Thursday, May 24, 2007

When It's Time To Rock The Boat.

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A rocking boat can be very scary. A rocking boat can be very sickening. But there are times when it is necessary that the boat be rocked. I once went on a deep-sea fishing party in October when the fish were suppose to be biting in the Gulf Stream; they weren't. The weather was terrible and we were miserable. I became nauseous almost as soon as we passed the breakers and tried desperately not to vomit (I hate vomiting). At least two of the other men vomited freely over the side of the boat while the more experienced fishermen laughed and said "feed the fish, feed the fish." Yeah, it was a real hoot. I have never been out again.

Several years later I went on a canoe trip with a Christian brother down the Lumbee River ("black water") in Eastern North Carolina; it was a blast. We fished along the way, camped over night at a beautiful clearing along the river, cooked a great breakfast on the bank of the river, and had wonderful fellowship. It had rained just before we started our trip and the river was swollen but still manageable even if the water was faster than normal. At several points along the river we became stuck on submerged limbs and logs, undetectable from the surface. My brother was an experienced canoeist and knew exactly what to do.

We had to turn the boat straight into the submerged obstruction to prevent us from being turned over and possibly sucked under the limb or log. Then we would rock the canoe until it broke free. The rocking motion along with the river current would break us free and we could continue our journey. The first time we did this was a little disturbing to me, but my friend knew what he was doing and his calmness was calming to me. If we had not rocked the boat we could not have continued and there was a element of danger involved that put not only our trip at risk, but our lives as well. Sometimes it is necessary to rock the boat.

I am a "boat rocker" and have been since God by His grace saved me in 1974. I rocked the boat among my early acquaintances when I pointed out the heresies coming from Jim Bakker and his PTL Club; Kenneth Copeland and his E. W. Kenyon connections and heresies; and Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin, etc. I broke free from the charismatic movement of that day and moved on to solid Biblical theology through men such as Sproul, MacArthur, Calvin and Luther. And now, along side many others, the boat is being rocked as false shepherds and false leaders are being exposed as they jump ship for the new and exciting pseudo-gospels of the Emergent Church, the word/faith movement, and the abominable church-growth movement.

The Word of God tells us that "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecc.3:1). There has always been this "season" within the church. But as we are approaching the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ, those seasons are multiplying, and we must be about the work of planting and plucking up and breaking down and building up. We must weep when our hearts are broken by the chaff and wolves growing up in our midst, robbing the lost of life and opportunity. We must avoid laughter while clowns and motorcycles and gyrating dancers and fireworks explode across the stage as the backdrop to what was once rightly labelled the "sacred desk." We must "refrain from embracing" every fad that comes along following on the heels of the deceiver(s). We must be willing to "lose" some while we rejoice as we "gain" others who are embraced by the Lord Himself. We can beseech the Lord of heaven for the wisdom to know when to "keep" and when "to throw away," when "to tear" and when "to sew," when "to keep silence" and when "to speak," when "to love" and when "to hate." There is a "time of war, and a time of peace," the difference being lost to many in our day and time; some who are in war do not know it and have surrendered without knowing that as well.

This is the time for rocking boats that have become comfortably stuck on unseen obstructions. This is the time for believers to head straight into the logs and limbs of Satan hidden from the sight of the willfully ignorant and un-discerning souls. This is the time to help brothers and sisters and the elect (the as of yet un-saved elect) to break free from the unseen dangers lurking just beneath the surface of dead churches and dead pastors and the blatantly false shepherds of our day. This is the time to sound the alarm concerning local pastors who cannot preach and do not preach but who are "wonderful pastors" (these pastors and those who love them are oxymorons for the pastor is not a pastor if he cannot preach the Word). Just this day I have spoken with someone about such a pastor who is destroying his local flock while they blindly sit in the pews watching the "church" crumble out from under them. Some of his "flock" will read this blog probably today.

A rocking boat can be dangerous, sickening, and scary...but also necessary. The Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the people of God are called to occasionally rock the boat. Rock it in love, brethren, even when it sickens the brethren and "scares the hell out of them." That's exactly what we want to do.