*The following is from my NEW book, John The Baptist: A Rude Awakening Precedes A Great Awakening.
If John the Baptist’s ministry was anything, it was a confrontational ministry. It was not a cute ministry. Or a friendly ministry. Or a Tony Robbins-like ministry with a Christian flair. John’s ministry was confrontational, y’all. He would be considered crass if your heart happened to be hardened to God and spot-welded to external religious rules and regulations. Yep, if that was you then Ol’ Johnny would be loathsome in your eyes because he didn’t play your pompous games. Not only did John not play religious games but he jet-blasted those who did, in public, with some of the most delicious and scathing rebukes. Here’s a tasty sample …
When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father.
Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and flourishing? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.
– Mt. 3:7-10 (MSG)
When’s the last time you heard a pastor pop off like that? John called the high and mighty religious leaders snakes to their faces and in front of a big stonkin’ crowd of truth-seeking peeps.
And you know what?
That was just what God ordered. That was a Divine thing. God ordained and inspired John the Baptist to let those religious fat cats have it right between the eyes in front of everyone and their camel. John’s message and delivery were not subtle and safely nuanced to land easily on the listener’s delicate psyche. This brutal, confrontational, admin of God’s word was the prelude to the earthly ministry of the Son of God.
So, what’s my point? Well, for this little nugget, it is this: as long as pastors continue to be nicer-than-Christ don’t expect Jesus to show up in a true and profound way. Yep, if you don’t have an “in your face” edge to your ministry then bad religion will flourish and the True Jesus won’t be anywhere near your “church”.
Remember, the rough and tumble ministry of John was inextricably linked to the ministry of Jesus. You can’t have one without the other.
Check out Doug’s latest book…
John The Baptist: A Rude Awakening Precedes A Great Awakening.
This timely little tome chronicles the politically incorrect ministry of one of God’s most effective wildmen, John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Christ’s ministry.
The abrasive message of repentance John preached 2000 years ago is still confrontational and offensive today — but it is also life-changing.
In our putrid, worldly culture that has turned away from God, this book is a must-read for every Christian.
Available in paperback for those of you who like the feel of the pages in your hot, little hands, as well as on Kindle to keep it right at your fingertips.