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Dear “Preacher”… were you serious?

Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 in discipleship | 16 comments

Dear “Preacher”… were you serious?

Dear “Preacher,”

I don’t know your name or what you call your church. I only know you by the title “Preacher,” which is what the young lady called you. I met her at another local church (where she is not a member) that was hosting a food pantry.

When I asked how I could pray for her, she asked me to pray for her upcoming marriage. She said she was getting married because her “preacher” told her that God was punishing her for her sins and if she got married things would be better for her.

Were you serious? Or did she misunderstand you? Please tell me that she misunderstood you.

By the way, she did not want to hear about God’s love either. Whenever I told her that God loved her, she simply crossed her arms and said, “My preacher told me that God is wrath, and that I’m under the wrath of God because I’m living with and sleeping with a man who is not my husband.”

Were you serious? Or did she misunderstand you?

You see, I tried to talk to her about sin, and about how sleeping with her boyfriend is a sin issue of the heart and changing her marital status will not change her heart. I told her that marriage is a wonderful thing and that I am so glad that I’ve been married for over twenty years.

I tried to tell her that God wanted to change her from the inside out. Otherwise, I said that marriage would only add to her problems, not help them. Again, she crossed her arms and told me, “My preacher said that God would bless me if I got married.”

Were you serious? Did she misunderstand you?

You see, I do believe that marriage is a blessing from God. But marriage certainly doesn’t make all your troubles go away, and marriage doesn’t change our heart issues. Sometimes marriage even multiples our heart issues.

So, Preacher, please tell me that this young lady misunderstood you. And, while you’re at it, will you tell her that God loves her and that only he can change her? The guilt is killing her… the same guilt that God himself canceled through Jesus’ cross. You see, I tried to explain it to her, but she won’t listen to anyone else… only her “Preacher.”

Thanks for listening,



Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 3-14-2011

    Wow. That makes me cry. Literally.

  2. 3-14-2011

    Dear Alan

    I am just trying to protect “family values” in America.

    Thank you.
    The Preacher

  3. 3-14-2011

    ditto to steve

    and yeah to dan

  4. 3-14-2011


    Me too… and I was talking with the young lady face to face.


    Fine… just keep God and Jesus out of it. 🙂


    ditto to you.


  5. 3-14-2011


    Who needs enemies when one has a preacher like that?

    Preacher! You have no right to teach others! You are a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing!

  6. 3-14-2011


    Very sad. Are you going to go to this man (as you know what church it is) and address him in person, or is this just for illustration purposes?

  7. 3-14-2011

    Aussie John,

    I think he meant well. There is so much moralistic teaching these days that people think they are teaching the gospel when they are really just teaching self-help.


    I do not know who the woman was referring to. I don’t even know what church she is part of. She didn’t tell me.


  8. 3-14-2011

    wow, just, wow!

  9. 10-14-2011

    I got the same reaction as Steve.

  10. 10-14-2011

    This makes my heart ache.

  11. 3-30-2012

    There they go with the gumball god again … put in your coins to the desired result (blessings). Unfortunately God doesn’t work that way and the Preacher is no pastor because it sounds as though he hates his sheep (beginning with himself).

  12. 9-4-2012

    I have to wonder about people like that. If given the opportunity, I would ask,

    Dear ‘Preacher’,
    Do you believe that you represent Jesus? Do you really know of the example Jesus left us with? It’s in writing for you to reference, if you wish. You will notice that there are two accounts of women who did not live up to your standards. Oh, sure they were in sin – but how did Jesus handle each situation? Did He demand that these women get married? Did He, God in physical form, demand either of them to get married – or tell them that God is wrath?

    If you read your Bible, you will see that what you said is not what Jesus would say. Jesus would did not tell the woman at the well to go marry the man she was living with (or would you suggest she go back to her first husband?). He did not remind the woman caught in adultery of her repetitive sin (which was likely forced by the Pharisees, I speculate).

    Maybe, you are picking up where Jesus left off. Maybe…just maybe, you know better than Jesus. After all, should He not have told those women that ‘God is wrath’? It seems that you have the inside track on how God deals with people.

    It would be better to think that you were not serious or that the young woman misunderstood you. But I have experienced “preachers” or “pastors” just like you. You are misinformed about God and your misinformation was heard, loud and clear.

    Please, realize how much you are loved and you will find how you can love others. The Pharisees missed it. Don’t follow in those footsteps.

    May we all be better ambassadors of the Living God.

  13. 9-4-2012

    This is such a heartbreaking post.
    I am sad for the girl and the preacher.
    The girl doesn’t know that she is made whole in Christ.
    The preacher doesn’t know that he is misrepresenting the heart of God.
    I’m thankful that you were able to share some truth with her.
    Truth brings hope.

  14. 1-26-2013

    we tend to paint folks with a barn brush, when a artist brush is best

    we tend to speak with megaphone, when a whisper is best

    we tend to judge with wrecking ball, when a trowel and mortar is best

    we tend to jump to conclusions, we staying put is best

    we tend to hate someone, when love is best

    we tend to be as harmful as a pit viper, when being as innocent as a dove is best

    His Love does no harm

  15. 1-27-2013


    Thanks for that. Did you write it?


  16. 6-22-2013

    Alan, Great post. This pharisaical tendency in the pulpit is a stain on the gospel. Unfortunately, you get more of what you preach and this spirit, alien to the gospel, is being imbibed by congregations and creating huge problems for the Church’s witness in the world.

    Let’s pray that God would protect us from it and would cause us to glory in the grace of the good news.


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