Q. 158. By whom is the Word of God to be preached?
A. The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.1 (Westminister Larger Catechism)
Now what's wrong with this picture?
"... we witness this phenomena (i.e., the true Gospel can be heralded forth all over the world) by a ministry such as Family Radio which in no sense is under the authority of the church and which tries to be as faithful to the Bible as possible, we can know that we are in that time of the great tribulation. The next event will be the return of Christ and the end of the world."2
We are seeing much trouble and confusion over the recent teaching of Family Radio-- and I do mean all of Family Stations, Inc., as represented by its corporate (covenant) head Mr. Camping. This would be very sad in any age for the station, ex–elder Camping, and ex–church Alameda, with its other ex–elders, ex–deacons and ex–members; but, for me at least, the saddest part is the spiritual poverty of this age which exposes so many to being led astray by false teaching.
- 2 Harold Camping's, Has the Era of the Church Age Come to an End?, Published by Family Stations, Inc. Oakland, California 94621 U.S.A. chap. IV The Church Age Has Come to an End
This should be simple to figure out, for you see, Harold Camping is not a teacher at all. Oh, he "teaches" to be sure, but he is no more a "sent" teacher in Israel than an unmarried man can be called a husband.
I suppose he should be answered; certainly not a few able ministers and friends should pray for and counsel with those infected with this error. But, any reasonably grounded child of God should know enough to flee from the stranger's voice.
Concerning a Calling to the Ministry, and Clearness Therein, by James Durham, briefly examines the doctrine of "calling" and will support the Catechism question above, applying it to who is allowed to teach and write books about theology.
A comment from our guestbook archive.
1Jeremiah 14:15. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
Romans 10:15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Hebrews 5:4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
1 Corinthians 12:28-29. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1 Timothy 3:10. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
1 Timothy 4:14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1 Timothy 5:22. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
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