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“FORM AND SUBSTANCE” – April 19

April 19, 2013

“And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord, “With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.”  And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph.  The Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 2 Chronicles 18:10-11

I wonder if Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah was touted by the commentators of the time as, “An innovative prophet who communicates the word of God in a creative and fresh manner that resonates with our generation.”

The problem with Zedekiah’s dramatic presentation was that it did not resonate the word of God.  It appears that he was very creative in how he prophesied.  It appears that the rulers and religious of the highest levels followed his prophesy.  The innovative manner and creative way that Zedekiah prophesied did not change the validity of what he said.  He was still uttering false words.  It appears that he was a very dynamic and entertaining false prophet.  His form was more than his substance.

We would be foolish to think that there are not modern versions of Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah.

the word of GodI am not against innovation and creative ways for preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.  Read this blog – that is exactly what I am trying to do.  I try to write in a way that helps me and hopefully you, to think about the truths of scripture and our wonderful God in new and deeper ways.  However, my or any person’s unique and innovative presentation should never shroud false, incorrect, or misleading teaching.

It is the communicator’s job to make sure that he is communicating a message that is fully supported by the word of God.  I am endeavoring to communicate with you.  It is not your task to have to try to figure-out what I am really saying.  It is my problem if you don’t understand what I am attempting to communicate.  If you are listening to someone and have to justify their message with, “I know that is what he said but that cannot be what he meant”, then the communicator has failed to do his job well; no matter how captivating his presentation was.   One must conclude that He is either not a good communicator or he is trying to mislead you.  Neither is a good conclusion.  Now, no teacher is perfect and they will make misstatements.  However, it is a problem if misstatements or misrepresentation of the word of God are a chronic occurrence.  That is when you need to ask yourself why you are listening to this person.

Do you care more about the form than the content?  Do you want a creatively and freshly presented message more than a message based on the Word of God?

The message is what matters.  Presentations will always change.  What was creative and fresh to my parents is mundane to me.  What is creative and fresh to me will be tired and traditional to my children.  It is the message that matters.

Let’s enjoy how an innovative presentation of the truths of God’s word can bring encouragement and conviction to our souls.  However, we must remember that it is the word of God – the message – that is bringing the edification.  Never trade truth for presentation.

PRAYER: Father, please give me discernment and a clarity of mind.  I know that I like multi-media presentations and dynamic speakers.  I am easily fired-up by a charismatic speaker.  I like to be fired-up.  Father, ground me in your word; give me eyes to see through all the smoke and light of these teachings so that I can understand the truthfulness of their
message.  May I only be fired-up and edified by your true Word coming through their presentations.  Grant me wisdom and understanding to reject all that is false.  Amen.

12 comments

  1. Nice post, although I am not a fan of multimedia presentations! I pray that we may all be fired up by the truth in God’s Word rather becoming lost in presentation, whether that presentation is traditional or modern.


  2. Hello, I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Please follow link to see: 🙂
    http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com/2013/04/20/linking-hearts-through-award-nominations/#more-2523


  3. Well said, JD. We are so easily swayed by personable, passionate teachers who may not be presenting solid truth. Those of us who write must carefully toe the line as well. Does God approve of my words, or am I just trying to please my readers? Thank you for the reminder to “never trade truth for presentation.”


  4. JD, thank you for sharing your insights and your faith so clearly and honestly. You inspire and encourage me – and many others – and I pray God continues to speak to and through you.


  5. Reblogged this on Clay Tablets.


  6. To bloviating in the pulpits today, it as they don’t trust the simple word of God to Pearce the hearts and minds.


  7. I have to watch my BSO syndrome (Brite shiney object) sometimes. Great reminder. Thanks


  8. Thank you for leading us in prayer today, JD! God bless you!


  9. not sure what you are trying to say ??? …. just kiddin’ 🙂 … I appreciate your message very much and that it always clearly points to the Lord and the Word!! blessings to you! 🙂


  10. JD,

    Thank you for your remarks. One of the reasons that I subscribed to your blog is your clear writing. I love your biblical background, your love of the Word and the word, and your manner of expression.

    Keep it up. I will keep reading.

    Carol


  11. I love this message in 1st John: “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” Thanks JD for the reminder.


  12. This really speaks to me today as I know the Holy Spirit has something He wants me to write and the enemy keeps telling me -“you don’t have an interesting enough spin on it yet…” praying with you: O Lord, may I only be fired up and edified by your true Word!



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