By What Authority Can They Do This?

Q. By what authority do pastors/teachers grant themselves the privilege of choosing which portions of the bible they deem relevant, while completely disregarding other sections of scripture? A prime example are teachers who totally and willfully ignore all prophetic passages from the Bible. Also, how this will impact the affected believers who are under these pastor/teachers. Will they be judged unfavorably by the Lord for the careless, or indifferent actions of those who have oversight over them?

A. I don’t believe pastors have the authority to pick and choose what parts of Scripture they’ll teach. I believe doing so is a breach of trust that deprives their flock of important parts of God’s revealed word. James 3:1 says those who teach will be judged more strictly, and I imagine this includes teachers who omit major portions of the Bible.

On the other hand, I have great admiration for those few pastors who take their flock through the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and then start over and do it again. It allows people to put the entire Bible in perspective and gives them a more comprehensive understanding of everything God said to us.

As for the believers under the care of pastors who pick and choose what they preach on, each of us is responsible for ourselves. We can’t use the excuse of having a poor teacher to justify a lack of knowledge on our part. The Lord never intended for us to have to rely solely on teachers for instruction. In places like Matt. 24:15, Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 2:15 we’re admonished to study and understand God’s word for ourselves. It’s a matter that’s far too important to be entrusted to others.

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