I have mentioned here that one of my heroes of the faith is W.F. Lown, the president of Manhattan Christian College and one of the two founders of Christian Missionary Fellowship. Dr. Lown taught Preaching III in college and I heard him preach more times than I can count at the school and on school road trips. And in a previous post, I mentioned that he was a preaching hero of mine because “he modeled excellence in preparation, intensity in delivery and an obvious love for those to whom he was preaching.”
I am thinking of Bill Lown today because I am quoting him in my sermon tomorrow. I am preaching from Acts 20 re: elders in the local church. I am quoting an exchange I heard which involved Dr. Lown. Someone was making a comment about a preacher or elder that they both knew. The first person said that the man in question was doctrinally straight as an arrow, but was not a loving person. Dr. Lown thought for a minute and then quietly asked, “When did love stop being a doctrine?”
Ever since that time I have tried to remember the importance of the balance. Doctrinal accuracy MUST include a spirit of love if it is indeed to be doctrinally accurate. It can be said of many preachers as well as elders alike that their doctrine is incomplete because they have not yet learned the doctrine of Christian love. May it not be said of us.