Robert D. Pace
It was not unusual for me to tune-in to the Rush Limbaugh Show, but this day was different. Rush announced that his brother David would join him to discuss his book, “Jesus on Trial–A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel.” What I heard for the next 22-minutes astounded me! Mr. Limbaugh presented an unashamed, bold and clear presentation of the Gospel that I believe elicited a joyous roar from the “great cloud of witnesses” that listened. For 22-minutes David spoke breathlessly regarding the reliability of the Bible, the Cross, the Resurrection, personal transformation, and the Deity of Jesus Christ. I could not have been more thrilled to hear him share the Gospel with the hundreds of thousands of listeners that tuned-in.
However, (Yes, I’m inserting that adverb, however. . .) I must admit I was dismayed by David Limbaugh’s candid, closing statements. After a rousing presentation of the Gospel this is what he stated:
I’m not one of these charismatic type of Christians, but I firmly believe the Bible is the Word of God, and I’m excited about it and I want to be contagious in my enthusiasm for the Bible to inspire a like interest in other people so that they can explore it and receive the life-changing benefits that I have received.
“I’m not one of those charismatic type of Christians,” said David Limbaugh. Whatever this statement meant, there was an unquestionable indictment in those words. But, in his defense, I do not believe Mr. Limbaugh had suggested he wanted nothing to do with the precious Charismatic endowment that the Holy Spirit reserves for Christian service. In fact, even with Mr. Limbaugh’s reputation as a lawyer, it was clear that the Holy Spirit had anointed him that day with the gift of prophecy to proclaim the Gospel. Taking it a step further, he had operated with a remarkable evangelistic gift on that broadcast, too! Here’s what I think David Limbaugh meant with his “charismatic type” disclaimer.
I felt he was rejecting those that have turned the Gospel of Christ into an American Prosperity message. Such a message substitutes the Cross, repentance from sin, and dying to self for a message that places man at the center of worship. This ‘charismatic type Christian’ assumes God’s greatest pleasure is their personal happiness. It seemed Mr. Limbaugh distanced himself from the “charismatic type” preacher that promises profligate reciprocity to people that support their ministry. Whatever Mr. Limbaugh meant, he didn’t want to be labeled as such. And rightfully so!
Unfortunately, this has become much of the American brand of the Gospel. As a Pentecostal, I am not only saddened that this is true, I am fearful of what it indicates. When Christians buy in to this “message” they exchange doxology for idolatry. And without doxology the Church has no power to transform lives! While there are temporal blessings that God reserves for Believers, we must remember that these temporal blessings are subsidiaries to the grand spiritual blessings of His kingdom! I have experienced divine healing. God has enriched my financial welfare when I have been in need. I have witnessed the fulfillment of prophecies. But the Bible is clear: everything of this earth is passing away! That means our blessings don’t transfer into Heaven! It’s our sacrifices that transfer to Heaven! It’s when we bless those that curse us, feed those that use us, love those that hate us that supply us with eternal, unfading, inestimable rewards!
Thank you David Limbaugh for your unwitting, prophetic rebuke to Christians that may have strayed from keeping Christ at the center of life. And thank you for reminding us (without actually saying it) that true joy is Jesus, Jesus, and more of Jesus. It is the gift from Heaven that is priceless!
To order David Limbaugh’s book, Jesus on Trial visit his sight at: DavidLimbaugh.com