Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four Preaching Mistakes You Don't Know You are Making, part 3 & 4

As I finish up this post I am going to combine the last two mistakes, simply to save your and mine sanity. 

Mistake #3:  Group Therapy preaching

This type of preaching hones in on some emotional or psychological need that the preacher thinks the people need salvation from. 

I have listened to a lot of bad sermons via Christian apologists and many pastors think that what their people are missing out on is lost dreams. Somewhere you and I got off track from Gods plan and we have forgotten that God has a really big dream for us to accomplish. You could probably switch the word "dream" for "vision" too. 

Bad theology will couch this in "little faith."  We just need more faith and know that God has good plans for us. 

Maybe your dream/vision was to be happy in your marriage, the owner of a successful lama farm, or be a visionary church planter. Whatever it was you have got to repent of your lack of dream/vision planning and get back into the game.  God does not want any losers in His kingdom. 

I say this all tongue-and-cheek, but many preachers are nothing more than Oprah and Dr Phil wanna-be's.  These are just band-aids. Preachers give all kind of successful stories of people they found on the Internet or relate stories from their own life that sound really magnanimous. Unfortunately, what people need is to see Jesus Christ crucified for their sins and risen again conquering death, sin, and Hell. 

Pastor, are you telling people the bad news of their sin and the good news of Jesus or are you simply propping up corpses?  

This leads to...

Mistake #4:  Preaching Law

Pastors do this when they either take Old Testament laws and impose them on the church or they take New Testament commands and place them on par with truly being able to please God. "You want to please God?  Than you need to do ABC and XYZ!"  

They skim over the fact that our true need is cleansing from sin and restoration with a holy and angry God. Preachers love to make tithing an absolute command for pleasing God or witnessing or not drinking alcohol. They use a multitude of Bible passages to back up their claim, and make us feel absolutely guilty if we do or do not do certain activities. We should tithe - because we love Jesus. We should witness - because we love Jesus. We should refrain from drunkenness - because we love Jesus. These do not guarantee Jesus will love us more. It guarantees the proof of our salvation. Jesus has saved from more than we can imagine in our sinfulness and no amount of good works will cause Him to love us more. 

The law is a guide that drives us to Jesus because we can not keep His laws. Only Jesus could and that is why He is our substitute. He kept the law perfectly and not only that He took on Himself the punishment we deserve for not keeping the law. The law then becomes a guide to teach us Gods will and by the power of the Holy Spirit and a lot of grace and mercy we live it out. 

As a preacher do you put more guilt on your people than is necessary?

Are you making mountains out of mole-hills?  

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