Unless one of the dozens of First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering’s (FBCGotK) shiny new vans comes to pick her up, Pretty Peggy can’t get to FBCGotK. So I take Pretty Peggy to FBCGotK maybe once a quarter. An odd turn of events made the visit happen this past Sunday (2 October 2016). It was an interesting visit. It was also a very depressing visit.
It took us over half an hour to get into the parking lot. It also took us half an hour to get out of the parking lot. We had to sit through endless rounds of the repetition of the choruses of a couple of songs. The repetition went on for at least twenty to twenty-five minutes. It was interspersed with calls to stand, shout, and clap for Jesus. Think of listening to the following for half an hour or more.
One of the reasons I take Pretty Peggy to FBCGotK every once in a while is to give her the opportunity to compare the contents of John’s preaching with the contents of the sermons by the elders at Reformed churches or at any church that is really trying to speak from the Bible to the people. We have, on occasion, taken one of John’s sermons from online and analyzed its contents. We go over the various ways he makes the Scripture say what he wants it to say and not what God is saying to the church. But it turns out this past Sunday that we would have been better off listening to one of his sermons on the internet.
After the half hour’s wait to park, the mindless singing, standing up for John when he came in, more singing, and another rendition by John of the song we had been singing, he told us he wasn’t going to preach. He pointed out that he could feel the presence of the Lord. He assured us that he knows the presence of the Lord when he feels it. And one of the things John came to understand from the presence of the Lord was that he was not to preach at either the 10 o’clock or the 12 o’clock services. God went on to tell him that Sunday was Miracle Sunday. That’s right, the Spirit of God said John was not to preach because it was Miracle Sunday, not Feed the Sheep Sunday.
Apparently, during bible study the previous Tuesday, a woman asked the church to pray for her child who was diagnosed with liver cancer. On Friday or Saturday, John was informed that the child’s “levels had improved.” As a result, John got a word from God that Sunday would be Miracle Sunday.
He then did an outstanding imitation of a TV pimps? If you have a situation you can’t find any way out of? Come on down to the altar. Financial issues? Come forward for your miracle. Behind your payments for a car you never should have bought? Come on down, claim your miracle on Miracle Sunday and let God show you a way where there was no way.
You remember when the Apostles went around granting people miracles in their circumstances, don’t you? Remember the man who had lost all of his money and was going to have to close his bakery until the Apostles spoke a miracle into his life? Neither do I. Or how about the man who had a sick ox and Apostles prayed and God made a way out of no way when someone gave him a fully trained adult ox to replace it? I thought not. ‘Cause neither do I.
John’s primary job as the pastor is to feed the sheep, the congregation. In John, chapter 21, verses 15-18 Jesus tells Peter to tend to His sheep and to feed His sheep, not announce a Miracle Sunday and make people a nebulous promise of an equally nebulous miracle. The Apostles said their time would best be spent in prayer and the study of the Word. Do you think they prayed to see if they should declare a particular Sabbath a miracle Sabbath? In instructing the Church, Paul, in 1 Timothy 3:2, says the overseer, the pastor, is to be able to teach. Anything there about “knowing the presence of God?” In Titus 1:7, the overseer, the pastor is to hold fast to the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able to exhort in SOUND DOCTRINE and refute those who contradict.
Maybe you can show me where the pastor is supposed to tell us about the presence of God and to pronounce a day as Miracle Sunday.
Try as I might, I can’t find an example of any of the Apostles holding a miracle Sunday. I can’t find an example of a congregation getting together in order to experience miracles because the preacher said that today is the day of miracles. I can’t even find an example of the Church getting together and limiting their time together to shouting, clapping and singing repetitiously. But maybe I’m missing something.
Can God heal? Can He perform miracles? Certainly. God can do whatever He chooses to do. In fact Psalm 115:3 says “Our God is in the heavens; He does as he pleases. In Daniel, He goes so far as to say “Who can turn His hand?”. He can do whatever He wants. Period. So the question is not “Can God still work miracles?”. The question is “Does the Bible provide for not preaching because the pastor says the Spirit told him that today is Miracle Sunday?”
God calls us to standards. When Aaron’s sons did something other than what God told them to do, He slew them. When Eli’s deadbeat sons did other than what God told them to do, He slew them. When Saul was told to slaughter everything among the Amalekites and he didn’t, the kingdom was torn from him.
The pastor/elder’s function is to teach, not proclaim a day of miracles. Unless, of course, you don’t mind cheapening the idea of miracles.
What was the purpose of miracles in the New Testament? Was it to relieve someone of some financial burden? Was it to keep Vito, Don Corleone’s strong man from making you sleep with the fishes ? I think not. Was it to testify to the power of the gospel of God and segue to a presentation of the Gospel? Definitely. Throughout Acts you see miracles not in response to some selfish desire, but as a way of testifying to the Gospel and the authority of those who preached it.
How did proclaiming Sunday to be a Miracle Sunday accomplish any of that? Simply put, it didn’t.
If I was a cynical man, I’d bet John Kenneth Jenkins Sr. declared Sunday to be a miracle day because he didn’t have anything to say to the congregation. If you can recall, over ten years ago he announced that he was no longer going to prepare a sermon for Sunday. Instead, he would read and pray and then let the Holy Spirit direct him on what he should preach that day. Apparently, the Holy Spirit, in contradiction to the Bible, declared last Sunday (October 2, 2016) to be Miracle Sunday.
Oh, and did you notice the good pastor had his wife to pray on Sunday? Care to take any bets on when he announces her as the co-pastor? Several years ago, when I first set up this site, I guessed it’d be within a couple of years. But I was wrong. However, given what she did on Sunday, I think the time is drawing near. Then we can see how many of the members of the congregation actually pay attention to what the Bible says (It nowhere mentions wives serving as co-pastors or women serving as pastors/elders) and how many of them will roll over and accept what John Kenneth Jenkins, Sr. puts over on them.