Paul Washer’s Ten Indictments

Have you ever heard of Paul Washer before? Probably not, but if you have it’s probably because of what’s become known as his shocking youth message. He’s done alot more than just that though. This man is incredibly passionate about the gospel, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him preach anything but that. This video is probably one of my favorite things I’ve seen by him. It’s two hours, and that’s long, but it’s definitely worth every minute of it. He spends the two hours teaching about ten major problems he sees in the church that he believes seriously need changing. I’ve summarized them below, but I would definitely recommending watching the video, because my summary is just that – a summary, and a poor one at that.

1. A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture (begins at 13:15)

It is necessary to come to see that, not only is Scripture inerrant, but it is also sufficient. We don’t need to (and shouldn’t) consult social sciences and popular psychology about how to live our lives and how to run a church, because the Bible is sufficient. In our planning and choices, we should open the Bible and say, “What is thy will, O God?”. (Isa. 8:16-20, 1 Tim 4:1-32 Tim. 3:14-17)

2. An ignorance of God (begins at 20:07)

Everyone knows that God is love, and he is forgiving, and he has a plan for your life. But we often ignore the fact that he is perfectly holy, righteous, just, and wrathful. And because we don’t realize those attributes of God, the idea of fearing God is lost on most people. We’re more likely to create a god in our own image and worship it rather than worship the true God, and because of this we have thousands of Christian self-help books to help us be godly, instead of being truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit. (Psa 50:21Jer 9:23-24, 1 Cor 15:34)

3. A failure to address man’s depravity (begins at 26:00)

So, what does the Bible teach about humans? It teaches that we are totally depraved in every way, and there is nothing in us that is pleasing to God. The problem is that, in order to be tolerant and accepting, we downplay the problem of sin and treat it superficially. This is a serious problem because until you realize how disgusting your sin is to a holy God, you can’t even begin to repent from it, and without repentance there is no salvation. (Gen 6:5, 8:21, Isa 64:6-7, Rom 1:18-32, 3:9-20)

4. An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ (begins at 34:10)

If you’re not going to watch the video, I would at least recommend checking out this section of it. Because so few people know the gospel, it’s been reduced to 5 spiritual laws and 4 things you need to know about God. But the gospel is this: God is perfectly holy, righteous and just. We are not. Therefore, because God is just he must condemn us, or else he would be unjust. However, God crushed his own son in the place of those who repent and believe, because his only son took on our sin and paid the penalty for us in our place, to satisfy the wrath of God. That, in short, is the gospel, and that is what needs to be taught in church and evangelized. None of this “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” fluff that’s all true but doesn’t lead to genuine repentance. Check out Paul Washer’s thoughts on that. (Pro 17:15Rom 3:21-31)

5. An ignorance about the doctrine of regeneration (starts at 44:00)

How do you know if you’re saved? Is it because you once said a prayer as a child and you think you were sincere? Of course not. Paul says to examine yourself. Jesus says that good trees must bear good fruit. You can not be born again simply because some evangelist tricked you into “conversion.” You can only be born again by the Holy Spirit. (Mat 7:15-23, 12:33-35, 2 Cor 13:5)

6. An unbiblical gospel invitation (starts at 53:06)

This is basically a result of the above indictments. If you don’t understand God’s nature, and if you don’t understand man’s nature, and if you don’t understand the gospel or the regeneration that follows the gospel, how could you possibly attempt to invite people to the gospel?

7. Ignorance regarding the nature of the church (starts at 1:08:20)

We hear so much talk of how the statistics inside the church are the same as outside of the church (divorce rates, abuse, addictions, etc.). That’s because it’s not that the “sheep” are causing the problems, but rather the “goats” that have gotten into the churches, and have become the majority. The church is not our institutions full of goats, but rather Christ’s sheep whom he is shepherding. (Jer 31:31-34, 32:37-41)

8. A lack of loving and compassionate church discipline (starts at 1:23:18)

This doesn’t mean the church should be using excommunication as the first method of discipline attempted. However, we do still need discipline. You can’t be too loving to discipline. Discipline is about love. If a parent claimed he was too loving to discipline his child, we would consider him foolish. It’s the same with the church. Churches must discipline. (Mat 18:15-17)

9. A silence on separation and holiness (starts at 1:29:48)

Very few people understand or care about pursuing a holy lifestyle. How can you claim to love Christ, and yet watch, listen to, and do the things that he detests? You can only love one and hate the other. (Heb 12:12-14, 2 Cor 6:14-15)

10. The denial of the sufficiency in regards to the family (starts at 1:37:07)

This is pretty much a more in-depth look at the first indictment. Often we’re much more concerned about what Oprah and Dr. Phil have to say about raising our families than what the Bible actually says. We end up doing what’s right in our own eyes. This is definitely clear in the way we do Sunday school, and also in the way we do youth groups.  Children are no longer taught by their fathers, and that “duty” has been given to Sunday school teachers, who generally do a poor job of it anyways. And our youth groups are based on worldly practices that pretty much guarantee the youth will increase in their worldliness.


~ by Jeff on December 14, 2009.

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