Friday, June 24, 2011

Let It Speak For Itself!

What would happen if your history teacher began to teach from his opinions instead of the text book? Or what if your science teacher taught from her own ideas instead of from known truths? It'd be craziness!

So what would happen if a pastor began to preach from his own opinions instead of from Scripture?

As sad as that sounds, it happens. I knew a few people who tend to preach or teach from their own opinions, instead of from Scripture, from Truth. When this happens, everything goes wrong. Just think of the pandemonium that would ensue! Listeners would hear the wrong message, teenagers would build their faith on the wrong truth, those searching for Truth wouldn't find it, and people might think they were finding God when they were just chasing a hallucination.

When we let our opinions become our beliefs, we stumble. That's why so many churches have disputes about whether to sing songs or hymns in worship, or if the preacher should have a pulpit or table, or if the sanctuary should have chairs or pews, or if teachers in the church should be men or women, or if you should dress a certain way to go to church, etc. The list goes on forever. It's often the case that our opinions keep us from really loving each other. Someone wants to do it this way, someone wants to do it that way, and when no one can agree on anything, bitterness and anger and spite creep in and destroy.

We have to set aside our differences and our preferences and make loving each other the goal instead of having things our way. Because let's be honest: no one is perfect, and thus no one can meet perfect expectations, so don't hold standards of perfect, because you'll be disappointed by everyone you meet.

I believe God has called me to be some kind of preacher/teacher/speaker, and I've made it a personal conviction to preach from Scripture and not my opinions. I hope you've seen that on my blog. I try to not write by airing my opinions. I don't want you to see me rambling about my conjections. I try to blog only from Biblical truth. When I blog about something, don't I usually have several Scriptures to back it up? Isn't my reasoning always sound? Sure I've been wrong before, but am I not prone to being right? Now I'm not trying to say I'm really smart or super-spiritual or anything; I'm just trying to get the message across that I don't want to be known for preaching from my opinions. God's Word is invaluable to me and it's pointless for me to preach from anything besides the Truth.

That said, I get angry when I hear someone preach from opinions. Don't you? My thought process is, I don't really care what you think; I'd rather hear from the Truth. Teach me what the Truth says, not what you have to say. Forgive me if that's stuck up or arrogant, but isn't that how we should feel? Humans aren't perfect, so to hear Biblical teaching from a human standpoint can be, well, erroneous. I prefer the failsafe Truth of the Bible. I want to hear God speak through a man, and that's done through the Word.

Besides, the Word is alive; shouldn't we let It speak for Itself?


Alphonse Romano said...

Interesting follow up as part of this post when you mention opinions becoming beliefs. For a good answer to this, Romans 14 and 15 discusses the correct response to a lot of the opinions that you mention.

LeaningOnHim said...

I couldn't agree more! Sermons should be Scripture-based. That's what my dad does in his sermons and lessons. While he's a very opinionated guy, he always makes sure his opinions are backed up by Scripture and if they're not, he seriously reconsiders them or throws them out. His huge goal in our church is to make sure they are Scripturally-informed. Sometimes when a modern-day issue arises, the church asks the pastor's opinion but it should always refer back to something in Scripture and be thought through, not answered by a strong opinion that hasn't been thought deeply into.
I'm so glad to see you following that philosophy - to be Scripture sound - as you look to becoming a pastor =) Because you're right; many pastors today spout their opinions (many times because the Bible can be pretty blunt and offensive to some nowadays). But sometimes, as Christians, we have to be blunt and offensive in order to remain in accordance with the Bible.