Woe Is Me … If I Preach Not!
By D. L. Scott, Sr
I awakened with a start this morning and lay staring into the darkness with wide, far-seeing eyes, while my heart pounded within. I felt pressures that brought my blood racing through my veins; I felt hurt and distress. I purposed today that I would break the silence! There are, I assured myself, countless others just like me who are simply tired of listening to some things that go without challenge.
We are being charged by sensationalists whose motives and actions I question, as they vehemently attack with threats against established righteousness and truth. I have come to realize that there is more at stake than what the surface of their actions indicates; there is the future of everything that is holy. If their attacks are allowed to continue unchallenged, confusion will rule our direction, and absolutes will be lost.
Reading and listening to the barrage of personal opinions expressed by individuals who have adopted a loud front to cover up a lack of biblical facts, and in many cases to form a smoke screen for more sinister desires seeking legality, I should be convinced that a church should not impose convictions on its constituents, endangering the freedom of choice and the privilege of exercising personal intelligence. But … I am not convinced!
I feel most fortunate to have been trained in a school that taught me that Satan will use any tactic to deceive those who are vulnerable to his devices. Our faith and convictions were founded over the years by continuous searches through the Word of God, and hours of private tutoring at the feet of the Author upon bended knees. That egg and jelly were found on the pages of the Bible was not uncommon as we carried the Word to the breakfast table and withdrew it from our lunch pail during dinner break at work. The convictions we developed during those times burn deeply within; we were born with an urgency pointing to personal salvation and with a desire to touch those whom we love in an effort to prepare them for the rapture of this glorious church that is to be found without spot or wrinkle.
No, I am not alone! I am a part of a spiritual family that stretches around the world and that encompasses every level of society and that involves all the years since time began. It counts with such numbers that it defies calculations by the most advanced computers. We share a love for purity and godliness so admirable that we feel anyone should aspire to it. And, no, we are not limited to a particular church name, but we are limited to an absolute truth founded by One who loves us—not one seeking to exploit us or harm us.
W e are members of an ex tended spiritual family stretching into all walks of life, all levels of society, and all languages. We live in houses across the street, down the road, or upon the hill of every community. We have the same temptations, suffer the same pressures, and laugh at the same amusing things. Some of us are professionals whose preparations have propelled us to medical, legal, or financial services. Some of us live in higher income brackets, while others of us live in what could be considered substandard conditions. We live in adobe houses in the highlands of Ecuador; we live in split bamboo dwellings with thatch rooftops in many jungle areas around the world; we even live in pasteboard towns overlooking comfortable cities such as Lima.
But we have one thing in common: we are a family—an extended family born of one Father! We are not self appointed martyrs, but champions of a cause. We love righteousness and do not feel the least deprived by God’s set of living standard rules. We merely feel it is a privilege to take up the cross and follow Him.
When we go on vacations or walk out for the moment from our familiar surroundings, we do not flee our convictions; just because no one knows us, we refuse to deviate from our principles! We keep our faith secured by practicing what we preach, and by living true to the development of our spiritual man. We continue to spend our lives serving, giving, and worshiping Him upon whom is reflected the results of our actions and conversations. This is the sound mainspring of our existence.
The lives of our wives, children, and especially our grandchildren and great grandchildren, are subject to the influence of our godliness, and become a part of the lifestyle we design and build for ourselves to live in. If people get more excited about a sports endeavor than they do about a newly-born Christian believer, they teach by example their priorities— no matter what they say. And that goes for a world of “things” we scream about.
Pastors, teachers, preachers and missionaries on location around the world stand firm and unchanged in matters of holiness, knowing that their voices will program the choices of those who follow them, who will be preserved or suffer loss by the insistence of their authority. What kind of a man would risk the lives of those he loves for financial gains? Or for popularity among the sensationalism created by the opposition? Some erring individuals suggest that we do not believe what we exact of others, that we care only for the peer pressures. However, allow me to offer the fact that the mast majority of us are not harsh or uncaring; we hurt for the conversion of society’s ungodly attitudes.
We must convince the unsuspecting that the element that opposes simple authority in the church is actually an allurement for the world that has lost all direction. The people of the world have cried their allotment of tears for soap operas and dramatized fantasies, the unreal and impractical worlds, and not between the porch and the altar. They have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity and have an insatiable lust for more; they have separated them selves from a beautiful life with God by personal choice; and they desire to convince others that they, too, should realize this “freedom.” We must not be mistaken; the hurt is the soul; and a person’s eternity with God is the price for this “freedom.”
Most of those who scream for “liberties” are those of the pew. They have not sacrificed life or position nor do they understand the need for submission. They have little but their souls to bid against the righteous principles that are so challenging to their nature. However, if the men who have spent their lives in the study of the Scriptures, and whose families are also involved with them, are not competent of directing us in spiritual truth, how will the vast majority of the uncommitted find path ways for us in the maze of endless directions in this world? Even biblical commentaries are not immune from error since they are written from the viewpoint of logic and from the background of the writer; they have neither the inspiration nor the authority of the Holy Ghost as do the Scriptures. If the rules of the game are to be called by the uncommitted, they will affect our future, our families, and the quality of our message.
In efforts to promote their logic, the wayward element has implied that we who are strong on the dedication to holiness, on the manner of our appearance, on the attitude we are to manifest, and on the abolishment of carnal desires, and have committed horrible crimes against the church. However, these strongly-worded accusations are many times a smoke screen for the weaknesses of the flesh, lustful indulgences, or worse— immorality that breeds contempt for everything that is righteous. Their threats have caused even the loving God anguish and grief.
They take our most deeply felt burdens, our most urgent warnings given with tears, and rip them to shreds, accusing us of bigotry and dictatorship. But when they speak, they are expressing themselves. They say we impose our views upon others, but that their views are a cause to fight for.
If we allow the battle to force us to a more relaxed standard, not only will our future’s sons and daughters fall in the streets as they become victims of uncontrolled desires, but also the blood staining the sands of the arenas of all ages will become, for us, uselessly shed to foster this great truth.
My choice is to preach the Word! To beware of philosophy and vain deceit, and become a commanding voice for righteousness! I feel a deeper understanding than ever before of Paul’s desperate cry, “Preach the word . . . “and “Woe is me . . . if I preach not… “
By D. L. Scott, Sr.