When Preachers Lie On God

As a young minister I was part of a tradition where every minister spoke at the New Year’s Eve service.  Each of us was given a grand three minutes to rightly divide and deliver that word of God.  This was probably more entertaining than educationally meaningful, I suppose.  One of the highlights of the evening was the dreaded bell.  One of the mothers of the church, a real stickler for order, had taken to timing each preacher and when his time was up, she would ring the bell.

As a student in a Roman Catholic school I grew accustomed to another use for the bell.  Every hour on the hour the bell would ring and thus proclaim that a new hour had begun.

Here I would like to propose yet another new use for the bell.  I wish that each church could have a bell that rang every time a preacher lied on God.  In other words, I wish there was an error alarm that went off every time a preacher said or signed God’s name to something He didn’t say, or didn’t say to that audience.  I think we could give the bell choirs a run for their money.

Here’s the major problem.  Pastors and preachers alike, over the course of time purport that when they speak, (from the pulpit), they are speaking for God.  I mean, directly for God not merely about God.  They are, after all, the man of God, the Voice of God, and some even go further and title themselves the Prophet or Apostle of God.  This neat and lofty titling system comes with some things many would like you to assume.

Assume that when the preacher speaks, from the sacred desk, as some like to call it, that it is infallible.  Yes, I know that’s a strong word.  I think it fits well since we are addressing a strong attitude.

Assume, of course, since the preacher’s words are infallible and all, that the sermon or story was systematic, that is to say a summation of all that the bible has to say on the matter.  Unless of course, while in their study time God tells them to tell you, (all of you who ever listen to the sermon), X Y and Z.

Assume that asking questions or downright challenging the truthfulness of these authoritative statements is a gross violation of proper Christian ethic, if not the unforgivable and ex-communicable sin of disloyalty.

WE’VE DANCED THIS DANCE BEFORE

What makes me tremble is the fact that we’ve seen this before.  As a matter of fact, the reason that we are not all members of the Church of Rome is exactly because one man in particular, Martin Luther,  stood up to the church and said ‘not so’.

The Church of Rome held, and still does today, that when the Pope and the Bishops, or the Pope alone, speaks from the “chair” it is infallible, authoritative, and complete.  The problem then is the problem today.  That position officially called Sola Ecclesia makes the church leader or leaders’ words equal in authority to the word of God.  They become the final authority in all matters of faith and practice since the preacher/pastor/bishop must define and interpret Scripture.

On more than one occasion I have sat down with friends and discussed biblical matters.  Their pastors’ opinions presented as sermons might be clearly in opposition to what was supported by scripture.  Scripture after scripture, we would go over the issue.  They may even concede that, in fact, the bible is clear on the matter and clearly is not saying what the preacher said.  Then comes today’s watered down rendering of the Sola Ecclesia position.  “But my pastor said…”

What’s not stated in that response is the determination that one’s pastor has more authority than the word of God.

In contrast, here are the words of Luther:

Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.

It makes we wanna scream!

Acts 17:11 NIV Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true

Anybody remember the third commandment?  Do not use the Name of the Lord in vain.  No, it does not mean saying God’s name for no apparent reason or in very appalling places.  It means, don’t forge God’s signature on your opinion and preach it as his word!

The sad reality is that some preachers are getting more and more comfortable lying on God and people are getting more and more comfortable silencing and unplugging the alarm-bells.

What do you do when you hear opinion preached as prophecy, or bias as biblical fact?

When is the right time to address error, and how much error should you ignore?

At your church, is the Bible or your Pastor the final authority in practice?

Are you at a church where thinking and reasoning of your own is shunned like the devil and demons?

Egad!

I’d love your feedback here, if you are allowed to share your reasonable opinion.

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7 thoughts on “When Preachers Lie On God

  1. Hey Kwesi! Love your site. Sorry about that Paltalk non-sense, they need help. I enjoyed reading this post. And that bell idea… i know somebody who does something similar to it. His name is “Stephen the levite”, hes a christian rapper (really good in my opinion, very theological). He carries around a heresy whistle and blows it whenever he hears something really off. I thought it was a joke but my friend went to go see him and he actually carries around a heresy whistle lol! If i have time, i’ll try to go on paltalk on thursday night…when we usually have TTP. Grace and Peace bro.

  2. “No, it does not mean saying God’s name for no apparent reason or in very appalling places. It means, don’t forge God’s signature on your opinion and preach it as his word!”

    OOOOWWEE! Preach that, brother!

    Nicely done, indeed. Mind if I do what most preachers do? Cuz’ I’m using that one!

    Peace.

  3. Hey there!

    I have listened to preachers like Bishop Carlton Pearson state that the reason why people refute his doctrine is because they don’t have REVELATION from God.

    I have heard other ministers use this response when their teaching is questioned…they insist that they operate at a higher level of Bible interpretation than all who oppose them.

    God will expose all the counterfeits among us.

    He WILL. He DOES.

    Be vigilant.

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
    Lisa

  4. This is the down-side to freedom. While we all have free access to the Word of God and the responsibility to understand it and share it, there are those who take advantage of that freedom to co-author God’s Word, which He says explicitly not to do.

    Sunday I accidentally left the television on when a televangelist came on. He substituted a word in a scripture with a whole other word that is not even remotely its synonym, and asked his congregation to write it in.

    I consider the pulpit, in whatever formal or informal form it takes, to be a sacred place of much responsibility. It is not the place to preach opinion or to spew personal emotions. We are called to preach the word. That’s all Timothy was told to do with it. Get an understanding and teach it so that we can apply it. Not massage it, not add to it or take away from it.

    I think it takes a certain measure of arrogance to use God’s signature in vain.

    The people who put on the purple robes and tennis shoes and committed suicide while they waited for the comet to come take them away thought they had heard from God.

    Klansmen think that they are on a mission from God.

    Al Qaeda believes it is doing God’s work.

    Jim Jones and David Koresh both thought they were hearing from God.

    The church ladies, (yes, there were several), who thought my dad was going to marry them, even though he didn’t KNOW them, were convinced that they had heard from God that this newly-widowed man was now destined to be theirs.

    In order to tell who is right, I’d rather just rely on what I KNOW God said, and that is what is in His word. We’re supposed to measure what we hear by the Bible anyway, so the responsibility is really on us.

  5. Pingback: A years worth of conversation « SCREAM

  6. It is so sad, but true that some people look more to the pastor for truth than searching the Word of God where the truth really is. I’ve had my experience with over-achievers, self-righteous, self-serving hypocrites and I thank God that I had a built in bell – my mouth. I believe that everyone has a discerning spirit to a point, but some just don’t adhere to the alarm that goes off and says inwardly that something is not right. Why did God put these two scriptures in His Word? – First, 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY dividing the Word of Truth.” and this one is right in the very middle of the Bible. Psalm 118:8, “It is better to TRUST IN THE LORD, than to put confidence in man.” No one, man, woman, pastor or otherwise knows all there is to know of God’s Word. There are a lot of people who are what they call “Bible Lit” but even they don’t know all there is to know about God’s Word. I used to sit in this church and bite my tongue – to the point where I would actually hold my lips together to keep from saying anything. We were always told that our Bible Study was an open one – that we could ask whatever questions we wanted, but when people did, they were insulted, called devils or it would be said that we were going against authority (in which the pastor was the only authority) I can understand and agree that the Pastor is the Leader, but why should anyone have to just throw over their shoulders lies that are being told about the Word. “You can’t pray for yourself.” (It goes against God’s will to do so) “You can’t pray for people’s healing” (This too goes against God’s will) You are to come to the pastor ONLY with your concerns. “God doesn’t speak to anyone, but the pastor” (And if anyone says that God was leading them and it didn’t come from the pastor, they are liars and “the truth isn’t in them”) How appalling, how disgusting and how many times will God have to recieve a black eye from so-called men who say they are representing Him? I thank God I’m in a better place now and being used of Him to speak His Word in truth and in love. And I remain humble that I might hear His instructions clearly. To help in teaching the young people, to help women who have been broken to be healed and whole again. I am at my brother’s church and the operation of the ministry there is completely and totally different. I don’t feel like I’m in any kind of bondage and believe me, Pastor is strict in upholding what the Word of God says, but at the same time, he is open for any discussions and I think all of the members appreciate that.
    And in closing, I just want to say that I thank God for all the Pastors who are bold enough to stand up for Jesus and for what is right in God’s Word and I thank God for you and your family, Pastor Kwesi. God never made us free to put a yoke back around our necks. The Word says, he whom the Son hath set free, is free indeed! I’m free in Christ Jesus and I’m loving it and praising God for His delivering me. To God be the Glory!!!!!
    P.S. Pastor Kwesi, don’t forget to check out the book: “10 Lies the Church Tells Women” by J. Lee Grady – you think you have read some stuff – wait till you read this book. Be blessed.

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