Hearsay versus But I Say – 7/21/20

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Hearsay versus But I Say

Matthew 5

Intro: Six times in this passage, Jesus said, “Ye have heard…” vs. 21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43

These examples are all references to Old Testament passages.

Six times, Jesus also said, “But I say…” (vs. 20, 22, 26, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44)

Each of these instances is the words of Jesus Christ, raising the bar; raising the standard.

This is a long chapter and deals with a variety of issues, such as murder, adultery, divorce, swearing oaths, etc.

I want to focus on the end of the chapter.

The day and age we live in requires a long look at these verses to help us follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

These verses are some of the most difficult verses in the Bible without a doubt.

I. Hearsay says Revenge; But I Say Resist Not – vs. 38, 39

  • 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
  • 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
  • 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
  • 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
  • 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

II. Hearsay says Rationalize; But I Say Relationship – vs. 43-45

  • 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
  • 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  • 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

III. Hearsay says Reciprocate; But I Say Reward – vs. 46-48

  • 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
  • 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
  • 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Now for the application.

Tomorrow morning at 9 AM, an Executive Order from our County Executive goes into effect.

This Executive order mandates the wearing of face masks inside places of worship.

The question on everyone’s mind is this “Will Pastor Shiflett follow this Executive Order?”

My answer is simply, yes.

Let me be clear; I hate facemasks. I don’t like them; I don’t believe they work, and I think they are annoying.

I rarely go into stores because I don’t like wearing them.

I haven’t been into a Wal-Mart in 5 months. I haven’t been inside Giant Food or Aldi’s in 5 months. I haven’t been inside Home Depot or Lowes in 5 months. I hate wearing facemasks.

So why would I follow this Executive Order?

Because it does not violate the Bible, and because it does not violate my Constitutional rights as far as I can tell.

I don’t like it, but it is the mandate of our elected officials, so I will obey it.

I don’t like it, but it is what my Bible tells me to do in many, many places.

I don’t allow my likes or dislikes or emotions to dictate my obedience to Scripture.

I can’t stand up in this pulpit and declare WE ARE GONNA DO IT GOD’S WAY, and then lead this church to disobey our authorities.

Do I agree with our County Executive? No. But he is our authority.

Does he have some kind of hidden agenda? Maybe, but that is irrelevant.

Do I have the right to pick and choose which leaders I obey, and which laws I follow? No.

I believe that maybe God is testing us. He is testing me.

The first test was if we were going to be Biblical. And we publicly protested an UNBIBLICAL mandate and I stood up here in this pulpit and ripped up an order from this county ordering us to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

We went on record in this community and around the world that we were not going to obey any law of man that both required us to violate the Word of God, as well as our Constitutional rights as free Americans.

However, I believe we are now being tested again.

The first test was to see if we were going to be Biblical. And we were.

This test I believe is to see if we are going to be spiritual.

It will require us to die to self; crucify our flesh and follow the teaching of Jesus Christ to obey this new mandate.

As the pastor of this church, I am required to lead this church according to the Bible – not my feelings.

I am required to lead this church according to the teaching of Jesus Christ – not by my emotions or opinions.

I have struggled since the press conference yesterday to make a decision on this new executive order.

I have a group of people that won’t come if we don’t wear masks.

I have a group of people that said they won’t come if we have to wear masks.

And I’m caught in the middle.

I decided to make all our lives simple, and just DO IT GOD’S WAY.

We are going to die to self, crucify our flesh, keep our opinions to ourselves, and obey our authorities.

We are going to pray for them. We are going to love and pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us.

As long as their orders do not violate Scripture, we have to obey.

As long as it does not violate the Constitution, we have no grounds to practice civil disobedience.

If you say, “Well, if we have to wear a mask, I’ll just stay home”, then you will be violating Scripture.

Now listen – if they come out in a week or two and shut down the churches, we’re going back into fight mode.

If they try to keep us from coming to church and worshipping the way God intended, we will defy it.

But this mandate isn’t unbiblical or unconstitutional.

You say – But I’ve heard that masks don’t work. – Hearsay versus But I Say.

You say, But I’ve been watching some videos on Facebook and they say – Hearsay versus But I Say

You say, Preacher, I saw this doctor explaining that… – Hearsay versus But I Say

We can either follow hearsay, or we can follow the words of Jesus Christ. It’s just that simple.

This Bible overrides my opinions.

This Bible overrides my feelings.

This Bible outweighs what I like and what I want.

That’s why so many church members won’t live right – they place a higher premium on hearsay that what God said.

That’s why some of you still don’t dress right. What you like is more important than what God said!

That’s why so many Christians won’t ever grow – they haven’t yet learned the importance of “but I say…”


I went into Bass Pro on Monday because I wanted to buy something. Guess what? I wore a mask.

I didn’t walk in and complain and fuss about wearing that mask. What I wanted in there was worth it.

What we have here at this church, and what we get here is worth it. It’s a small price to pay to be able to go to church.

We have a missionary here tonight that cannot present his burden while we are Livestream because they kill Christians for simply confessing Christ.

Before we lose our testimony over a piece of cloth over our face, remember those that are dying and are being martyred for simply being a Christian.

For the cause of Christ, and to maybe reach souls with the Gospel, and be a testimony to our community, Calvary Baptist Church is going to be biblical, spiritual and with a good attitude, a good spirit comply with this facemask order.

I am not worried about Covid.

I am not going to lose it over wearing facemasks.

What I am concerned about is the unity, the love and respect and power of this church.

If we are not careful, Satan will have a heyday with this. Don’t let him.

Starting Sunday, we will ask everyone to follow the County Executive’s order.

I will wear a mask when I’m not on the platform to set an example.

I won’t wear one while on this platform because I am 20 feet from the nearest person.

The choir will not sing since I would never ask them to sing with masks on.