Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where have all the preachers gone - part 2.

America? Last night I went to hear Alistair Begg (you can too, but be quick - he's in Portsmouth this week). Alistair's a Scot; he's been in the US for going on thirty years now.
Colin Smith is another Scot - he's been in the US for probably a decade now, leaving these shores just when the quality of his ministry was beginning to be realised.
I'm not criticising either of these men - they responded to calls from God and from particular churches, and they've been much blessed. But if God had left them here, the UK would - surely - be stronger.
Not every potential leader has gone to the States, though. No - some of them have fallen morally and their ministry been destroyed in that way.
Some good men that I know have had their ministries limited to a degree either by their own health, or the health of their wives. In all the cases I'm thinking of, the men have continued to serve God and have achieved a great deal. But they may well have achieved more with the blessing of continued good health.
Some good men have died prematurely - as we say. I count Douglas MacMillan as the finest preacher I ever heard. I think it's true to say that if Lloyd-Jones had died as young, none of his greatest series would have been preached.
Who is sovereign over the move of ministers? And over health? And death? And even - in the end - over our sinful falls and failings? God is; God rules.
So - why has God decreed that it is mostly only the mediocre left untouched? (No, I don't mean you're mediocre - I said 'mostly'!) Why has he decreed a famine of the Word in this land?

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Not sure if this will be useful or not, but in some sense you have answered yourself; God is, He rules, and ultimately He knows what he is doing. In some sense to say how 'great' a preacher could be if it wasn't for ill health or some other circumstance may be presumption as they are fulfilling the purpose God has set out for them in the circumstances that God has placed them... would Paul have been greater without the thorn in his side? But there is no doubt that as a society, GB seem to be far from God and moving further away. People don't seem to want to listen to God, however great the preaching and maybe that is the problem?