Exegesis and exposition, the work of understanding a biblical text, are foundational to understand scripture’s application to our lives. The problem is many churchgoers want to hear the application without doing the work of the exegete. In many cases, preachers have accommodated their preaching to scratch the hearers’ itching ears. To keep congregants happy, preachers and teachers often give large amounts of life application with little, if any, scriptural exposition. This practice puts the preacher and the congregants in danger because they are no longer tethered to the text.
Two significant problems can arise in the life of the church member because of this. First, even if the application is biblically correct, the church member is left defenseless when challenged by skeptics. They are unable to defend the practice with scripture. Second, if the preacher did not derive the life application from scripture, then the church member has been sold a “biblical principle” that cannot be substantiated by God’s word. When this “biblical principle” eventually lets them down, and it will let them down, not only will they be disappointed in the church, but they may start to believe scripture is no longer trustworthy. Neglecting exposition is indeed a destructive trend.