“Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air” (1 Cor. 14:7-9).

Although the subject here is the gift of tongues and interpretation, the point being made is to speak in order to be understood. Too many preachers are not doing that.

GOP candidate Donald Trump is teaching preachers a lesson. Many may think he’s rude and harsh, but he speaks clearly and plainly and is quite difficult to misunderstand. Most of all, the people are responding to his message.

Perhaps we as preachers have robbed ourselves by being gray instead of black and white. Perhaps we’ve robbed the church of more converts and true followers because we think they don’t want to hear plain speech, when in fact, they do. Perhaps it is time to reconsider that in our quest not to offend them we are repelling them.

Ambiguity has no part in the gospel. There is to be a certain and clear sound coming from our pulpits. Political correctness has no part in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. If a preacher cannot speak clearly about the tenets of the faith, especially as it relates to such a sacred subject like marriage he doesn’t belong in the pulpit. He needs to get out and find another occupation. A politician might better suit one of such cowardice.

“You be careful when anybody comes to you with a sugar-coated pill or with a slimy tongue. They are always of the devil. The Spirit of the Lord will always deal with truth.” — Smith Wigglesworth

The root of the problem here is money, friends, and influence. Many preachers who are in the limelight will seek to talk in such a way as to not lose money, friends, and influence. Such preachers need to be reminded that our loyalty is not to people but to the truth. I don’t care how many favors the people have done for you or how much of a friend they may be. I don’t even care if they are close relatives. To prefer them over Jesus and the Scriptures is to be a traitor to the highest cause.

Both Elijah the prophet and Elisha his successor coined this phrase, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand…” (1 Kings 17:1, 18:5; 2 Kings 3:14, 5:16). Paul, the apostle coined a similar expression, “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:17).

In both Elijah’s and Paul’s day, as it is today, there were many false prophets and apostles who peddled the word of God for money, favor, and influence. However, Elijah and Paul ministered in the sight of God. They were men of sincerity and truth, who feared God and hated covetousness. Such were the qualifications for leaders as far back as the time of Moses (Ex. 18:21).

What T.D. Jakes and other high profile religious leaders do when they are faced with a direct question in a public forum is they cower down and sugar-coat things they say to avoid offense and controversy. They say it is to keep the door open for the witness of the gospel and not cut the people off that they are trying to reach. But when do you tell these people the real, plain, clear truth? The way you win them is ultimately the way you are going to keep them. If you are going to win them with unclear speech and fuzzy doctrine then you must keep them by feeding them with the same. This is the reason we have so called gay “Christians” in our churches. They don’t really know where you stand because you’ve substituted influence for truth.

There is no question we are to love everyone, but there are certain standards in Scripture for membership in a church that professes the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person’” (1 Cor. 5:12-13).

In case you didn’t know the subject at hand that Paul is addressing, here it is:

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person” (1 Cor. 5:9-11).

Paul is addressing habitual sin, especially sexual immorality in the church. In this case, it was incest. Paul was commanding the Corinthian Christians not to keep company with sexually immoral people who call themselves a brother (or a sister).

Here is a shocker for many: Exclusivity is a part of kingdom culture. Say what? That’s right. There is an exclusivity in Christianity. That would include gay “Christians”. Our sympathetic views toward this celebrated group in our culture is a form of cowardice and low esteem for the standards laid out in Scripture. Yes, you will be called hateful and bigoted. But that has been our problem.

We want to blend in with the pop culture instead of stick out. We don’t want to be hated or misunderstood. But isn’t that also a part of our kingdom culture?

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (Jn. 15:18-19).

Yet in all this, we are not to exclude the world. We are to keep company with them just as our Lord and Master taught us (Lk. 15:1-2).

The issue of habitual sin is a church and kingdom issue, not a world issue. I trust that Mr. Jakes and Mr. Houston in attempting to love the sinner, in this case the LGBT community, will find the wisdom to do so without compromising the Scriptures. Love with truth, compassion with conviction, mercy with might – that is the certain sound that everyone should be hearing.

Anything else is speaking into the air.



  1. May God continue to bless you and use you brother Bert as you blow the trumpet distinctly and clearly so that the church may understand. It is refreshing to hear a “certain” sound when there are so many uncertain sounds being played. 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you

  2. I call Mr. Trump, The Triumphant Trump because he holds the trump card of telling the truth and he’s not compromising his stand on any issues. He also is not just tooting his horn either. He is actually heralding what must be done in this nation if we plan to stay the in the leadership position of all the other nations in the world. He’s Blowing his trumpet loud and clear to those of us who have ears to hear! We as a nation have sent more missionaries to all parts of the world than any other nation on the face of the earth ever! So God’s not finished with The United States of America yet. Mr. Trump I encourage you to keep blowing your trumpet. I like it when you shout out that you will help make America a great nation again. Do I hear an Amen? Selah.

  3. Thanks for sharing… If I am candid I think your tone might be a little off and you might be missing the real heart of the matter. It’s easy to a point finger. Remember this… Jesus did not directly answer the questions of those who were trying to ensnare him. He usually responded with a parable, question, or a redirection of the conversation. I wonder if we should address the lost with truth in love and with a shepherds heart and not as bully with a pulpit. Also, it seems to me that it should be at the right time. Timing and environment are usually pretty important. I am always couscous of Christians who cast a stone at others who are being used by God. I wonder if correction without LOVE is simply criticism. And, we know who the accuser of brethren is… Right? Just my unfiltered thoughts… Blessings…

    • My call is for clarity. My approach is straightforward. There is no bullying or bashing. Actually, your response seems much more incriminating than mine.
      Thanks for comments.

  4. Awesome words, very true brother.
    I think you wrote with a lot of sympathy on TD Jakes and Houston, these people are first and foremost false teachers; they are agents of the devil used by the devil to deceive many (Matthew 24:24).
    So we cant really address them as true Believers who are simply shy to speak the Truth; they are not believers at all; they are an insult to the Gospel of our LORD.

    • Although I believe these men need to speak more clearly I do not believe at all that they are false teachers but true brothers in the Lord. And it is quite an overreach to refer to them as false teachers or agents of the devil. Be careful. Thanks!

  5. Response to the Trump Effect
    Years ago I was on staff at a Word of Faith church in N.E. that was on the rise. Much to my dismay, we went “seeker sensitive” following Bill Hybels’ model. I cried out to the Lord in utter disbelief and He spoke this to me, “THE TYPE OF BAIT YOU USE WILL DETERMINE THE TYPE OF FISH YOU CATCH.” Whoa! The seeker sensitive approach is to “bait” people into church with a dumbed-down message and once you get them in you get them saved. Sounds “otherly,” right? However, even Bill Hybels, who I believe is a humble, godly man, years later publicly stated that after a year or two of discipleship, they were only producing immature, carnal Christians. I don’t believe there was a flaw in their discipleship program, but it was more about the message they conveyed at the very beginning–a “palatable” Gospel. Folks, serious seekers usually avoid seeker-sensitive churches and so you end up with only one type of “fish”, people who are curious, but generally not serious about pursuing God. Don’t get me wrong, the church is open to whosoever–the biker, the hooker, the burned-out hippie, the stoned rapper, the New Ager, the curious. All are welcome. Every church has them, but needs more mature believers to assist in their growth and help them with their struggles. Any pastor knows it takes time and personnel to disciple some folks and certainly many become on fire believers. But how can a church made up of immature Christians disciple the end-time harvest?! The true church has to be unapologetic about the Gospel and even “speaking the Truth in love” still offends some because it is non-negotiable and at enmity with the world. Another downside of a church turned seeker-sensitive– many more established, mature believers leave them and, yes, I agree with what Brother Bert said, “Perhaps we as preachers have robbed ourselves by being gray instead of black and white. Perhaps we’ve robbed the church of more converts and true followers because we think they don’t want to hear plain speech, when in fact, they do. Perhaps it is time to reconsider that in our quest not to offend them we are repelling them.”

    • Now those are some great comments Barbara! I wish you’d post those up on our Holy Fire Ministries ministry Facebook page because I’ve gotten a little flak from some people on this. thanks!

  6. Not sure if you follow Joel Houston on Instagram or Facebook but lately he’s been getting very political and very clearly anti – trump more specifically with regards to very clearly endorsing what’s going on with the refugees could hill song be corrupt/linked to the New World order???

    • I don’t really know about any of this. I try and stay out of the rumor mill and gossip. If we’re not sure it’s true we shouldn’t even talk about it. Let’s stay busy with the Father’s business.

  7. This is so refreshing, I have felt that some in the church are like the establishment Trump has been fighting …You know the legalistic club attitude. The big boys club… They have an arrogance about them. And it stinks…God gave me a dream about mr Trump and His Wife God spoke to me and said these are good people. , I believe he is like a king Cyrus which just so happens to be Isaiah 45 and I do believe God has raised Trump up to be the 45th president of the USA. Religious people hate Trump, by that I mean the Pharisee type Christian, I have never seen more demons manifest around some so called Christians than when his name is mentioned. He is not perfect, but who is, but he is perfect to lead the USA for the next 8 years and I believe that he was born for such a time as this……Go Trump my prayers are with you and your lovely family.

    • There are some things I like about Mr. Trump, but his record is still very liberal. As someone who is very conservative with a Christian world view I am not convinced he’d make a good president. I need to see more from him in the coming weeks.

      • Your perspective is right on. My husband and I left our church for those very reasons. Truth sets people in the right direction.
        I am surprised what you said about Trump.Can you not perceive God’s hand on him. He’s far from politically correct but he is a good man….research all his history. The Lord used many men and the word shares, that were not Christians to deliver Isreal and help his own.you should know this. You should humble yourself and stop judging Trump wrongly. You should be supporting him to help others see the lies going on all around him. Have you personally spoken to him? Have you put the time in to make sure YOU are not going with the flow and not being politically correct in the same kind of thinking. Which is seems shallow and immature thinking in your mind.
        You have gotten a lot of flack for your honesty, and people are judging you wrongly that are Babs in the Lord.
        But you don’t catch yourself decerning Trump as not competent to be president.
        Well he is far superior and more honest than Hillary. And isn’t running because he wants power or fame or money. He TRUELY loves America and wants to be a part of bringing it out of wicked hands that rule it now.
        We need pastors who have the courage to stand up and lead America in political help and research for the right candidate to vote for. Stop criticizing and find the good in Trump be different than TD Jake’s who will be shocked someday at how far from the voice of God he had gotten. He’s warm.
        Warm is the problem….don’t you be warm on anything the Lord wants us on fire for Him and Trump is on fire for this country to save it. Open your spiritual eye and see the Love he have for Americans. You may be able to see God has chosen him, not because he’s perfect …but because he can get the job done that needs to be done for us Christians too.
        Don’t be vague either it’s not respectable or attractive and it seems your doing what you’ve written about here but about Trump.
        Be sure before you speak…you have great influence and our country is going down the tubes because of pastors and preachers too that won’t take a clear speech stance on the person we need to vote for. We have only two options. Stand strong on one. But make sure it’s the one the Lord has chosen. Can you not percieve the diffdtence between him and Clinton? Can you all do that for the church in America please.

      • I’m done with politics for awhile. Most politicians will say anything to get votes. For crying out loud, Obama told us he was born again. I will vote my conscience, which no man can command. Time will tell what will become of our nation. My purpose is advancing the kingdom of God.

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