Do not judge a Minister - by Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)Pastoral Theology and Expository Preaching Articles
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“Consider carefully what you hear.” Mark 4:24
It is sad to see how many preachers in our days, make it their business to enrich men’s heads with high, empty, airy notions; instead of enriching their souls with saving truths.
Fix yourself under that man’s ministry, who makes it his business, his work to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the fancy. This age is full of such light, delirious souls—who dislike everything—but what is empty and airy.
Do not judge a minister . . .
by his voice, nor
by the multitude who follow him, nor
by his affected tone, nor
by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness
of his teaching. Many ministers are like empty orators,
who have a flood of words—but a drop of matter.
Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities, and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions, and so shoot their arrows over their hearers’ heads—instead of bettering their hearers’ hearts. Mirthful things in a sermon are only for men to gaze upon and admire. He is the best preacher, not who tickles the ear—but who breaks the heart.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.