Motive Determines Direction        

I Corinthians 10:31


     Over the years I have observed numerous preachers and churches gradually move away from the bold, forthright declaration of the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ which they once zealously proclaimed. They do not usually deny the doctrines of Christ openly. Instead,they pretend to zealously defend the truth, even though they know they have departed from it. They begin by toning down their message, filing off the rough edges of God's truth which offend men. Next, they make allowances for heresy, excusing the freewillism of one, the legalism of another, and the pentecostalism of another. Gradually disassociating themselves from proven, faithful men, they align themselves with less dogmatic, more acceptable men who have learned how to get along with apostate religionists and climb the ladder of denominational success. Why? What causes men to compromise principles they know to be right and doctrines they know to be true? What causes a man to willfully alter his message and his methods as a preacher? These are questions I have asked myself a thousand times. But I keep coming up with the same answer: A MAN'S MOTIVE ALWAYS DETERMINES THE DIRECTION OF HIS MINISTRY! Compromise in doctrine is the result of compromise in principle. A change of direction in a man's ministry (doctrinally) is the result of a change in motive. If a man's motive is personal ambition after success, recognition, etc., he will do whatever he has to do to get what he wants. For example, if a man wants to be president of the United States, though he may begin with noble ideals, if his motive is getting to be president, he will quickly learn to compromise his ideals. If a man wants to become successful in religion, if he wants to pastor a big church, if he wants to be recognized and applauded by men, if he wants to move up the denominational ladder and make a name for himself, he will sacrifice anything on the altar of his own ambition and figure out a way to live with himself. And compromise in the pulpit, unless it is immediately arrested, inevitably leads to an apostate church.

     THE ONLY THING THAT WILL PRESERVE US FROM COMPROMISE IS HAVING FOR OUR SOLITARY MOTIVE IN ALL THINGS THE GLORY OF GOD. May God preserve us from every other motive, that we may together serve his interests (not our own) in this world, for Christ's sake.



Don Fortner