Pastors challenged to seek God’s power
Dec 5, 2012
By DAVID ROACH
WITNESS Correspondent

Second, beware of the “deception zone,” where the heart overrules the head.

Like Solomon built altars to his wives’ foreign gods, ministers can begin to accept the false religions of sensuality, destruction of infants and unjust military conquest, he said. A pastor who stops preaching against those things may be letting a wicked heart overrule his head, according to Traylor.

When the newspaper recently announced a homosexual wedding in the conservative community of Pensacola, it reminded Traylor that the secular cultural agenda affects every community in America and must be spoken against.

“I’m here to tell you preacher, if we don’t lift our voice about that [homosexual ‘marriage’], we ought to turn in our papers, fold our Bible—if we don’t have a prophetic word,” Traylor said.

Finally, beware of the “destruction zone,” where a wise man becomes a fool by allowing his flesh to dominate his life.

“What God’s looking for is a pastor today whose head and heart are joined together,” Traylor said, “so that when God says, ‘Go,’ we say, ‘Lord, I’m yours.’”

ADAM DOOLEY

Dooley, pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., said preachers must regain confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture. Though most Southern Baptists say they accept the Bible as God’s inerrant Word, too many rely on innovative programs and cultural fads rather than preaching to build their churches, he said.

ADAM DOOLEY
Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Satan “is still around, but he’s got some new tools in his arsenal,” Dooley said. “Today he uses a hostile hammer to drive the nails of mockery as he whispers in our ear that the Scripture can’t possibly meet the needs of sophisticated, contemporary society. He has in his possession a secular saw by which he strips the Bible of its relevance as he convinces us that it may be true, but the Bible is just unnecessary for building a great church.”

Preaching from 1 Thessalonians, he said biblical preaching must be the centerpiece of all Gospel ministry and listed three ways in which the Bible is sufficient. First, it is sufficient to evangelize those separated from God.

“We continually decry declining baptisms in our denomination, and well we should,” Dooley said. “But I fear that much of the preaching that takes place in our pulpits does everything except point people to Jesus Christ.”

PRAISE A member of the praise team from Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon at the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference in Orlando. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Second, the Bible is sufficient to exhort those who are sincere about God.

“The Bible also has a way of feeding the soul of the most mature Christian,” he said. “There is no dichotomy between using the Bible to reach the lost and feeding those who are saved. It is the Bible that takes us deeper in our relationship with God.”

Third, the Bible is sufficient to encourage those who are suffering for God.

Scripture supports believers through trials and at times is their only source of encouragement, Dooley said. He knows that firsthand because of his own experience when his son was diagnosed with leukemia last year.

“In the days the followed God drove me to the Scripture,” he said. “… I am happy to tell you this afternoon that my son is in remission. We are winning this battle against cancer. But I want to also say this to you: I am equally thankful that God has shown me His Word is sufficient even when we face difficulties.”

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