I love Biblical exegesis. From Wikipedia: "Biblical exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of the Bible. The goal of Biblical exegesis is to find the meaning of the text which then leads to discovering its significance or relevance."
And I struggle with 95% of sermons these days because we just don't get that. We get alliteration and catchy topics, but leave the Bible almost wholly out of it. Melissa and I have listened to a great deal of sermons that are essentially:
"Today we're going to talk about getting fired up for God! Jesus was fired up for God! Here is a passage where Jesus heals someone and look at his reaction, he's fired up for God! Whoo!"
Then the pastor will tell a thousand other analogies of people or whathaveyou that talk about that topic, while leaving Biblical exegesis on the sideline. Can God move through these messages? Sure, but I'm just not a big fan.
Here's why. The pastor is essentially telling me what to do. I hate that. Partly because i'm a "pastor" of sorts and I hate telling people what to do. I would (and Jesus did this also) much rather bring people to the foot of God and allow them to see their own sin and need for change. I just don't care that much about what John Smith or Jane Doe pastor has to say about world issues or even how I should live. It's not motivating to me at all; afterall, I'm not living to please them, I'm living to please the King of Kings. Show me what He has to say.
Another reasons I have issues with non-exegetical sermons is that the pastor may be totally misunderstood.
I have heard two or three messages essentially saying, "don't doubt, just believe." Misunderstanding people have taken this to the extreme and just checked every healthy skeptical thought they've ever had. A healthy skepticism is often good for our faith. Where would we be without CS Lewis, or Francis Schaeffer, or Tim Keller? These are people with honest questions that brought them to God. God doesn't want us to check our curious minds and just believe; He does want us to bring them before Him though. --- Now, I don't think those pastors would disagree with me, but because they failed badly to exegete the text they were trying to preach from, the message was all jambled. Bad theology follows. Apathy has followed that, at least in the American church.
One other issue I have with non-exegetical sermons I'll discuss tomorrow. Perhaps I'll flesh out those ideas more too.