R. C. Sproul on "the myth of influence"...
(Tim) Responding, I believe, to the inclination of pastors to avoid the biblical doctrine of election in their teaching and preaching work, Calvin points out that all Scripture is God-breathed, and therefore profitable. Those who avoid any doctrine Scripture reveals are denying the profitability of that doctrine for the souls under their care.
Brothers, think of the many doctrines we avoid. Do we really know better than the Spirit of God what is profitable to those whose watch-care has been entrusted to us? Are we wiser than God? Should each generation produce a Bible with the texts most suited to its day intact and all others excised?
But of course, the irony is that the doctrines we cut out today are precisely those must suited to the battle that rages around us. For twenty years, now, I've tried to get pastors to preach and teach on the biblical doctrine of sexuality--all to almost no avail. Too controverted. Too controversial. Too compromised in my personal life. Too cowardly.
Twelve years ago, I spoke with R. C. at a conference in Chicago. Lamenting the unwillingness of men to take a stand against neutered versions of Scripture, R.C. said something I've often thought of since...
He said for many years he'd been threatening to write a book called The Myth of Influence. "All the time, men tell me they won't take a stand on this or speak of that because they need to protect their influence. But you know what? I watch them and they never end up using their influence. They just protect it."
So, five years ago when Marvin Olasky asked us to write this blog for "World," we took up the work and have been at it since. As readers know, David and I make a particular point of writing on the biblical truths that will assure us a growing influence and stellar reputations. But not among men who care more about their own reputation than God's.
Rather, among those who fear God and love His Word, believing Heaven and Earth will pass away before a single jot or tittle of His Law.
So here we stand, looking for that Biblical doctrine that causes us and our fellow elders the most acute embarrassment. And having found it, we focus our attention precisely there where we'd like to dive for cover.
Please do the same, for God's glory and the wellbeing of His people and world. Remember, the Church is the pillar and foundation of God's truth.