by Richard Haas
Who is your favorite preacher? I have been asked this question many times. My answer is I don’t and people usually give me a strange look and say “you don’t?” like I should or something. I don’t have a favorite preacher because I don’t want to elevate any fallible man to the point where he is not even questioned on his preaching according to the authority of scripture. This is a problem in the body of Christ that I see with the many preachers that are on T.V., it’s a virtual buffet of preachers to choose from, just pick and eat the entrée you like. Back in the 1st-century church, this was a problem too that the apostle Paul encounter with the Corinthian believers.
1 Cor 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.12 Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
We could easily replace Apollos, Cephas, and Paul with some popular preachers today and the meaning of the passage would remain the same. I am of Charles Stanley; I am of John MacArthur…………..where any of these preachers crucified for you? (disclaimer: Stanley and MacArthur are good orthodox teachers) Were you baptized in the name of them? Get the idea? In verse 11, it states that there are contentions among you. This means that they weren’t getting along and probably arguing among themselves. This goes on even today among Christians. They have such devotion to their preacher that anything they say can’t possibly be wrong because they are “anointed” and if anyone questions what they said are met with a sharp rebuke. Its almost a kind of preacher worship. I have had this happen several times myself. I questioned Joel Osteen’s statement on national TV that Mormons are Christians because they believe in Jesus and I got a verbal tongue lashing of how dare you to say that about my ear tickling preacher. They actually didn’t care about the obviously false statement he made, he preaches a positive message! That all that matters! Talk about some contentions going on not to mention blind devotion.
The point is that no human leader, not even an apostle, should be given the loyalty that belongs only to the Lord. Such elevation of leaders leads only to contention, disputes, and a divided church. Don’t get me wrong, I have some preachers that I “prefer” to listen too not because they preach a positive message and tickle my ears but because they are consistently biblical and orthodox in their teaching. I (We) also must hold these preachers/teachers in submission to the Word of God, not their ability to make us feel good. Paul called the Bereans noble-minded for they searched the scriptures to see what he preached was true. Today we must be as a Berean and filter what we hear preached through the Word of God. (Acts 17:11).