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Bro. Ritechus N. Dignation - Dose Of Reality
By Joseph Harris
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Blind Watchmen And Dumb Dogs


The following sermon is a reprint from 2007 and I will admit is a strong dose of reality, especially for Baptist preachers. Some of my brethren in the Baptist Missionary Association began to label me a Fundamentalist, Independent Baptist and ostracize me. Yet, I never changed in belief and practice but have remained the same in my 32 years of ministry. They changed, not me. Dr. Shelton Smith, a Fundamental Independent Baptist and Editor of The Sword Of The Lord, published this sermon (and other writings from time to time). Ironically, Dr. Paige Patterson, not a BMA Baptist or Independent Baptist, gave some strong words of praise for this sermon. Dr. Patterson is the President of Southwestern (SOUTHERN) Baptist Theological Seminary. I mention these two men to show the swinging of the pendulum among different Baptists. To be fair, some of my Missionary Baptist brethren did appreciate the sermon. I do not believe a preacher's emphasis should be to "preach against" things, but there should be a balance. However, today the extreme is not found in preaching against sin, but in being silent on sin and even accepting, justifying and accomodating sin. Yes, this sermon is a strong dose, but only because so many have moved from where they once were. The moral condition of today, along with prevailing philosophies and toleration of sin in churches, is connected to silent pulpits.

Isaiah 56:10 "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber."

I do not know if a better description can be found to fit the average Baptist preacher of today. The Old Testament prophet was speaking of the lax prophets of his day, but his words apply to modern day church leaders who are asleep at the wheel, or to give a better ecclesiastical example, asleep in the pulpit.

A blind watchman sees no one and therefore, warns no one. A watch dog that will not bark is nothing more than a biscuit eater. He doesn't pull his own weight and is a danger to those who depend on his faithful bark. The modern day professional preacher is willfully blind and purposefully silent, when it comes to warning of the dangers and consequences of sin. In this age of enlightenment, we have arrived at the place where sin is no longer preached against. Instead, Bible principles are taught, Bible studies are held, prophecy conferences are offered and social gatherings in churches are at an all time high.

The average Baptist preacher places a premium on being spiritually politically correct, non-judgmental, sensitive, purpose driven, and popular. He shudders with horror that he could be seen as legalistic, mean spirited, narrow minded, old fashioned and out of touch with the times, and especially out of touch with youth. As a result, these preachers become blind watchmen and dumb dogs who facilitate the destruction of their sheep as they plunge headlong down the slippery slope of the world with it's philosophies, standards, dress code, attitude, and actions.

Baptist preachers as a rule, no longer preach against drinking beverage alcohol. I know all the arguments that can be given for taking just one drink and not getting drunk, but why would you want to get near a rattlesnake? And even if Dad can "handle" it, can Jr. handle it when he grows up? Remember the church covenant which, by the way, also forbids the sale of beverage alcohol. Selling this venom is in once sense worse than individual consumption, since the seller affects many individuals and homes and helps facilitate deterioration in many homes and society as a whole. I once read about a wedding reception of some prominent Baptists in our town. The write up in the paper recounted how they celebrated at the wedding reception with dancing, wine and beer. How blatant. God help their preacher to grow a backbone and love his people by warning them of this serpent in a bottle.

Baptist preachers hardly ever preach against sexual immorality and homosexuality and pornography. Churches are full of immorality in the pew and broken homes attest to this fact. I have been told that it doesn't matter if the preacher preaches against it or not, people will do what they want to do regardless. That is true to a certain extent, but there is a direct correlation between silent pulpits and the increase of ungodliness in churches and society.

Baptist preachers won't usually dare touch the issue of dress and appearance. Just who does the preacher think he is, telling people what to wear and not to wear. I'll tell you who he is. He is the man of God who watches for the souls of his people (Hebrews 13:17) and he has every right to condemn nakedness, and tight clothing that reveals the body and fires the sexual imagination and blurs the line of demarcation between the sexes. Make no provision for the flesh, and don't flaunt the flesh either.

Baptist preachers won't preach against tattoos, body piercings on men and women and earrings on men, because they want to "reach" them. Reach them with what? You do not have to look like the world to reach the world. When Paul said he bore in his "body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Gal. 6:17), he wasn't speaking of a tattoo of Jesus. I understand that it is through the preaching of the Gospel that men are saved, but there is never a teaching of separation that follows the preaching of the Gospel to those who have been saved.

Jesus said to preach the gospel to every creature (evangelism) and Paul said to preach the word (to those who have been evangelized), reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long suffering. It is not an either/or situation. We are to preach the gospel and preach the whole counsel of God, which includes reproving, rebuking and exhorting. I was once told, as a young preacher, to not preach against "things" but just preach the gospel and love people. The preacher who gave me this advice didn't preach against sin and railed against those who did. It was later found that during his ministry he had done just that: preached the gospel and loved people. Actually, he loved many people, many women that is, to whom he was not married. By the way, warning people of danger is loving them.

Baptist preachers seldom preach about hell and eternal punishment of the lost in an eternal lake of fire. Hell should never be preached without the cross of Calvary as the emphasis, but the cross is often preached with no mention of hell. Why is there a need for the cross if there is no hell?

Baptist preachers do not often preach on the authority structure of the home, with the husband as the head and the wife as the completer. Parents are to be in charge of children, administering correction and discipline through love, training them to be submissive to parental authority in preparation for their submission to God in salvation.

Baptist preachers often fail to preach against ungodly entertainment via television and videos. Christians should not watch others commit acts that are ungodly and which they themselves do not commit. Christians should not listen to others profane, mock, and blaspheme the name of God, especially when they themselves refrain from such wickedness. Exposure to such filth de-sensitizes the believer to sin and it's consequences, breaking down barriers and inhibitions, weakening believers and preparing them for a fall.

Baptist preachers are hesitant to preach against corruption among politicians, afraid of offending those who vote for liberals based on party alone. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Just call it for what it is.

Preaching against sin heightens awareness of right and wrong and re-establishes the standard of absolutes. There is a God and a devil, a right and a wrong, a heaven and a hell, and everyone is going to one or the other. Preaching standards of right or wrong help to remind there is a standard for which God's children are to live up to. Specific, pointed preaching is effective. Telling people they need to live a Christian life and please God only tells them what to do, without telling them how to do it.

If the Ten Commandments were written by man with today's understanding, they would be condensed to one statement, "Thou shalt not do wrong." Though the preceding statement is true, it doesn't say anything specific about sin. I once heard a vague sermon against worldliness. Worldliness was never defined, no examples were given, and no consequences were listed. The preacher just said it was bad and we ought not to be worldly. I left the sermon agreeing that worldliness is bad, but without a clue as to whether or not I was worldly.

In most cases where there is an emphasis on evangelism, there is no emphasis on instruction in righteousness for the newly saved. The emphasis is to "reach" them by appealing to them or relating to them or understanding them. After reaching them with salvation, we need to reach them with right living. They are not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2) but be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

To be conformed means to be pressed into the mold of something, which means submission. Modern Christianity places an emphasis on hanging on to your "rights", and fitting God into your life, instead of totally surrendering to God in submission to His will and standards. When we don't preach separation from sin and the world for God's children, it undercuts the preaching of the Gospel and therefore affects the harvest long term, for future generations. We have a full generation in power today who have not heard the truth about sin, and brother, it's evident in churches, politics, schools, families and the workplace. May God be merciful to those preachers who are not living up to their calling to preach the word.

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All material on Dose of Reality (including writings and quotes from Brother Ritechus N. Dignation) is original, unless otherwise indicated. Dose of Reality is written by Joseph Harris and the content sometimes contains sarcasm and humor for emphasis of truth. Original material may be republished and quoted without prior permission, but only verbatim and with Joseph Harris and www.josephharrismagic.com/rnd included for credit.

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