Jun 19 2012
I would like to call attention to the fact that our day is a day which the ruling philosophy is pragmatism….Pragmatism means if it works it's true. If it succeeds it's good. And the test of all practices, all principles, all truth, so called all teaching, is do they work? Do they work? Now - according to pragmatism, the greatest failures of the ages have been some of the men God has honored most.
For instance, whereas Noah was a mighty good ship builder, his main occupation wasn't shipbuilding, it was preaching. He was a terrible failure as a preacher. His wife and three children and their wives were all he had. Seven converts in 120 years, you wouldn't call that particularly effective. Most mission boards would have asked the missionaries to withdraw long before this.
And then we come to another well known person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was a failure according to all the standards. He never succeeded in organizing a church or denomination. He wasn't able to build a school. He didn't succeed in getting a mission board established. He never had a book printed. He never was able to get any of the various criteria or instruments that we find are so useful, I'm not being sarcastic at all, they are useful. And our Lord preached for three years, healed thousands of people, fed thousands of people, and yet when it was all over there were 120...500 to whom he could have revealed Himself after His resurrection. And the day that He was taken, one man said, "If all the others forsake you, I'm willing to die for you." He looked at this one and said "Peter you don't know your own heart. You're going to deny me three times before the cock crows this morning." So all men forsook Him and fled. By every standard of our generation or any generation, our Lord was a singular failure.
The question comes then to this, what is the standard of success and by what are we going to judge our lives and our ministry? And the question that you are going to ask yourself, "Is God an end or is He a means?" Our generation is prepared to honor successful choices. As long as a person can get things done or get the job done then our generation is prepared to say well done.
--Paris Reidhead, Ten Shekels and a Shirt