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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Vantage Point: Preaching Christ Crucified

By Ken Horn
Sept. 25, 2011

John Cennick was a mere 36 years of age when he died on July 4, 1755. Born to Quaker parents and raised in the Anglican Church, he wasted his teen years at gambling and other idle pursuits.

After a dramatic conversion, Cennick connected with the Methodists, meeting John Wesley and, later, George Whitefield. He preached the gospel fearlessly, often in the open air, for the Methodists and the Moravians. He was persecuted, frequently suffering humiliation and violence at the hands of cruel men and mobs.

He was physically injured. Opponents banged pots and pans and provoked packs of dogs into barking to attempt to drown out his message.

It didn’t work. Cennick continued to preach the full counsel of God’s Word.

Anglican clergymen complained that their members went to hear the outdoor preaching of Cennick when he was nearby, leaving the pews of their historic churches empty.

“Preach Christ crucified,” responded Bishop Rider, “and then the people will not have to go to Cennick to hear the gospel.”

Many clergy of today would do well to heed these wise words.

This is certainly the apostle Paul’s advice: “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2, NKJV).

Though Cennick and Rider lived over 250 years ago, the problem they addressed has persisted and intensified, even reaching many of the historic churches of America.

Churches that no longer preach Christ crucified cannot honestly be called “liberal Christianity,” as they are so often dubbed. They are instead “liberal religion,” for genuine Christianity is defined by the gospel, the proclamation of the crucified and risen Christ who offers salvation to all.

Paul explained the problem this way: “But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

Historic churches that are dying today would certainly reverse course if they began to preach this pure, seemingly “foolish” doctrine. Why?

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Christ crucified and resurrected is the central message of every legitimate church.

Ken Horn
Editor

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