Pet Peeve About Preachers (1)

I don't care 2Listening to the radio, I heard it again this past week while we were traveling back to Illinois. Over the years, I have heard it from radio preachers, from pastors whose churches I have visited, from conference speakers and it bugs me.

And it’s not just pastors. I have heard small group leaders say similar things. Over the years, I have heard it from small group participants who say it too, and it is like finger-nails on a black board to my ears.

A text will be read, a principle will be stated and then a teacher will say . . .

“I really like that.”

I cringe.

Frankly, I don’t care if you like it or not.

  • I want to know what the Scripture says. 
  • I want to know what the Scripture means.
  • I want to know whether the person teaching the truth is trafficking in the truth.
  • Are they applying it themselves?
  • I want to know whether the person exhorting me has exhorted himself first.
  • I don’t care whether you like it or not but whether you embrace it or not.
  • I don’t care if you personally like it.
  • I want to know if you delight in it because God’s word says it.

I think when we use language like “I really like that” we encourage people to pick and choose the portion of Scripture they will apply in their lives rather than train them to delight in the truth of God’s word independent of their comfort level with the text under analysis.

If you want to tell me that you struggled with embracing the truth, or that you puzzled over understanding it, alright, fine, but don’t try to get me to believe, do, or embrace a truth because “you really like it.” 

Tell me, “thus saith the Lord,” and call me to obey, delight and do the will of God.

Tell me what the text means and exhort me to obey it.

Tell me what the text means and show me how to apply it.

Tell me what the text implies and help me think through its implications for my life.

Tell me what believing the truth will do in my life.

Tell me how it will change my marriage or my parenting or help me to love my neighbor in a way that reflects the honor of God. But spare me personal feeling about a truth. I don’t need your personal feeling. But the word of God, clear, unadulterated, that’s what I need. I need to live by it because Jesus said, man does not live by bread alone but “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 in Matthew 4:4 and echoing Proverbs 30:5)

Whether I or you personally like it is immaterial.

End of rant.


3 thoughts on “Pet Peeve About Preachers (1)

  1. Brought Over From FaceBook
    Dave Tilma
    Isn’t saying”I like that” a form of delighting in the Word and agreeing with it? I don’t personally use the phrase (that I’m aware of 😕) but seems harmless.

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    Sometimes, yes.

    Paul Brown
    Jeremiah 15:16. I guess Jeremiah shouldn’t have said that???

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    Context is everything.

    Dave Witmer
    Bravo!

    Ed Morehouse
    Marty, do you think that there really was a Jesus or is it something that people made up to give them someone to believe in? I’m being serious. The whole bible was written by men who wanted a template on how to live. I really doubt that most of those stories in the Bible are real.

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    Ed, absolutely, I believe that there was a historical Jesus who said and did the things the New Testament says he did. The question is why do i believe it. And the answer is that the evidence is overwhelming. Two short books is all it would take to show you that. One, CHRISTIANITY AND HISTORY by John Warwick Montgomery and THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS: ARE THEY RELIABLE?, by F.F. Bruce. These are top notch scholars who have examined the evidence and concluded that no documents of antiquity are established by better evidence as to reliability. Or take a look at TESTING CHRISTIANITY’S TRUTH CLAIMS, by Gordon Lewis.

    Further, no credible scholar disputes the historical existence of Christ. Yes, you can find people outside of their field of expertise pontificating away at what they think happened but when they are examined by credible scholars most of their arguments disintegrate like wet tissue paper.

    There is no better explanation for the rapid rise of the Church in the fist century than the resurrection of Christ. So Ed, I’m sorry but your statement that “the whole Bible was written by men who . . .” simply doesn’t stand up to analysis.

    How’s the fishing down in Florida?

    Karen Henning Gaskins
    Ouch. I have been guilty of that. I appreciate this note of encouragement to take God’s word more seriously and my likes or dislikes of it a lot less seriously.

    Terry Ivy
    Brother, I really like this post, I really like all of Scripture, and I really love the context of biblical content! 😊

    Like

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