This is a very insightful statement from C.J. Mahaney.
When a pastor preaches, he is leading his congregation in his interpretation of Scripture. It may or may not be correct. I know from reading many personal stories of those who were Mahaney’s church that his teachings caused spiritual harm. I don’t think he was referring to his own negative influence on his congregation when he composed his tweet.
It took me quite a while to figure it out, but at BGBC, I finally realized that my pastor did not fully preach about Jesus. The focus was on sin and law and getting saved. Jesus was primarily mentioned in reference to his death and resurrection. We weren’t encouraged spiritually, we were constantly reminded how sinful we were and how we had to repent and question our salvation. We were not built up in Christ. That part was left out. Instead, we were torn down, defeated, never rejoicing that His work was finished for us on the cross.
How did I notice this? Because I found that I actually skimmed over verses that talked about being built up in Christ. As my pastor focused on his choice of key words and ideas and used verses to back up his teaching, he often failed to tell “the rest of my story.” My eyes were focused on his words which were filled with doom and gloom. Since he didn’t highlight words of hope and assurance from Scripture, I placed those words at a lower precedence, too. His preaching influenced the way I read my Bible in a negative way, rather taking the whole passage in context and with thoughtful reading.
Oh, how my soul longed to hear words like this:
“And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.” Acts 20:32
Janey The Small has it right above. I don’t think God wanted me to wallow in sin like my pastor was suggesting. It didn’t line up with what I believed Scripture was teaching me that I was a new creation in Christ once I became a Believer.
Has your pastor’s interpretation of Scripture harmed you in your Christian walk?