Criticizing the Church with a Right Heart.

Image from PurelyPresbyterian
By Zach Dotson - Posted at PurelyPresbyterian

The sermon “The Signs of the Times- in the Church” was one of two sermons delivered by the well known Southern Presbyterian Dr. John L. Girardeau on February 7th 1892 (the other sermon in this series being called- “The Signs of the Times- In the World”). In the sermon a wonderful rendition of Protestant History is given along with a depressing outlook on what is to come based upon the massive backsliding and apostasy that so consumed the Visible Church in the day of Girardeau. Girardeau had fought more against the rising tide of backsliding in his day than most, he was the main party who fought against evolution being taught in the Southern Presbyterian Church and he was known for staunch opposition to musical instruments being used in the worship of God. The text used for the sermon was:
Mathew 16:3b- “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”
Girardeau’s sermon was no doubt meant to express the great spiritual drought that so consumed the Church in his day but he opens with an understanding of the solemn frame of mind every Christian should have when criticizing or rebuking the state of the Church. ...