2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Nothing rings more true in today’s modern society than the call to ground oneself to Scripture alone.
Recently, a highly prominent radio ministry pastor, James MacDonald of Harvest Ministries – Walk in the Word, was exposed for many serious problems. Allegations ranging from a vile sexual attack on a Harvest worship leader, financial problems with the ministry, to being a power hungry narcissist with a temper. He recently was ousted in the ministry he started, along with his sons and family. It threw his church and its members into a chaotic upheaval.
I bring this example up, because if you have listened to MacDonald preach on the radio, you probably could find little wrong in his application from Scripture. He isn’t an expository teacher, meaning dissecting the word from the original language and provides a systematic context of each verse. But he was more of the life application teacher, taking Scripture and applying it to sanctification. I personally found little wrong in his applications in the test against Scripture.
The problem I or anyone else would of had is IF we weren’t using Scripture as our authority, but MacDonald. We would be quite lost and in despair at this point, since his ministry went up in smoke recently. I do pray that by this, he is being disciplined by God in his personal walk, and that James comes out this stronger in the end.
If we have Scripture as our ultimate authority, the pastor can come and they can go, but we remain steady and grounded because we are in the word of God. Our dependence is not on the human teacher, but Christ as our teacher. This is why we exhort Catholics for example to test their doctrines against Scripture, because the Catholic’s dependence is on the human teacher.
The Gospel will march forward, nothing can stop it! We are saddened and shocked at times what happens in the church. Some we would never suspect falling out of favor from God, but it does happen, and it will happen. But it will never stop the Gospel from moving to save any sinner in need of it! Thanks be to God!