It is vital for the Preacher to remain clear minded when he delivers Gods word. As Pastors we are acutely aware of the doctrinal and relational battles that goes on in our ranks. This kind of knowledge can be both helpful and harmful when we step into the pulpit. What is the Pastor to do in situations such as these? The temptation that must be avoided is trying to deal with these things head on, trying to become everyone’s Holy Spirit. As Preachers we are over-stepping the mark when we try to do Gods work for Him, and we usually cause a lot of damage, rather than healing and recovery.
The problem is, we think we know, but we don’t always know the true intentions and motivations of peoples hearts. This is where we must leave the final judgment with God. It is only God who truly knows those who are His. Of course, this is not to excuse error or heretical opinions on scripture. But we often don’t know how a person has arrived at this false understanding and opinion. Its important for us to remember as Preachers we are not just dealing with peoples minds, but also their hearts and emotions. These people are often damaged and are in need of healing and recovery, which is an ongoing process that’s gonna take some time.
The Preacher in trying to administer correction is often blinded to the log in his own eye, as he seeks to remove the speck from his brothers. Jesus exhorts us to first remove the log from our own eye, then we will have the ability to remove the speck from our brothers. What we often think we see, we didn’t see as clearly as we thought.
What is our job then, and how are we to handle differences and controversies in the church of God? First of all we are to operate in love. If people know you care for them, then you will have their ear. Make no mistake this is very important. Even if you have the truth these people might need. If they know deep down you don’t really care for them, or really like them, they will not receive what you have to say. You will then be using the truth to bash people with you don’t like and it will be perceived in that way. It amazes me how we have often used the truth of Gods word to bash people with we don’t like! Even though your thought and opinion may be true, your heart and intentions are all wrong in the application.
The best thing to do then as we step into the pulpit is to preach Gods word with a clear mind and a clear heart. Recognizing the authority of Gods words on these issues, all submitting to this. Gods word and its authority is the only thing that can change peoples hearts and minds in false opinions and heresies. Especially if these people are truly Christian trapped in a false doctrine. One of the false assumptions that is sometimes made is, because these people are trapped in false doctrine then they are not Christians. Though this may be sometimes true it is not true in every case. As if Christians cant ever be involved in false doctrines, or sometimes hold to false assertions. There are some situations where we must leave the final judgment with God.
Preach Gods word, every part of it and let God do the changes through the Holy Spirit.