding to the scripture. Going beyond that the scripture actually teaches.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Interestingly enough, my seminary Hebrew teacher found acrostic mentions of YHWH all through the book of Hebrews. :type:
     
  13. John of Japan

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    I have no problems with people criticizing a historical preacher like Billy Sunday or anyone else, including relatives of mine :smilewinkgrin: , as long as they are well-thought out, constructive criticisms. However, as incredibly important as evangelism is, I do have problems with people saying, "He won lots of souls, so we shouldn't criticize him."

    On the other hand, I believe there is a line that can be crossed (though you haven't crossed it, Dale). The line is in the local church, where criticism of the pastor (roast preacher for Sunday dinner) can do terrible harm. The exceptions are in the case of immorality or false doctrine (not just differences of interpretation). In those cases, though, there are clear scriptural guidelines to follow.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    The pharisees were lost and going to hell. No real comparison here.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    What you did was not legitmate criticsm. You worked to tear down a man of God because he preached against your pet sin which was evidenced by your support for alcohol in the same thread. And the mods agreed. I criticize several preachers doctrines and methods. But I do not take it so far that I denigrate the family.
     
  16. tinytim

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    :laugh:
    I love my people in my church....
    They are not afraid to ask me why I preached something...

    I can tell they talk about my sermon Sunday afternoon, because there has been many occasions on Sunday night that they will ask me about why I preached something oneway, instead of another.. or what I meant....

    They are not afraid to approach me with their constructive criticism...

    And some Sunday nights, because of this, I have cleared up confusion that could have festered....

    I don't mind being critisized for the things I have done.. or for the sermons I have preached.. I will take the heat when need be...

    But I do mind being unjustly critisized, or someone take something out of context, and without asking me about it, use it against me.

    Also, when Critisizing a dead preacher, remember that he can't defend himself... and since Sunday is in Heaven (I do believe) I am sure he already knows what he could have done better, and what he should not have done.


    I am sure when I get up there, I will be kicking myself for some things I believed, said, and done....

    Because as PERFECT as I am... I am still not completely holy....

    I am trying to convince my wife that I am, but she won't fall for it!:laugh:
     
  17. John of Japan

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    This is well said. I don't mind it either when my people come directly to me. It's when they start going behind my back, or in particular I was thinking of parents criticizing the preacher in front of their kids--roast preacher!
    That's for sure!

    Along that line, I hate it on the BB when someone accuses me of something I don't believe or didn't say. Some folk think they can read your mind. :tonofbricks:
    Well, that's true. I think we do have to be careful of hurting a preacher's ministry even after he is dead. Someone could still be saved through Sunday's ministry. "He being dead yet speaketh." On the other hand, we ought to be willing to learn from history. I guess having the right balance is the best way to think about it.
    Hah! Good luck with that. My wife used to say I was perfect, but that was before she really got to know me! :laugh:
     
  18. Dale-c

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    It is not legitimate to criticize a sermon for lack of scripture?
    Then what IS legitimate criticism?

    As for the "mods agreeing" one mod did. I didn't see any plurality there.

    Again, my point is not to attack the man but to examine his message and doctrine.
    Yes he is dead and can't defend himself but his philosophy is still present today.
     
  19. Dale-c

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    Which is why we should avoid speculation. What I posted was a documented fact.
    I was dealing with a specific sermon.
    I still have yet to see any real defense for why a preacher is permitted to preach a sermon without Christ and without scripture.

    BTW, that is not directed at you John :)
     
  20. Allan

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    Go back and read your thread. I showed you where the sermon you gave is not what is considered his "famous booze sermon". I posted a link to what is known to be his 'Famous Booze sermon' and it even begins quoting scripture.

    I agree that his sermon is not very good in my estimation, actually quite poor comparitively (but who am I) even in the link I give. But God used it mightly for his glory, and that my friend is something your just going to have to live with.

    God choose him and used his preaching style to reach all whom He choose. You might not like it nor agree with it but that is what God did. Now we (you and I) could take up a whole thread to declare what should have been said or said better. What scriptures aught to have been cited and what to leave out but the fact remains, God saw fit to use that man and his sermons for His names sake and He glorified it.

    So I guess the better question is not about how poorly his sermon was, but why and how could God use such to His kingdom and glory?
     
    #20 Allan, Mar 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2008

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