Poor Exegesis

The other night I heard a radio preacher tell his listeners that if a wife were to pray rightly (according to his outline of what that might be) he would “guarantee that their husbands would be saved.” Yes, he used the word “guarantee.”

That was a cruel thing to say. Think of all of the women who have prayed earnestly for their husband’s salvation who have never had them come to faith in Christ. He was not only wrong, he was thoughtless.

You might ask by what sort of exegesis (Bible interpretation), or what passage or passages of Scripture, he reached this conclusion? Absolutely none! He simply blurted out the words, He merely asserted. After all, what else is necessary when you are listening to a “famous evangelist,” like this preacher? Can you imagine how women like those I just mentioned, who trusted his word took this? If it were true—OK, they would have to cope with it. But the horrible fact is he was wrong! Terribly wrong. It wasn’t true. It was a totally unsupported lie!

I suppose it’s time again to warn against radio and TV preachers. There is much bad exegesis in many of their sermons (certainly, this isn’t true of all radio/TV preachers—here and there you can find a good one). Some of it, like this assertion, that wasn’t even backed by Scripture, however, is extremely dangerous. Much of it is simply bad preaching. Either way it means that they are not “rightly handling the Word of God.” And that—regardless of the topic or verse—is serious business because it means that they are misrepresenting God. And those who listen to poor preaching day after day, are learning (without even realizing it) how NOT to interpret the Bible.

Every Christian, instead, should take care to become a good Berean who searches the Scriptures daily to see whether what is preached is true. When you find that it isn’t, it’s time to turn him off for good, and, then, warn others against him.

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