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03 October, 2007 / theexpositor

Messengers or Manipulators?

by John MacArthur, from Pulpit Magazine 

First Corinthians 2 makes it clear that Paul shunned manipulative oratory. He didn’t do what many preachers do today; he wasn’t into manipulating his crowd. In fact, he says in 1 Corinthians 2:1, “I didn’t come with superiority of speech” (that’s oratorical ability), I didn’t come to bowl you over with my oration, I didn’t come with “wisdom.”He says further in verse 4, “My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom” (I didn’t use technique; I didn’t use manipulation). I didn’t want your faith to “rest on the wisdom of men” (literally, the wisdom of their information or their approach). He said, I came to you with God’s wisdom; I came to you in God’s power; I came to “you in weakness in fear and in trembling.”He didn’t use techniques that excite and stir, and move people’s emotions to achieve results. He preached the Scriptures (listen to this) to the mind! Many preachers today are good at the art of persuasion — they know how to move people to respond without the Scripture being the issue. They can manipulate their listeners emotionally. But frankly, that kind of approach really prostitutes the preacher’s stewardship because it makes him no different then a secular persuader. Continue Reading »

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