Gun for Hire

By: Steve Huston

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

In our last newsletter, I wrote about circuit riders who were “familiar figures in early American villages, towns and cities, and on the frontier. The rough-and-tumble times before, during and after the American Revolution required special men, weather-beaten and toughened by days and weeks in the saddle. But the cause of Christ bred just such hardy warriors of the cross.” (from the back cover of Heroes of Early Methodism vol. 1 published by Schmul Publishing Co.) As I wrote, “They willingly would reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, for this was their call, souls were their concern, and Christ was their passion.”

Those frontier and circuit rider days are far behind us; now we’ve become “civilized” – so they say. There’s no doubt that the American landscape has changed and her culture with it. Those circuit riders of bygone days preached the gospel according to the Word of God and built churches; they weren’t perfect, for they were men, but their “guns” took aim at sin, worldliness, and the devil. Today, Satan has found such preachers who can be bought; men who now put truth, holiness, righteousness, and God’s character in their crosshairs. These “guns for hire” promote and lift up self rather than promoting and lifting up Christ. Instead of pleasing God, they’d rather please men: tickling their ears, sugar-coating hard truths to swallow, and titillating their lusts. Instead of preaching a transformed life IN CHRIST, they do their best to twist biblical truth until it matches the lives of those they “preach” to – soothing their consciences and killing conviction. Believers are meant to identify with their Saviour, but the devil’s “guns for hire” deceive men into feeling good about identifying with their varied and many sins.

Instead of standing on the firm foundation of God’s Word and being stalwart against the tide of communist thought that is pervading our nation (i.e., social justice, ESG, woke-ism, globalism, and these to name only a very few), they go along to get along and cave on nearly every biblical issue that’s not well-accepted by America’s Left.

These “guns for hire” not only put the Bible, God’s character, and holiness in their crosshairs, but anyone who steps away from the current stream of unbiblical exhortation makes himself a target for these deceptive “gunslingers.” This is no strange, fiery trial; Isaiah warned of this: “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” (59:15a)

I urge you to depart from evil anyway. Whether you’re a preacher in a pulpit or a layman living in the community, stand regardless the cost and preach the truth clearly for all to hear. We are called to be salt and shining lights, for the existence of our nation is at stake. More importantly, eternity is at stake for those souls we come into contact with. As Aaron M. Renn writes in Life in the Negative World (meaning a post-Christian America): The first challenge for American evangelicals living in the negative world, then, is to examine ourselves, consider our ways, count the cost, and commit to denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and following Christ in everything. This must happen no matter what the price, confident that Jesus will never fail us or forsake us, that all things will work together for our good, and that whatever suffering we do endure in this world is not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed in the age to come.

Preachers would do well to take Bishop Francis Asbury’s advice: “When you go into the pulpit, go from your closets. Leave all your vain speculations and metaphysical reasonings behind. Take with you your hearts full of fresh spring water from heaven, and preach Christ crucified and the resurrection, and that will conquer the world.” (Heroes of Early Methodism vol. 1)

If you attend a church that has a “pistol packin’ preacher” who cherishes and guards the precious treasure of God’s Word, taking aim at sin, the world, and the devil, stay there! After all, Psalm 119:89 declares, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” If your pastor doesn’t actively take aim with his Bible at those things, “reprove, rebuke, and exhort (him) with all longsuffering and doctrine.” If he will not hear the truth, pray for him, but, for the sake of your soul and the souls of your family, find another church to worship and fellowship in.


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