My wife had purchased a DVD a while back which I just got around to watching, and it was well worth it! The movie was, “A Man Called Peter.”
The movie told the story of Peter Marshall, who eventually - in his last two years of life - became the chaplain to the U.S. Senate. I know movies take quite a bit of liberty with the truth, but if what this movie showed was only half accurate, it depicted a real man of God, strong in his faith and strong in his convictions.
As I watched the movie I couldn’t help but wish I had such strong faith. I think of other great men of God - preachers of the faith such as H.A. Ironside, D.L. Moody, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and even, currently, John MacArthur. There have been many throughout history (not to mention Paul of Tarsus!) who spoke mighty messages, never compromising their teachings to delight men with itching ears, but teaching the whole counsel of God no matter what arguments were put up against them.
While I am uncompromising when it comes to the Word of God, sometimes I find it hard to have the unwavering faith as these men had; there is always that occasional doubt as to whether God really hears my prayers. And then there is also the fact that I probably don’t spend as much time in prayer as I know I should - and as I know these men did.
Today we have too many preachers who are NOT great men of God, but appear to be more about promoting self and tickling ears. I don’t mean rank heretics such as in the Word of Faith crowd, or the likes of Joel Osteen and Robert Schuller; I mean men who should know better, such as John Piper, Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll and a host of other very public preachers who have thousands of people following them.
That’s the interesting thing about our society also. The old preachers - those true men of God - drew thousands to hear a solid, meaty, no-nonsense teaching from the Word; teaching that called sin what it is, challenged people to live godly lives, taught a solid gospel message of only one way of Salvation. Today’s preachers who draw thousands draw them because the people want to hear a feel-good message, one that speaks softly of sin (if at all), rarely speaks to practicing a worldview, and teaches a social gospel or one of many paths to God.
I look to these men of God as men to emulate, and as men from whom we can learn great lessons from the Word. I encourage everyone to study the teachings of these men of God and leave the feel-good stuff behind.