John Jones Talsarn, the people's preacher of Wales in the eighteenth century, was a burning evangelist who provoked the ire of his more senior ministerial colleagues. In a letter to a friend, he spoke about his concerns for the Gospel. One of these was the emphasis on particular redemption, or limited Atonement, that the older men were preaching, and his second main concern, which he thinks is even more important than the first, was the desire in both parties to “love to have the pre-eminence.” In his opinion, there was a drive to occupy thrones, to be supreme, to be superior. There is the practice of ministers gathering around them “yes” men who agree with every opinion expressed by the leader and who bow to their every demand. This ties in well with what Jones wrote about the content of preaching by these older men. If the preaching and message is sectarian, that is because those who do it are essentially sectarian in their outlook. And sectarianism pursues its own paths in order to get what it wants, by whatever means and at whatever cost. They wanted to remove those brethren who were being used by God because they did not dot their every ‘i’ and cross their every ‘t’ theologically.
Today within the churches this same anti-christian attitude is to be seen, even in evangelical churches. Ministers love to have the pre-eminence; they love then position and the power that attaches itself to position. Give them a title and they think they are God on earth. They will do whatever is necessary to get to the top, no matter who is trampled on in then process.
Yes, they are too many throne occupiers, too many kings, too many gigantic egos. How they love to be loved. How they gather around them those who will tell them how great they are. And they imagine, vainly, that by allowing the church to make its own godless decisions and abiding by them, that they are serving the church faithfully for they are not.
Isn't it amazing just how far the church has plummeted into unfaithfulness and even apostacy! Where are the men who see what is happening and are courageous enough to do something about it? Where are the Luthers and Calvins and Hus's? Where are the men in whom the Spirit of God is? Where are the men who have compassion upon the church in her terminal illness? Sadly, they are few and far between, are they not? So long as they get their day out of it, they could not care less about what they are leaving for the next and future generations.
May the Lord have mercy upon us all.