The Bible: With or Without?
As I pastor a local church, I don’t get to hear many sermons from other preachers. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to hear a respected retired pastor. While I had met this man on several occasions, I had never had the opportunity to hear him deliver a sermon.
At one point in his sermon, he made mention of a preacher who delivered an entire sermon without ever directly referencing scripture. There was much groaning about this, and rightly so. I don’t know if the sermon without the benefit of a direct reading of scripture was a biblically based message that was true to the Word he didn’t directly reference. For the sake of this discussion, let’s say it was.
But as I reflected over the sermon I was listening to, almost every Bible passage read was either plucked out of context or grossly misapplied. In some cases both were true!
This got me thinking: In preaching the Word of God, which is worse? Is it more wrong to speak the truth of scripture without actually reading scripture? Or is it more wrong to give public reading of the Word of God, this preach it out of context with poor application?
I think I have decided what I think about this, but I am curious about your thoughts. I realize many who read this are not preachers or teachers. But I would ask you to respond as a church member. Respond as a disciple.
Please share your thoughts below.