Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ask the Pastor- Other Preachers?

Someone recently asked...

Question: Is it wrong to listen to other preacher podcasts? TV shows? Attend services that are available during the week?

On the one hand I would say that it is definitely not wrong (ie., sinful) to listen to other preachers via podcasts, radio, TV or other media. There is some good teaching available to us. It is truly one of the blessings of this technical age! This is certainly helpful to those who are working or driving and cannot attend church in the midweek. Also, there are folks that are sick and bedridden or stuck in their house and cannot make it to a service- what a great blessing for them.

On the other hand, discernment is called for in our choice of media. There will always be doctrinal differences between various factions of the church, some of these have caused great confusion in the minds of young believers in the past. I have had puzzled christians come to me to ask about confusing teaching that varied with what Scripture says on issues of spiritual gifts, on the security of the believer, on ehaling and prosperity, etc. The list goes on and on.

Another danger is that often we choose to be entertained by preaching of the Word rather than reading the Word and praying it into our own lives. Listening to a sermon is never a substitute for personal time with God. The podcast of a service was designed for that particular church... and while it may have much that is universally applicable there are some specifics that are divinely inspired for that particular moment. Some ministries are driven to ask for funds and the discerning believer needs to assure himself that the millions that are often spent broadcasting are in line with the believers own sense of propriety.

Midweek services are often the times for discipleship and kids clubs. Often a tired parent would rather sit in his own home and listen to the radio occassionally. As parents we need to be mindful of the strengthed faith for our whole family that comes when we attend midweek services together. Here at CLC Youth and Children have opportunities to worship with their own age levels and receive important and practical teaching in the Word. This is develpmental in the life of a child. I often encourages a parent to attend rather than substitue a real life experience in Church with a podcast.

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