March 1, 2019

Pastor’s Corner:
THERE IS A STRANGE VOICE. . . lacking today. Don’t get me wrong, we have many voices, but there is an utterance noticeably absent from today’s pulpit. It is the voice of a prophet. A man named Michael Catt once recalled sitting in Vance Havner’s living room eleven months before he died. He was unable to travel and preach as he had for over 60 years. Havner told him he was writing a new book and was going to call the book “FINALLY BRETHREN.”
HE LEANED OVER TOWARD HIM . with that twinkle in his eye and said, “Now, I’m not saying the Lord’s told me anything. . . (lengthy pause) . . .but then again I’m not saying He hasn’t either.” At that moment he knew the end was near. That afternoon he asked Havner to pray that he might have a portion of the prophets’ mantle. He never forgot the hands of that giant resting on his shoulder as he prayed for him.
VANCE HAVNER DIED. . . at age 84, on August 12, 1986. Men of his caliber are sadly missing on the evangelical horizon. Our generation knows more about being a CEO than serving God. The great voices of God are passing off the scene and boomer preachers are, for the most part, as one person puts it, issuing a resounding thud in the pulpit. HAVNER WAS NEVER FLASHY. . . just a humble preacher boy from the country with the obvious anointing of a prophet. Havner wrote over 30 books yet never had a secretary, mailed a brochure or established an evangelistic association. He never promoted himself (a lesson a few evangelists and preachers need to learn).
I am increasingly burdened by the absence of prophets on the American scene. We desperately need a voice “crying in the wilderness.” We don’t need any more faith healers, or health and wealth charlatans. We need prophets calling us to repentance! Catt later quoted that “the church has more resources and yet a greater ignorance of God’s Word than ever before. The Bible is seldom read and rarely applied. Prophets preach ‘thus saith the Lord.’ We’ve far too many on milk who should have graduated to meat. IT IS NOT ENOUGH. . . that conservatives appreciate the Word. It must also be appropriated, assimilated and applied. We don’t need entertainers. We need expositors who preach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Havner was right when he said, “Water down truth to keep a church, or keep the carnal quiet is the death of the prophet.” God grant is more Vance Havner’s in the pulpits (and yes) even in the pews.
In The Harvest,
Jayson Hoagland