A couple of days ago I listened to a sermon on Brokenness from Voddie Baucham (which I subsequently found on YouTube so you can hear it too).
First, I have heard Voddie Baucham speak before, and not only is he one of the smartest apologetics that I have heard, he is one of the smartest all around men I have heard, not to mention he has an amazing testimony.
I highly encourage you to take an hour of your time and listen to this sermon on brokenness. God speaks in His time, and I think He was speaking to me through Voddie and He might do the same for you.
If you don’t listen to the whole sermon, at least take ten minutes and listen to the part that I have put at the end of this post. Ok, here are some main ideas and points from this sermon.
What is brokenness? Brokenness is the place to which we come when we recognize that all that we are, all that we have, and all that we do in and of ourselves is sorely and miserably insufficient.
Voddie goes on to talk about the new age and the emergent way of teaching. He says that we believe that all discomfort is problematic. Well, look at the emergent “church” and all the health, wealth and prosperity teachers out there right now. That is exactly what they teach, but that isn’t what the Bible says.
Also, Voddie mentions “The Shack” in some detail. If you haven’t read this book, don’t. Anyway, Voddie quotes the following, from the character in the book that William Young calls Jesus (it certainly is not Jesus speaking):
“To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do; genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy, that’s the beauty…we [the Trinity] are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be…I don’t want slaves to my will, I want brothers and sisters to share life with me.” (Page 145-146)
First, the Trinity is NOT submitted to one another; that is completely false. The Bible makes it clear that there is some kind of hierarchy even within the Trinity. The Spirit and the Son have submitted themselves to the Father. The task of the Spirit is to lead people to the Son who in turn brings glory to the Father. Never do we find the Father submitting to the Spirit or to the Son (HT: TC).
Ok, I didn’t write this to discuss “The Shack,” so my point was that this is just one contemporary example that tries to bring God down to our level. As Voddie puts it, God’s sovereignty, God’s holiness, and any brokenness over sin is gone.
Voddie then goes on to discuss Psalm 51 (read this). He says that sin does a couple of things. 1) Sin scars us, and 2) sin creates memories that stay with us.
We were not created to forget things. Voddie states three reasons why this is good:
1. If we could forget our sin, we could never testify of the goodness of God.
2. If we couldn’t remember our sins, then we couldn’t be warned against doing them again.
3. Brokenness over our sin is appropriate, because our sin is an affront to a holy God.
Sin reminds me of God’s goodness to me; it reminds me of God’s grace in my life.
Voddie talks about how people don’t want to talk about sin, they already know they’re bad (he talks in a way that reminds us of a certain mega preacher). People don’t know they’re bad, I don’t think we realize most of the time what we are doing.
We have sinned against a holy and righteous God. Voddie is so right about that (as referenced by David in Psalm 51:4), and I know that if I truly realized that I would fall on my face.
The problem with the emergent teaching, the prosperity teaching, and “The Shack” is that they present the view of a needy God who is longing for us. By definition, God is self-sustaining, self-existent, and self-sufficient; therefore, by definition, He needs nothing. God does not need us.
By saying that God needs us, then that says that we are showing grace to Him by accepting Him. That is so wrong and so not Biblical.
Further reading for this sermon (along with Psalm 51) is Isaiah 1 and Revelation 19:11-16.
I think you should really listen to this sermon in its entirety. Find part 1 here, and then click through for the other parts. It was really an eye opener for me, and I think God will speak to you as well. We are so fortunate to have preachers like Voddie Baucham who are faithfully following God’s will.
– Adam Smith