Why Fundamentalist Pastors should learn Koine Greek

One thing that has crippled the development of Fundamentalist churches and their congregation – the deliberate fostering of ignorance.

No other group of pastors anywhere is encouraged to be ignorant of elementary theology. No other group of pastors anywhere is encouraged to be ignorant of basic skills such as a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. No other group of pastors anywhere is encouraged to know as little about the Bible as possible.

One of the things I told my son in the faith recently is that a pastor should never, never, never preach something that a congregant could just learn by reading the Bible. ALWAYS go just a little bit deeper. Study to LEARN, to KNOW. If you don’t know, your congregation won’t know either.

So, here we are, the Fundamentalists. We make the claim of the Bible being our sole authority of faith and practice – and then we barely use it or open it. We tend to regard Christianity as a one-play football game. Get saved, game over. Now it’s just shout a lot in the pulpit, and you’re good to go!

The problem is, the congregations are dying. They’re begging for you to give them an interesting sermon. To a Christian, the word “Interesting” means “teach me”. If you deny yourselves the tools to teach, then you cannot teach yourself, let alone them!

I get it. I’m King James Only. I’m Mr. Wear a Suit On Sundays. I get it. Separation from the world, etc. Yes.

But I flatly deny that any man who is in the pulpit does not need to know Greek. I wish I knew more Greek than I do! I’d LOVE to be a Greek scholar!

Many who claim to be King James Only really are Textus Receptus Only. The Ruckmanites makes that accusation, and yes, I’ll admit it. The Ruckmanite (A dying breed) will use only the King James, and that’s it. Forget the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that underlie it.

too many Independent Baptist preachers feel like they have to avoid being called “Pastor”, feel like they need to be ignorant of Greek and Hebrew – and here’s why. They’re afraid if they learn it, they’ll be led away from being King James Only.

Not a chance. I had a full year of Greek and a full year of Hebrew, and I’m firmly KJO.

No more excuses. Scripture commands – COMMANDS – that you should study to shew thyself approved – meaning if you do not, you get disapproval.

It’s not optional if you’re a Pastor. You need to learn doctrine and Greek.


An Argument in favor of Expository Preaching

I was discussing the concepts of preaching with my son in the faith yesterday. I literally opened my Bible to Matthew 1:1-17 and told him to write two sermons based upon the text.

This is expository preaching. You expound what is in the Bible text. I have always preferred Expository preaching, but most pastors today don’t do it.

Now, there’s some rules about expository preaching. We’ll get to those another time. Why should a pastor preach expositorally?

Reason One – be instant in and out of season. If you preach topically, you may end up accidentally skipping topics that God has placed in Scripture. Ever preach on greed or adultery? Many pastors today have entered the ministry, preached 20-24 years and retired never having preached on certain topics. If you’re always searching for a text to write, you run the risk of preaching on all the topics that interest you, and skipping ones that the congregation often needs to hear!

Reason Two – Keeping your job. Pastors today are being fired simply because they’ve preached on a topic the deacon board was offended by. This is an absolute abrogation of Pastoral authority that cannot be found in Scripture. Alas, we have it, and it will take far more influence than I have to ever abolish that unScriptural entity of a deacon board. If you’re preaching expositorally, then it’s really hard to argue when Matthew 5:27 comes right after Matthew 5:26. And now you can really start asking the deacon board if they have a problem with the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture! A pastor cannot be fired for preaching on separationism, the Bible issue, idolatry, tithing, greed or adultery if they’re preaching expositorally.

Reason Three – you have to become a better preacher. If you resolve you’re going to preach through the New Testament, then sooner or later you’re going to run across a passage or verse you don’t understand. I guarantee that. So now you have to roll up your sleeves and dig into the text, opening your Textus Receptus and your Vine’s. You will end up knowing a LOT more about the Bible than you did before! And the congregation does as well.

Reason Four – your congregation will grow and mature as Christians. It’s hard to stay an unmatured Christian when the congregation is being fed meat instead of milk. Sermonettes make Christianettes or marionettes. Feeding your congregation baby food leaves you with a congregation of babies. But dig into the text and start explaining what the Bible means, and now people are adding to their understanding and beliefs about the Bible. Christians, according to John MacArthur, operate out of their beliefs. They forget what you exhort them to do, but they will always act according to their beliefs. By feeding them pure meat, you shape their beliefs, and the congregation grows spiritually.

Reason Five – The congregation now will accept the validity of the Pastor’s study time. If you’re preaching about how this word can only be found five times in the Bible, the congregation undergoes a change. They will begin to accept – even insist on – the need of the pastor to spend hours a day in study. Why? They’re getting FED! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve caught onto certain Greek and Hebrew words. If I were your pastor, you’d expect this kind of teaching every Sunday – and you’d become so accustomed to it that the lack of it would make you start insisting I get study time. And love of study of the Bible is one of the hallmarks of the calling of a Pastor.

Expository preaching is often viewed as boring – the problem is, most preachers who preach expository are boring. It’s not the method of the preaching, but rather, the preacher with the method. If the Bible does not excite you, why are you in the pulpit? It’s not an easy job or an easy income – you want that, there’s jobs out there that ARE easy. The Bible should be your obsession if you’re called to preach or teach! I am often fascinated by the minutae present in Bible passages. I love reading a passage and realizing that what I just read in this book is echoed in this other book!

Preach expository. Your congregation is demanding it. They deserve it.

A Quick Thought for Pastors

There’s a few pastors who have followed my blog. So here’s a thought.

Your sermon must tell, educate and explain more about the passage than the congregation can determine from just READING it.

You had to learn Greek and Hebrew to graduate seminary.

Use it.

Is there a repeated word? Is this word rarely used in the sermon?

The Bible is written in Greek and Hebrew. The congregation doesn’t care that much about Greek tenses – but they’re interested in what words mean.

Dig deeper. Just looking in Holman’s Bible Handbook and writing a sermon in one hour will not feed them.

Cut back on visiting prayer groups. Cut back on all the excess stuff. The Pastor’s primary job is to preach. The job writing the sermon should be Tuesday morning, not Friday or Sunday at 6 AM.

Evernote for Ministry Research

I’m always on the lookout for anything that can assist me in cataloging and storing resources. When I first started this blog, I wanted to give appropriate references. What I needed was a reference manager, and I couldn’t find one. Now I have Zotero, but for a while there, all my research was lost. If that ever happens to you, I wrote an article on how to get it back. It takes like 21 steps.

I also have been looking for a way to save webpages. I’ve done it in Zotero, and I’ve saved to PDF. But often I’m in a hurry, and the endless “save to” “Save as” process of saving a web page to PDF was truly irritating.

And it left you with no real way to catalog what you saved. So to write an article sometimes took hours, if not days. The worst was when I saw an article on an official Seventh Day Adventist website where they credited the man who influenced Charles Taze Russell’s corrupt theology as being “A genuine Seventh Day Adventist.”

It created a hoo-rah of controversy when I published the post, and the SDA website pulled the quote from the article.

Enter Evernote. If I’d had Evernote, I could have saved it as an article, added keywords, and then clipped the address to Zotero. No kidding. Real quick to do.

If you’re involved in Christian ministry, Evernote is a tool you need. I think the best bet is to get the Plus membership, at $32 a year. I’ve gone a year with it at the free level, but some months I’m pretty much stopped cold by the 10th day because I’m almost at my free limit. I’m either going to get the Business level (which is on sale) or the plus level.

Get into the habit of clipping things. Have a default category, then plan out an admin day every month where you go through all your clippings and categorize them into the correct notebooks, and add appropriate tags, like “quote later” “Heretic”, etc.

Embarassing Newspaper article

Years ago, I remember growing up in New England. Well, I remember it TODAY… but I grew up years ago in New England. I remember the huge media buzz about Pope John Paul was coming to Massachusetts, and the newspapers were buzzing about the details etc.
Sept 30, the stadium will be readied.
Sept 31, they will begin assembling the stadium for the Pope’s appearance
Oct. 1, the Pope will speak.

I wonder how long it took for them to realize there’s no Sept. 31?

There you go. Free sermon illustration from a man who hates Sermon illustrations.

When you preach this, please remember to point out Pope John Paul II was not a Christian. He was a Roman Catholic, believed in Salvation by Works, and was totally devoted to Mary.

Longing for the Ministry

I’ve spent years preparing for the pulpit, praying for it, studying for it, working on advancing my knowledge of it.

PreachPhoto by Andrew Yardley on Unsplash

One of the biggest disappointments of my life is the realization that this may not be what God has in store for me.

I’m really not sure, but I really would have thought that after 5 years of doing this blog, that a church somewhere would have contacted me and said, “Hey, you’re exactly the kind of pastor we’ve been looking for.”

Especially after my series’ on church planting, pastoring, sermon writing, etc.In 2015 I put a lot of work into articles on how any man can start the process of being a pastor. What it entails. How to prepare. How even to get into a seminary. How to study the bible. How to preach. How to name a church.

It’s leading me to believe that perhaps the ministry I’ve been praying for.. Is the one I’ve been doing all along.

This blog.

That realization hit me hard. I did break down and weep when I realized it. But very often, the people in the Bible prayed to be able to do one thing, and eventually had to bow to God’s will, not their own.

If God wanted me to pastor, then it would have happened already. So what I’ve got is probably this.

The essential part of the Christian life is that some get to choose what ministry they want to perform for the Lord. Others do not.
And submission to what God wants is a major part of the Christian life.

It’s truly painful to realize it.

But God’s will be done.

The Lord has allowed this ministry to me, and I’m thankful for it.

The Pastor’s Study

I’ve talked about this program before.

pastors study
The Pastor’s Study – Click the graphic to download!

Here’s a list of sermons I did a few years ago.

I think this program is indispensable. You can track your visitation schedule, contact info for congregation, library, journal entries, Sermon illustrations, and interact with your chosen word processor, presentation program, and even open your chosen Bible program – all from within this program! This literally is a Pastor’s office inside a single program!

I keep my download files (most of the time) so I could offer it – but i’d need his permission. And there’s no way to reach him right now. UPDATE 2017: HERE IT IS!!!! Click Here to download! (thanks to Worthy of Praise for changing my web hosting plan to accommodate this!)

Anyway, it’s possible to write your sermon in this program, and then print out the pages. I never used it for that, I just used it to catalog all my sermons.

If you’re the author of this program, I’d love to hear from you.

Anyway, what I did was write it in Wordsearch (now that I’m used to Logos’s much better word processor, the Wordsearch one seems hideous to me), and then open The Pastor’s Study and enter it in there.

The interesting thing for me is to begin to see how I’ve preached the verses 1 Cor. 10:13, 1 John 1:9, 1 John 2:6, 1 Kings 19:4, 1 Kings 19:18, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Thess. 4:14, 1 Thess. 5:23-24, 1 Tim. 4:6, 2 Thess. 2:13-15, 2 Tim. 2:11-13… and many more.

It’s exciting.

I’m really tickled to see in my mind the outline of the Bible, and little check-marks where I’ve preached. This can help you to focus and think, “Okay, I’m always in 1 & 2 Timothy, and Matthew…” and start looking at quoting other texts too.

If your church is actually in a building, and not a rented place or a house church, I’d make the report list and print it on the wall right next to my computer. Maybe in a gilded fancy frame.

Because it’s a huge thing, to me able to meet the Lord face to face and tell Him, “I’ve preached from every book of the Bible.”

And of course, to see His smile, and the gentle response, “And you got every one of them wrong.”

But anyway, you tried!

Download this tremendously cool ( – and free!) program! You’ll be glad you did if you’re in the ministry!