A Preacher on the Fence
The following is an old poem, but I do not know the author or the original source. I first heard it in July 1982, when that old spiritual warhorse Perry F. Rockwood read it as he was preaching a sermon entitled “New Evangelical Dreamers” at the 10th annual Fundamental Bible Conference in California. It was my first occasion to preach at one of those conferences (not defunct), and it was a great privilege. I was just a veritable kid for a preacher (32 years old), but I so enjoyed the fellowship with men who were unashamed of biblical separation and who were willing to let their separatist flag fly high against all apostasy and compromise, men were studious and believed in really educating God’s people.
Since 1982, a ton of Independent Baptist preachers have hopped on the fence, if not jumped entirely over it on the wrong side.
From out the millions of the earth
God often calls a man
To preach the Word
And for the Truth to take a royal stand.
'Tis sad to see him shun the cross,
nor stand in its defense;
Between the fields of right and wrong,
A preacher on the fence.
Before him are the souls of men
Bound for heaven or hell;
An open Bible in his hand,
And yet he will not tell
All the truth that's written there;
To them 'twould be an offense.
The joys of heaven, the woes of hell.
A preacher on the fence.
Now surely God has called a man
To battle for the right;
'Tis his to ferret out the wrong,
And turn on us the light.
And yet he dare not tell the truth;
He fears the consequence;
The most disgusting thing on earth
Is a preacher on the fence.
If he should stand up for the wrong,
The right he'd not defend.
If he should stand up for the right,
The wrong he would offend.
His mouth is closed; he cannot speak
For freedom or against.
Great God, please deliver us
From a preacher on the fence!
But soon both sides will find him out,
And brand him as a fraud.
A coward who dares not to please
the devil or his God.
Oh Lord, free us from fear of man;
From cowardly pretense;
Cleanse out the dross and fear of loss,
And keep us off the fence!
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