Home > Preaching, Questions, Voegtlin > You Mean…, That’s Not Biblical?

You Mean…, That’s Not Biblical?

January 29, 2007

I remember hearing a sermon in high school or college chapel on a perfect text for some typical preachers. The text had only six words. Three parallel commands. Three sets of two words. Actually, only four words total because one of them was repeated twice. So with the repeated words comes the parallel poetry of the three points. Three things we must NOT do!

Touch not, taste not, handle not. Colossians 2:21

The theme of this sermon was to give us biblical reasons NOT to touch, taste, or handle certain things. It was a typical litanny of “do’s” and “don’ts.” Of course, with this text, it was mostly the “don’ts.”

Please forgive me. I don’t remember any of the details of the message. I don’t remember the particular illustrations. I don’t remember the particular applications. I don’t remember the explanation of the text (except that if there was any, it couldn’t have been legitimate).

All I remember now is that the whole message was NOT biblical. Oh yes, it was moralistic. Yes, it contained many truths. Yes, it probably convicted some. But it was NOT biblical.

I Can't Believe It!

If you will look at the immediate context of this verse, it should be easy to see that Paul was fighting against those that would say “touch not, taste not, handle not!” He was not commanding us to not touch, not taste, or not handle.

This experience of mine never fails to be an illustration of how not to preach. It is a non-biblical sermon. The preacher had something he wanted to preach to young people about, so he made up an outline and looked for a verse to “back it up.” He may as well have looked up some poetry, conservative commentary, or statistics to “back it up.” Because the verses he picked are in direct opposition to what he was trying to preach!

This practice is deplorable. Yet it is often practiced among those who claim to be Bible preachers. Too many preachers know already what they are going to preach when they go to open their Bibles. Rather, let us have preachers who open their Bibles to see what God would have them deliver to His people.

Categories: Preaching, Questions, Voegtlin
  1. January 29, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    I’m glad I’m not around or hear this much any more. I can say, however, that I am nearly as upset about messages that know the meaning of the passage but fail to apply it, in part because the speaker doesn’t want to step on any toes. Thanks for the thoughts.

  2. January 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Pastor Voegtlin, I know exactly what you mean. I hate it when a pastor pulls a text out of the Bible to use it as his own personal springboard for his own opinions. Then he says things like we must submit to the pastor cause the Bible says.

    The thing is pastors use it as an excuse to abuse their leadership, but members of these types of churches, get mad then use it as an excuse, to hate true Biblical doctrine.

    The thing is personal accountablity, from the pastor and the listener. You know if you say something off balance, that isn’t Biblical, I come to you and ask for an explaination. Often it is just a mere misunderstanding. But at least I am willing to come to you, and question what is being said and comapring it to the Bible, instead of getting frustrated and mad, and then quitting church.

    I am sorry for rambling, I just don’t like when this sort of thing happens, I also don’t like it when listeners just let it happen.

  3. January 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Very true! I too have heard sermons that have had NOTHING to do with the text given.

    As preachers we are “heralds.” A herald proclaimed the kings message. He dare not sway from that message. How we need more preachers to realize the Kings message far greater then anything we could possible come up with.

    Many, of these preachers, do not even see it as the arrogance that it is before God!

  4. January 30, 2007 at 7:31 am

    That graphic is hilarious. Good post!

  5. January 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Preachers need to get away from that “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Biblical” stuff and get back to the good old fashioned, full of fat, and better tasting Biblical Butter.

  6. February 5, 2007 at 7:10 am

    You’ve hit a long ball with this one. Good work.

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