Reasons to Stop Evangelizing My Friends… Not!

Reasons to Stop Evangelizing My Friends… Not!

By now you have probably guessed that I firmly believe we are currently living in the Laodicean age, the last and final age of church history.  Every day I am bombarded with more evidence of that fact.

megachurchToday is no different.

Think about it, the Laodiceen church age is defined by its glamorous and perverted view of itself and its desire to worship God in a way that is pleasing to the worshipper, and not necessarily to the One being worshiped.  The church in this age talks a good game, has all the bywords and slogans down pat, yet is so offensive to the Jesus of the Bible that He literally “vomits them out of His mouth” (Rev. 3:16).

That’s some pretty strong words from the Lord Himself.

First, the perverted view of the church as it evaluates itself:

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17a).

Did you get that?  The church in this age, the very age in which we live, the health and wealth and favor age, says they are rich and wealthy and need nothing.  They are successful, self-sufficient, influential, dependent on no one, and growing with an entrepreneurial spirit not seen since the days of the dotcom craze.  We have mega churches that remodel basketball arenas and pack in each Sunday enough people to fill half a stadium at an NFL playoff game.  We have purpose driven authors that sell millions upon millions of books and promote their latest “40 Days of Lukewarmness” programs in churches world-wide.  We, the self-proclaimed religious elite, now rub elbows with the likes of Bono and Oprah and Obama and dine at the table with the the upper echelons of society.

“No more hiding in the catacombs for us.  We’ve arrived!  Change is coming, baby!”

Yes, it is.  But not the change you may be counting on.

The church is no longer offensive to the culture because its self-help message could be just as easily preached during prime-time without making the viewing masses feel uneasy or uncomfortable.  Words like sacrifice, sin, crucifixion, atonement, hell, holiness or the exclusivity (one way only) of the message preached by Jesus have been carefully edited from our Laodicean church vocabulary.  In their place, we now speak of favor, financial blessings, divine healing, getting the best parking spot at the mall, praying for God to bless your 401k, and having Your Best Life Now.

evangelismWe don’t need the Bible and its cumbersome commands to restrict our personal freedoms.  Why?  Because it’s all about us!  We’re rich and wealthy and don’t need anything.  No doctrine, no moral imperatives, no righteous living, no absolute truth, no right or wrong, no consequences for our actions and, of course, no guilt-producing compulsion to share our faith with others or be the “salt and light” of the world.

“Nope, none of that stuff.  If we preach that message, people won’t come and we’ve got a building to pay for.”

We are truly living in the age of the Laodicean church that, if you read the Scriptures, turned our Lord’s stomach to the point He wanted to spit or vomit them out of His mouth.  I think He was pretty sick at what He saw.  And you know… so am I.

Yesterday I ran across the following post that seems to be resonating with Laodicean church-goers (I will refrain from calling them Christians for reasons that should be quite obvious by now) because it is cloaked in deceptive spiritual language and just plain feels good.  It’s simply another pitiful picture of the perverted, self-centered mindset the church has now adopted.  Rather than obey the command of Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”— we now come up with felt-need reasons not to evangelize and feel-good excuses to justify our disobedience.  And as you read these reasons you’ll see, as I did, that they are all about us and how we feel.

Because after all, we’re rich, we’re wealthy and we don’t need nuthin’.  Remember?

The post goes like this…

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Years ago, I decided to stop evangelizing my friends. Here are 14 reasons why you might consider doing the same:

  1. It makes them uncomfortable.
  2. It makes you uncomfortable.
  3. It makes you think about how to twist every conversation to Jesus rather than seeing how Jesus is already there.
  4. It makes you believe you’re bringing God to them, rather than seeing how the Holy Spirit has already been active in their lives.
  5. It pressures you into showing an unrelatable happy, plastic face rather than letting God’s grace shine through your struggles.
  6. It makes you focus on talking rather than listening.
  7. It leads you to answer questions they aren’t asking.
  8. It makes you think about what to say rather than how to love.
  9. It makes you think faith is a list of statements rather than a different way of living.
  10. It puts you into the role of “teacher,” causing you to miss things your friends can teach you.
  11. It makes them see you as a religious salesman rather than an apprentice of the Master.
  12. It hurts your friendship.
  13. It robs you of a good time.
  14. It makes you think their lack of interest in your evangelism means they are not interested in Jesus or spiritual questions.

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Wow.  More post-modern drivel.  A whole puddle of it.

Lord, I will willingly disobey Your commands and not do what You have told me to do because it makes me and my lost friends feel uncomfortable, and we can’t have that.  Plus, if I obey You it will rob me of my friends… and then what will I do?  ‘Cause I obviously value their friendship more than I do my devotion to You.  And, most important, it will also rob me of a good time and hinder what I want to do.  “Hey, if I’m with my lost friends and we’re doing something fun… geez, the last thing I want to do is interject You into the conversation.  You’re such a kill-joy.  No fun at all.”

But the second part of the verse we began this post with says something altogether different.  Whereas the church sees itself as rich and wealthy and self-sufficient— the Lord sees us as we truly are.

Finally, the view of the Laodicena church from the vantage point of the Lord:

“And you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17b).

Did you get all that?  Wretched, pretty strong word.  Miserable, even stronger still.  Poor and blind and naked… uh, that kind of flies in the face of riches or wealth or self-sufficiency, doesn’t it?

Be Warned

Be warned: God will not sit back and watch His bride, the church, be turned into a brothel or a secular, self-promoting, feel-good show.  He will always defend His honor and His glory.

Always.  Without fail.

If you are part of the church system that puts more emphasis on the people rather than the Lord, I have two words for you: Leave Now!  Like Lot fleeing from Sodom, you need to leave that church now and seek out true Christian fellowship.  Why?  Because His day of judgment is coming and you won’t want to be connected at the hip with those whose future can be described as vomit on the floor.

Leave now!

Adveho quis may.
Come what may.

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Rock Star Christianity

Rock Star Christianity

As a former Events Coordinator (that’s concert promoter in the real world) for a Christian radio station for almosts ten years, I have seen both the good and bad side of Christian music.  Uh, let me elaborate if I may.  When I say the good side of Christian music I really mean “the good” side and when I say bad, well… I really mean bad.  No, make that bad in bold and all caps. BAD.


nauseaYeah, BAD.  Real BAD.

But as I look back in time, what I see today is something Keith Green and, a decade later, Steve Camp also saw— the selling out of ministry for the almighty buck.  I could tell you stories, boatloads of stories, about secular rockstar wannabes who try to “make it” in Christian music because they believe the industry standards are lower.  And, to a degree, they might be right.  These artist often parade around as spiritual giants— makeshift religious Goliaths, talking about fasting and the importance of prayer in their life and how it’s all about God and not about them, yada, yada, yada— but when I dare to mention the need for a gospel presentation at one of their Christian concerts, God forbid!  Like a werewolf at full moon, their secular side slides out from behind their carefully placed mask, and the real spirit behind the music shows itself.

“Sorry.  I don’t feel comfortable speaking about my faith publicly.  It takes away from the ending of my show, you know.  We really want to end the set with a bang!  And, well… sharing the gospel might make some of the ticket buyers, my fans, feel uncomfortable.”

Oh, I see.  And we can’t have them feel uncomfortable, can we?  That might hurt record sales.

Heave, gag, vomit, splat!— one more time.

If I insist, the road manager loads a silver bullet in his gun, points it towards my chest, and says, “Hey, we’d love to help you out.  It’s all about the Lord you know.  But there’s nothing in the contract or rider that says he’s got to allow the gospel to be shared at his show.  Sorry bub.  Maybe next time.”

Right.  Maybe next time.  That is, of course, if I negotiate beforehand with the artist’s management the need to share Christ at a Christian concert.  Am I missing something here?  Or does that seem like something a Christian artist would want to do at a Christian concert anyway?

My take on it is that there are many artists who happen to call themselves Christian.  But there are very few (I can actually count them on one hand) who are Christian artists— with the emphasis on Christian first and artist second.

Very, very few.  To the shame of our industry.

Anyway, read what Keith Green said about the same issue over thirty years ago.  Not much has changed, has it?

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So You Wanna Be A Rock Star
by Keith Green

keithgreenToday, so many people ask me if I can tell them how they can start or enter into a music ministry.  At concerts I get countless questions about this, and I also get lots of letters and even some long-distance phone calls from many people who feel they are only “called” into the music “ministry”  One day I began to ask myself why so few have ever asked me how to become a missionary, or even a local street preacher, or how to disciple a new believer.  It seems everyone would prefer the “bright lights” of what they think a music ministry would be, rather than the mud and obscurity of the mission field, or the streets of the ghetto, or even the true spiritual sweetness of just being a nobody whom the Lord uses mightily in small “everyday” ways.

Are You Willing?
My answer to their question is almost always the same.  “Are you willing to never play music again?  Are you willing to be a nothing?  Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything for Christ?  Are you willing to stay right where you are and let the Lord do great things through you, though no one may seem to notice at all?”  They all seem to answer each of these questions with a quick “yes!”  But I really doubt if they know what their answer entails.

Star Struck
My dearest family in Jesus…why are we so star struck?  Why do we idolize Christian singers and speakers?  We go from glorifying musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians.  It’s all idolatry!  Can’t you see that?  It’s true that there are many men and women of God who are greatly anointed to call down the Spirit of God on His people and the unsaved.  But Satan is getting a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes and records, and clamor to get their autographs in churches and concert halls from coast to coast.

Can’t you see that you are hurting these ministers?  They try desperately to tell you that they don’t deserve to be praised, and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all the more.  You’re smothering them, making it almost impossible for them to see that it’s really Jesus.  They keep telling themselves that, but you keep telling them it’s really them, crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying to keep their eyes on Jesus.

Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart.  So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him!  And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.

A Thankless Job
How come no one idolizes or praises the missionaries who give up everything and live in poverty, endangering their lives and families with every danger that the “American dream” has almost completely eliminated?  How come no one lifts up and exalts the ghetto and prison ministers who can never take up an offering, because if they did they would either laugh or cry at what they’d receive?

How Come?
Because (1) we’re taught from very early on that comfort is our goal and security… and (2) that we should always seek for a lot of people to like us.  Who lives less comfortably and has had less friends and supporters than the selfless missionaries who have suffered untimely, premature deaths trying to conquer souls and nations for the whole glory of God?  Do you really believe we’re living in the very last times?  Then why do you spend more money on Gospel records and concerts than you give to organizations that feed the poor, or to missionaries out in the field?

There are ministries all over the world where “penniless” people are being saved and transformed.  They are broken people who have promise and qualities, but just need someone to bring them God’s light during the times when their lives seem so completely hopeless.

keithgreen-180I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy (Romans 11:11) or to sell out more completely to Jesus!

Quit trying to make “gods” out of music ministers, and quit desiring to become like them.  The Lord commands you, “Deny yourself take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). My piano is not my cross, it is my tool.  I’d never play it again if God would show me a more effective tool in my life for proclaiming His Gospel.

Conclusion
To finish, let me say that the only music minister to whom the Lord will say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life.  Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister’s most important goal!

Let’s all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for a comfortable, rewarding life when, really, the Bible tells us we are just passing through as strangers and pilgrims in this world (Hebrews 11:13), for our reward is in heaven.  Let’s not forget that our due service to the Lord is “… not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29).

Amen.  Let us die graciously together and endure to the end like brave soldiers who give their lives, without hesitation, for our noble and glorious King of Light.

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Gaius, Demetrius and Diotrephes

Gaius, Demetrius and Diotrephes

The Everlasting Stain of Pride

It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glory to search one’s own glory.  Proverbs 25:27

In other words, just as people get sick and nauseous and ready to hurl from eating too much honey, they also get sick, real sick, of listening to those who constantly draw attention to themselves through faint praise, self-promotion or by simply putting someone else down.
We call that jealousy.
God calls it pride.
And the Scriptures have much to say about it.

smugLet’s take a quick look back at the Scriptures and see how the thread of pride, like a malignant cancer or mutating tumor, winds itself around the lives of those who claim to know and love God and subtly, over time, changes good, God-fearing people into a mob of self-seeking free agents.  The flesh-exalting sin of pride stained each of them— and each of us, to such a degree that it required the blood of Christ to remedy.

Pride.  The resilient, illusive, ever-present source of all sin.

Pride.  It was pride, the original sin, that tempted Satan to exalt himself above God and to be cast down, banished from his place in heaven. “How you have fallen from heaven, O star (shining one) of the morning, son of the dawn!” (Isa. 14:12-14; 1 Tim. 3:6).

Pride.  It was pride that allowed the serpent’s words to resonate deep within Eve’s heart, attaching themselves to her concept of self-worth and satisfaction with God’s creative order.  It was pride that fostered in her a driving desire to be like God, to be better than God, to assume the worst about God, and to lust for His place of preeminence.  When the serpent asked, “Did God really say?”— Eve’s pride willingly believed the lie.  And, if truth be told, it was pride that caused Adam and Eve to lose their place in Eden and led to the fall of all mankind (Gen. 3:5-6).

Pride.  It was pride that hardened the heart of Cain against his brother Able.  It was Cain’s pride that demanded God accept his sacrifice regardless of what God required.  After all, pride reasoned, “I’m bringing the best of my fields to God as my sacrifice and that should be good enough for Him.  It’s the best I have to offer.  It’s all I’m going to offer.  And if God doesn’t accept what I want to bring… well, that’s His problem.”  But Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t what God required.  And, as the story goes, neither was it God’s problem.  It was Cain’s pride that responded to God’s warning and rejection of his sacrifice by shedding the blood of his brother.  “Hey God, You want blood as a sacrifice?  Ok, I’ll give You blood.  How ’bout Able’s blood!” (Gen. 4:1-8).

Pride.  It was pride that prompted Lamech to boast to his wives about the murder he committed.  “If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold” (Gen. 4:23-24).

Pride.  Under Nimrod’s leadership (whose name means “rebel”), it was pride that built the Tower of Babel.  “Come,” they said, “Let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower, whose top will reach into heaven (or, whose top is heaven), and let us make for ourselves a name; (why) lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).

Pride.  It was pride that led to the deaths of Nadab and Abihu who disregarded the command of God and offered what they wanted, strange fire, before the Lord (Lev. 10:1-2).

Pride.  It was the pride of Aaron and Miriam that brought about God’s judgment of leprosy on them because, dissatisfied with God’s plan, they sought to exalt themselves by questioning Moses’ leadership and God’s supreme plan.  “Has the Lord only spoken through Moses?  Has He not spoken through us as well?” (Num. 12:2).

Pride.  It was pride that kept Moses from entering the Promise Land. Pride tempted Moses, the most humble of men, to exalt himself to the place of God in his own eyes regarding the people of Israel.  Remember his words? “Listen now, you rebels, shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” (Num. 20:10).  We?  Tell me Moses, what part of this miracle did you do?  What part are you in the “we” of all this?

Pride.  It was pride that led Absalom to publicly rape David’s wives and try to remove, by the force of betrayal and rebellion, the king God had placed to rule His people, Israel.  Why?  Because pride caused Absalom to believe that he, and not God, knew who should be king in Israel.

Pride.  It was the pride of Haman and his jealousy of Mordecai that compelled him to build the gallows, designed for Mordecai, that Haman’s body hung from (Est. 7:10).

Pride.  It was the prideful words uttered from Nebuchadnezzar that drove him into the wilderness to live like an animal until he recognized and acknowledged the sovereignty of the Lord.  He said, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Dan. 4:30).  This was the question Nebuchadnezzar asked.  And God answered in a way that only He could (Dan. 4:31-33).

Pride.  Pride was the great sin of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time.  They were outwardly religious like “white-washed tombs,” but inwardly they were rotten, corrupt and decayed like “dead men’s bones” (Matt. 23:27).

Pride.  It was pride that prompted the mother of James and John to ask that her two boys get special, preferential treatment when Jesus came into His kingdom (Matt. 20:20-21).

Pride.  And even during the Last Supper when Jesus was teaching His disciples about self-sacrifice by washing their feet, it was their pride that bickered among themselves as to who would be the greatest (Luke 22:24).

But, for me, there is even a more chilling example.

Diotrephes:

In 3 John 9-11 we read:

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.  For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.  Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

John is writing this letter to a man named Gaius, a beloved elder in the church.  It appears that in this church a powerful and influential man, Diotrephes, refused to allow hospitality to be shown to visiting itinerant teachers whom John had approved.  Teachers like Demetrius, for example (3 John 12).  In fact, it seems that the letter John wrote to the church regarding that very matter was intercepted by Diotrephes, the self-proclaimed resident gatekeeper, and deemed so sensitive to National Security that, taking his lead from our own Government, it was Classified and kept from the congregation.
Where is the Freedom of Information Act when you need it?

Why did Diotrephes do this?  What was his motive?  What was he trying to hide?
The letter from John states that Diotrephes “loves to be first among them,” or, to put it in the language of today, feels that he is the head-honcho in charge and everything that the church does must gain his approval.
Unfortunately for all of us, there are still many Diotrephes in the church today.
But there is something else in play here.
There is also an element of jealousy on the part of Diotrephes.

John was well known and beloved among the brethren of the church.  He was one of the Twelve, the disciple Jesus loved, and his standing and credibility in the church was never in question.
Not so with Diotrephes.
He was jealous of John.  Intimidated and green with envy.
When John was present, people dropped everything and flocked to hear him, for hours on end.  And why not?  After all, just being in his presence reminded them of being with Jesus.  John was wise, seasoned, mature, beloved, respected, and full of wonderful, first-hand stories about the Lord.  And if that wasn’t enough, it was John who had been given the visions of the future, the apocalyptic revelation of days yet to come.
At this time, what person on earth could compare with John?  Who was more esteemed than he?  More desired?  More sought after?
Certainly not Diotrephes.
And he knew it.

Diotrephes wanted to be like John, to be respected and admired.  He wanted to be regarded as spiritual, a natural leader, an anointed teacher— basically God’s gift to the church.  He wanted in one day what took John a lifetime to achieve.
He wanted others to come to him, and not John, for the answers to their questions.
He wanted to be the one who set the vision for what God was going to do.
He wanted to be the final authority in all matters, spiritual or not.
He wanted all praise and glory and hope and adoration heaped on him.
He wanted to be the fourth person in the Godhead.
He wanted it all.
And he wanted it now!

Instead of waiting on the Lord to recognize and promote him to a position of true leadership within the congregation based, of course, on his likeness to Jesus, Diotrephes decided to take matters into his own hands.  As the proverb warns, “Nor is it glory to search one’s own glory” (Prov. 25:27).  Or, “For men to search their own glory is not glory.”  It is self-promotion at best.  And the root of it is pride.

Diotrephes, who imagined his perceived greatness should be seen by all, could not allow another’s greatness to outshine his.  There was room for only one star in the heavens— and it was named Diotrephes.
Therefore, John was a threat.
John had to go.

So as is the custom in our culture, Diotrephes used his First Amendment right, his right to free speech, to malign and criticize John’s ministry, John’s leadership, and ultimately John’s authority.  Pretty much the same stuff we do today when pride and jealousy raise their ugly heads among people in church.

Here is John’s response:

For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church (3 John 10).

Carnal, heavy-handed bullying tactics within the church— and the sinister source of this sin, as always, is pride.
He accuses John to others with wicked words.
He personally refuses to recognize John’s authority and receive the itinerant teachers approved by John.
He then expands his iron-fisted control by forcing those who do not bend to his wishes out of the church.  They are shunned from fellowship.  Persecuted.  Excommunicated.
And it appears the congregation does nothing to stand against this evil. Nothing.
Again, much like our church culture of today.

So what was John’s final word on Diotrephes?  What did he finally do?
As a loving, caring, compassionate spiritual father to Gaius and the church, John took this crisis and carefully, strategically, crafted it into a teaching moment.  One of those, “He who has ears to hear” moments he learned from his Master.

Listen to the application gleaned from the actions of Diotrephes.

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.  Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true (3 John 11-12).

In other words, you be different.  You imitate what is good, and not what is evil.  John urged Gaius not to imitate Diotrephes’ wicked behavior by refusing to welcome and accept Demetrius.  Instead, he urged Gaius, and each one of us as well, to imitate what is good and just.  Why?  Because, as he said, “the one who does good is of God and the one who does evil (Diotrephes) has not seen God.”

In essence, lost people act like lost people.  Even if they are members of your church.
Don’t be like them— even to the point of rejection.
Or persecution.
Or excommunication.
Or death.

Adveho quis may.
Come what may.

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Clear the Stage

Clear the Stage

Leonard Ravenhill once said, “I think they should tax churches.  Most churches are amusement centers anyhow.  And you have to pay taxes on amusement.”

But maybe church doesn’t have to be that way.  Watch and enjoy.

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Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols.
Chuck the pews and all the decorations too
Until the congregations few then have revival.
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social.
Then seek the Lord and wait for what He has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful.

Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And don’t get me wrong, worship is more than a song.

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper.
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister.
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.
Then read the Word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken.

Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And don’t get me wrong, worship is more than a song.

Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol.
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
We must not worship something that’s not even worth it.
Clear the stage and make some space for the One who deserves it.

And I can sing all I want to
Yes I can sing all I want to
I can sing all I want to
And still get it wrong, worship is more than a song.

And you can sing all you want to
Yes you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
But don’t get me wrong, worship is more than a song.

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols.

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Daniel Nash: Prince of Prayer

Daniel Nash: Prince of Prayer

Daniel Nash pastored a small church in the backwoods of New York for six years, and traveled with and prayed for a traveling evangelist for seven more years until his death.  As far as we know, he never ministered outside the region of upstate New York during days when much of it was frontier.  His tombstone is in a neglected cemetery along a dirt road behind a livestock auction barn.  His church no longer exists, its meetinghouse location marked by a historical marker in a corn field; the building is gone, its timber used to house grain at a feed mill four miles down the road.  No books tell his life story, no pictures or diaries can be found, his descendants (if any) cannot be located, and his messages are forgotten.  He wrote no books, started no schools, led no movements, and generally, kept out of sight.

Yet this man saw revival twice in his pastorate, and then was a key figure in one of the greatest revivals in the history of the United States.  In many ways he was to the U. S. what Praying Hyde was to India.  He is known almost exclusively for his powerful prayer ministry.

The great evangelist, Charles Finney, left his itinerant ministry for the pastorate within three or four months after this man’s death.  Finney never counted on his theology, messages, preaching style, logic, or methods to save souls.  He looked rather to mighty prayer and the resulting powerful work of the Holy Spirit to sweep in with great conviction on his audience, that his conversions might be thorough.  This may well explain why 80 per cent of those converted in his meetings stood the test of time.  Years later Moody followed a similar pattern but without such a prayer warrior.  He saw perhaps 50 per cent of his converts last.  Today, a well-known evangelist (well-financed and highly organized) recently stated that he would be delighted if 20 per cent of his converts were genuinely converted.  In this day of apostasy with many decisions but few true conversions, with many programs but little prayer, with much organizing but little agonizing, we would be wise to learn lessons from the past.  One of our godly forefathers whose life can teach us such is Daniel Nash.

His early years seem mostly lost from the records.  This much we do know-he was born November 27, 1775, and by November 11, 1816, at the age of 40 he had accepted the pastorate of the Stow’s Square Congregational-Presbyterian Church, Lowville Township.  He had moved there from Onondaga County (the area around Syracuse), and had a farm at least by 1825, the time of the first census in the area.

During his first year of pastoring this union church, he saw Revival with at least 70 being converted.  One of the first he baptized was a Sally Porter (December 18, 1816), to whom he was married by February of 1817.  He baptized five of her children before spring and possibly a sixth several years later.  Typical church problems were dealt with clearly by church discipline–broken contracts between members, heresy regarding the Trinity, etc.

A meetinghouse was built beginning June 7, 1819, and “dedicated to the service of God’ December 13, 1819.

There was a group who split from the main group during the period of the building program or shortly thereafter.  They located four miles south where the village of Lowville was beginning to develop.  Pastor Nash was able to peaceably work with this group and establish it as a mission throughout the rest of his pastorate.

Upon the completion of the meetinghouse and while working with the mission work to the south, he was able to start a Sabbath School in the union church.

Such a ministry would seem to be the basis for a long term relationship.  However, on September 25, 1822, a strange church meeting was called at an unusual time and he was voted out by a vote of nine to three!  The only reasons surviving to this day in the records were that they wanted “a young man to settle in.”  At the age of 46 they felt him too old, and resented his traveling.

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