Pastor Killed, Beaten With Electric Guitar

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G. N. Barkman's picture

How sad.  Nothing can justify such violent behavior.  It is a sober reality that pastors and churches do not command general respect in our society as once they did.

Is it also telling that the proof that the pastor was a real leader is that he had a hug for everyone?  Not that he faithfully proclaimed the Word of God.  Not that he stood for truth against the flood tide of unbelief.

Perhaps this good pastor had unwittingly helped contribute to the decline that precipitated such a vicious attack upon a pastor and church.

G. N. Barkman

JGreen's picture

I don't know the man or what/how he preached.  I also don't know everything which was told to the reporters after the murder.  However, history has repeatedly shown that newspapers tend to edit themselves when they write their articles and omit specific facts for various reasons.  Please don't assume that this man contributed in any way to his own death by not faithfully preaching the Word of God.

G. N. Barkman's picture

JGreen,

Thank you for reminding me that I should not rush to judgment.  I should have added that my impression was formed entirely by the newspaper article, and I am well aware that reporting is often not accurate.

I trust he was a faithful man of God.  We do know that many are not.  Those who are not contribute to moral decline in society, and less respect for pastors and churches.

It is ironic that the methods that are promoted as necessary to reach the un-churched often actually contribute to greater disillusionment with churches.

G. N. Barkman

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

G. N. Barkman wrote:

It is ironic that the methods that are promoted as necessary to reach the un-churched often actually contribute to greater disillusionment with churches.


What you write here is certainly true, but let us also remember that from the perspective of an outsider, even if it's reported honestly, there can be some differences in what they see.

Someone who "has a hug for everyone" is often much more respected than someone who only proclaims the truth from "on high," even if the truth is appreciated. The first couple of verses of I Cor 13 come to mind. I can't see how keeping a focus on those verses in one's ministry would necessarily have to lead to bad methods.

Dave Barnhart

G. N. Barkman's picture

Sorry for the misunderstanding.  I didn't mean to imply that giving everybody a big hug was in itself evidence of a weak ministry.  However, I did think it significant that apparently, the most important feature of his ministry was the "big hug," not a faithful pulpit.

G. N. Barkman

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

G. N.

I wondered the same thing, though it did dawn on me later that the statement might be more indicative of an immature parishioner than an inadequate pastor.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I was thinking the same as Chip.  It's easy for someone who is either immature or not even a part of a congregation to value other things more highly than they value the truth, and to note that when they remember a person.

But when it comes down to it, and you are remembering someone who has departed, the first thing that comes to mind might not be "he spoke the truth to us."  You can hear the truth in more places than you can hear the truth spoken in love.  And let's face it, the way "all men" know that we are Jesus' disciples is our love one for another, not (interestingly) how much we speak the truth.

Dave Barnhart

G. N. Barkman's picture

Having a big hug for everyone does not equate with the exercise of Biblical love.  This seems to be an example of mistaking the external and superficial for spiritual reality.  It is impossible to love God and others without a strong love for the Truth, that is, the Word of God.

I pray that when I die, the thing people will remember most about me is that I was faithful to teach them the Word of God.  If we love the souls of men, we will give them God's truth, and endeavor to lead them to believe, receive, and apply the truth to their lives.

G. N. Barkman

G. N. Barkman's picture

Thanks, Jim, for the link.  That's a good article, and tells us a bit more about this man's ministry.  Still haven't heard anything about his faithfulness in the pulpit, but it sounds like he was a man of genuine compassion and practical concern for others.

G. N. Barkman

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Having a big hug for everyone does not equate with the exercise of Biblical love.  This seems to be an example of mistaking the external and superficial for spiritual reality.  It is impossible to love God and others without a strong love for the Truth, that is, the Word of God.

I pray that when I die, the thing people will remember most about me is that I was faithful to teach them the Word of God.  If we love the souls of men, we will give them God's truth, and endeavor to lead them to believe, receive, and apply the truth to their lives.


You'll get no disagreement with me on this, but again, it comes down to how others see us. Many in the world would equate a hug (i.e. "acceptance") with love before they would equate the truth with love, especially when many go out of their way to NOT speak the truth in love, but very abrasively. "FAGS WILL GO TO HELL" signs might speak the truth, but I seriously doubt any non-Christian will see this as love, no matter how true it is.

Other Christians you know (especially those in your congregation who have known you for a long time) might indeed remember you faithfully giving them the word of God -- if it was done with love. Those from the press in your area who are not Christians will probably not remember that unless you really lived among them and shared their burdens with them. And maybe not even then, since those who are not saved are easily blinded to the truth, and a superficial hug might be all they think of.

I remember when my childhood pastor passed away. The local paper, which had been mostly antagonistic to the things he did, said, and wrote while he was alive, remembered him by saying "He never reaped the financial rewards which could have been his, but lived a simple life of service to his people." No mention of "the truth" (which they wouldn't have considered his preaching to be anyway), but they saw how he ministered. An article written by other fundamental Christians wouldn't have stopped where the paper article did, because our pastor *did* go out of his way to make the Word known. That's not the part of love that most of the world will see, though.

I would agree with you that in the case of the pastor mentioned in the article, there is nothing to indicate that his ministry was one of preaching the word faithfully (or that it wasn't).

Dave Barnhart

G. N. Barkman's picture

We could continue to go around and around on this, so I'll keep it brief.  I agree with your point about the world and the secular press.  However, after reading two different articles, both of them quoting church members, it seems to me that faithfulness to God's Word was not what characterized this pastor.  This is not what the world or the press said, but what church members were quoted to have said.  He clearly had a testimony of compassion and practical concern.  I see no evidence that he had a reputation for faithfully preaching God's Word, at least that doesn't seem to be what made a lasting impression upon his church members.

G. N. Barkman

Larry's picture

Moderator

I see no evidence that he had a reputation for faithfully preaching God's Word, at least that doesn't seem to be what made a lasting impression upon his church members.

And where have you looked for this evidence? A couple of news articles?

I don't know the man or anything about him, but are you really willing to make such a dogmatic statement based on a couple of newspaper articles about a man's untimely and brutal death?

G. N. Barkman's picture

OK.  I have obviously offended some of you with my comments.  I've tried to make it clear that my only information and perceptions came from the two newspaper articles I read.  (Only one until Jim posted a second.)  So no, I don't know what kind of pulpit ministry he pursued.  However, we wouldn't know anything about him if the reporters hadn't interviewed some church members and printed their comments.  My point is this:  when asked to comment on what characterized their pastor, no one mentioned his faithful teaching.  That's all.  It doesn't prove he wasn't a faithful preacher.  It does indicate that this is not what the people interviewed remember about him.  Sorry to have ruffled some feathers.  I will gladly bow out now.

G. N. Barkman

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Pastor Barkman,

You haven't offended me at all, and I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. I also apologize if what I said was an offense to you.

I went back and re-read the article, and obviously, I missed where it was an "associate minister" who made the comment about hugs. That would obviously put a different light on the situation than I originally thought.

Dave Barnhart

Larry's picture

Moderator

You didn't offend me. I don't really care. I would just urge caution and realize that it is likely that not everyone was interviewed, and other people might say different things (or might not ... we don't know).

In times of grief, people generally think about certain things. It is unlikely that the first thing that comes to mind in a tragic death is that he was a great defender of truth when he preached. And it is unlikely that a newspaper would print that, even if it was said.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Larry wrote:

In times of grief, people generally think about certain things. It is unlikely that the first thing that comes to mind in a tragic death is that he was a great defender of truth when he preached. And it is unlikely that a newspaper would print that, even if it was said.


This is what I was trying to get at with what I wrote as well. Obviously, you said it in fewer words and much better than I did.

Dave Barnhart

G. N. Barkman's picture

If John MacArthur died, what do you think the members of his church are most likely to say about him?

G. N. Barkman