A preacher at a famous megachurch I recently visited:
I’ve never yet met anyone with an obedient heart who was living under some sort of curse.
Gee, that’s too bad for the young single female missionary friend of ours, heading to a closed Muslim country, who was just diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. If only she’d had an obedient heart, this wouldn’t have happened.
Now someone might object when I criticize things like this, when preachers casually say things that are just plain wrong. “They didn’t mean it like that,” someone might say.
I have two responses to this.
First, preachers have a responsibility to carefully consider their words. People will assume they are true at the most obvious level of meaning, not the closest theologically accurate one. I guarantee you most of the thousands of people in the room when this guy spouted this nonsense did not put it through a filter and come up with a passable, nuanced interpretation. Most of them just nodded or wrote it down in their fancy moleskine journal.
Second, in Matthew 12:36 Jesus says, “On the day of judgment men will give account for every careless word they speak.” How much more, do you think, will ministers of the Word give an account for what they said while they claimed to be preaching the gospel?