In an era of Biblical Apostasy, a young preacher must be very careful when navigating the “Just Preach Jesus” crowd. They say a lot of spiritual things, and I must admit that at a surface glance their terminology appears to be defensible. After all, who could argue with someone who just preaches Jesus, right?
I want you to examine some of the phrases that they use:
- We Don’t Do Doctrine, It is Divisive.
- We aren’t going to focus on any teaching other than Just Preaching Jesus.
- We are a Christ Centered Ministry.
Yes sir, all of those things sound appealing. After all, you would be a fool to argue that Jesus is not the center of everything that we do! These phrases are not really the problem. The problem is that they have hijacked them with unbiblical philosophies! Here is what they really are saying:
- We want vague enough messages so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
- We certainly will not focus on telling you how to live (music, dress, sinful lifestyles, etc.)
- Every teaching in the Bible other than Salvation and the Basic Feel-Good parts are non-essential and legalistic (ironically, they usually have no problem teaching on giving!).
Then of course they make sure to dumbfound you with their go-to verse: I Corinthians 2:2 “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
“You see! All that matters is preaching Jesus. It worked for Paul!” Says this “JPJ” crowd.
So what is wrong with their philosophy? I am going to show us a Biblical approach to counter each one of the unbiblical assessments we stated earlier. I hope they will be a blessing to you!
Approach #1 (We Don’t Do Doctrine, It Is Divisive)
- Doctrine means “teaching”. That means ANYTHING you teach on in the Bible is Doctrine! To teach on Jesus is to teach on doctrine! Doctrine is not divisive, but the Word of God will divide! I won’t run with the “JPJ” crowd if they don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, Vicarious Suffering, and Victorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Need I reiterate that these are doctrines!).
- I am unapologetically an Independent, Fundamental Baptist! I realize that anyone can be saved, but that will not move me from being who I am! Don’t listen to those who want you to drop certain identifications in order to reach more people!
- I once heard Pastor Bruce Goddard say “If you don’t know who you are and where you came from, you are like a cork bobbing on the ocean of the religious experience.”
- When Unbiblical philosophies are mentioned (like Calvinism, Works Based Salvation, Falling From Grace, etc), being a student of Bible doctrine will keep you in line!
- Romans 16:17 tells us to mark and avoid those who teach things contrary to Bible DOCTRINE!
Approach #2 (We aren’t going to focus on anything but Just Preaching Jesus)
- John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 “and the Word was made flesh…” Jesus is the Bible and the Bible is Jesus! Therefore, every part of the Bible that you teach is Just Preaching Jesus! By the way, do a quick study on some of the things Jesus preached on 🙂
- The go-to verse of I Corinthians 2:2 has nothing to do with avoiding the “controversial” areas of scripture. Paul is simply reminding the Corinthians that when he first got there he could do nothing else but preach about Christ because all the other parts of the Bible were not going to matter to them until they grasped Biblical salvation! He explains this with the rest of the chapter, declaring that the natural man cannot receive the things of God, but only those who have been given the mind of Christ!
- The “JPJ” people truthfully do not just preach on Jesus. Instead, they use this as a cover to defend the lack of Biblical Preaching on anything they would consider “Unloving.”
Approach #3 (We are a Christ-Centered Ministry)
- We are commanded to “Preach the Word.” And that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Tim 4:2 and 3:16)
Mark this crowd and avoid them! They need to defend their “Just preaching Jesus” by using a very weak facade of spirituality. Don’t fall for it! Young preacher, don’t ever be ashamed to Preach the Entire Word of God! Don’t ever be ashamed to be an Independent Fundamental Baptist! By the way, you had better be a Student of the Word or these guys will influence you. Keep serving the King of Kings!
Church Planter | Jasper, IN