Friday Challenge: Memorable Sermon

The average fundamentalist hears roughly four-and-a-half bajillion sermons in their lifetime. Through some kind of built-in defense mechanism, they also manage to forget having heard most of them.

Today’s challenge is to try to list one or two sermons that you actually do remember and what about them made them memorable.

317 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Memorable Sermon”

  1. Okay, since educational psychology has shown us a lot about different learning styles, the average human attention span (15-20 minutes, etc.), I wonder why, even in non-Fundy churches, it is still popular to have a 45 minute to an hour long sermon.

    At my old church, the preacher would preach straight through the Bible a la John MacArthur, but he would take maybe 5-8 verses and pile on so many facts that, by the end, I had no idea what the sermon was about. It was like he just consulted ten different commentaries and decided to tell us EVERYTHING. I understand he was trying to counter the 1 verse and an hour of jokes sermon style, but I think he think steered off the cliff in the other direction.

    1. It seems that preachers like to hear themselves speak. To them it is their job. And to them, it is our job to sit and listen to them pontificate on whatever ticked them off this week. 😡

  2. Two from Pensacola Christian High School:

    One from “Boy’s Chapel” when we got a sermon on masturbation and were told that it would stunt our growth from our bodies losing “vital fluids,” and would harm our eyesight.

    This was delivered by a short male PCC faculty member with thick glasses. We laughed about that for weeks.

    Second, some visiting preacher who kept hollering “Vomit!” as a response to his statements.

    It went like this (I don’t remember exactly his lines, but you get the general theme)

    “Some folks out there think it’s ok to listen to rock music if it’s Christian rock, but I say unto you VOMIT!

    Some folks out there think woman can wear pants but I say to you VOMIT!

    Some folks out there think it’s all right for some young man to wear hippie hair but I say unto you VOMIT!”

    Etc.

  3. Hmm-kay. I have heard the exact same sermon preached in three different churches, by three different preachers in three different states. It is titled, “The Road to Ziklag” and is taken from I Samuel 30, the main verse being #6 where we are told that David encouraged himself in the Lord.

    Each time, the sermon blasted rock music, drugs, alcohol, pants on women, CCM, versions, etc. 🙄

    1. My former pastor preached on that section of scripture and I remember he kept saying ziklag like he was enjoying saying the word in a tourettes-like kinda way. You can tell I got a lot out of the sermon… ziklag, ZIKlag, ziklaaag….

    2. My former pastor preached on that section of scripture and I remember he kept saying ziklag like he was enjoying saying the word in a tourettes-like kinda way. You can tell I got a lot out of the sermon… ziklag, ZIKlag, ziklaaag…. :mrgreen:

  4. Everyone who has every read “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet might relate to this.
    Some of the facility at my old Fundie School had the tendency to make certain students into role models and proclaim them future leaders of the faith. These students were always attractive, white, middle or upper middle class and maybe had a high GPA or played on a varsity sports team.
    During chapel, the vice principal (and basketball coach) gave a sermon about King David. He talked about Kings David’s many moral failures. He then pointed out, since Satan knew David was god’s appointed leader, Satan tempted and put a lot of pressure of King David then the average person. That we should understand the pressure that Satan puts on Christian leaders and future Christian leaders (like most of our schools in-crowd).
    My friend later pointed out what was going on. The vice principal was making a justification in case one our school’s cheerleaders got pregnant, or one of our star athletes was caught getting drunk. They were under greater pressure from Satan then those of our unpopular students.
    If Bristol Palin had been poor and black, fundies would call her a whore and went to deny her welfare. But because her mom is god’s appointed leader, Bristol Palin is “hero” for not having an abortion and gets paid to speak at Christian schools

    1. One of the reasons I’m glad to be leaving extreme fundamentalism is to escape the nastiness and ugly talking like I see exhibited here by Mark, I don’t think its necessary from the fundamentalists and I don’t think its necessary from anyone else, hey, I’m just keeping it real!!

        1. Greg, I am just reporting what I heard in chapel.
          Its not a matter that I have problems or need to “lighten up”. We all have problems. “Let he who is without blame cast the first stone”
          While fundies claim they treat everyone the same, that have different rules and punishments for people who are wealthy or well connected.
          Just look how must fundies would treat an unmarriaged single mother if her mother weren’t their politcal hero.

    2. hey Mark, I see your point, saw it all along, what I want to convey is simply to give everyone alittle slack. I empathize with Bristol Palin, and wish her the very best, I also empathize with anyone else that finds themselves in this precarious position, and I’m just not real keen for that type of vitriol.

      1. Hope you’re out of Fundamentalism. But Mark was accurate. Fundies make all kind of snide remarks about the urban poor getting pregnant and havign kids out of wedlock, but Bristol Palin is turned into a media hero because she opted not to have an abortion. I agree with her that an abortion is wrong, but I don’t see fundies lining up to cheer on the rest of the girls in our society who get pregnant as teenagers.

        1. I got it, I got it, I got it. I would agree that many fundies would make fun of a situation like that, but again, keeping it real, certainly not all fundies do that. Also as a former fundie I was always delighted when young girls took a stand for life and gave birth to their babies. Now I certainly didn’t applaud them for getting pregnant, but as they say, things happen.

    3. This is too true. I attended a school where two students brought knives to school one was white the other black. The white kid was the best basketball player in school. He was given a verbal warning. The black kid was suspended for a week. Double standard all around.

  5. Oh yeah, sermon memory #2…

    The college I attended scheduled all of the senior pastoral students to preach in the chapel at the end of the year. One of the guys preached to the girls in his sermon and criticized us for rejecting him for dates because he had “needs” too. It went on from there in a rather shocking manner, and most of the girls were sitting in chapel with a “deer in the headlights” look on their faces. Needless to say, it didn’t help him get a date. And after that year, the administration starting choosing a few seniors to preach instead of allowing all.

    1. What was his text verse? “He was despised and rejected of men Isaiah.”(cause that includes woman too and women rejected him too just like you girls rejecte me when I asked for a date), or “No man cared for my soul(Psalms).”- No one cared for David’s soul and none of you girls cared for mine to give the time of day on a date Amen? Could the text have been from Genesis: “but for Adam there was not a help meet for him(I can’t get a help meet cause none of you would ive me a date)” 😀

      I am having to much fun with this.OK, seriously do you remeber his text verse?

        1. HAHA LOL. That’s a good way to not gruduate from
          Bible College. He was asking for dates not for anything else(hopefully). I do have to wonder what the needs he was talking about were(attention, assurance that he was liked by girls, that he was desireable as a potential mate).

  6. #1) Why Women Wearing Pants is Unbiblical – the president of the college made this a Wed night series. Never proved it, oddly enough.

    #2)Being a visitor in a church service when the Sr. Pastor resigned by preaching a sermon about how terrible and ungrateful all the people in the church were. Bit tense, oddly enough. 😕

  7. One memorable sermon I heard was from a man named Tim Ruhl from CA. He preached on Jeremiah 18 on two separate occasions, one time was when he preached at Bible college the one year I was there, and then the following summer at his teen camp.

    He talked about the Potter and the wheel and the metaphors involved. The Potter’s house is church, and the clay is Christians, and mire meant sin. There were some other metaphors but I don’t have my Bible with me to check (if it’s a decent sermon, I write the outline in my Bible). Anyways, he talked about how God (the Potter) will mold and mend us for His use and glory. Sometimes, we might break, but as long as we are soft we can be rebuilt again. But in chapter 19, it talks about how some clay became hard and once it broke, it couldn’t get back together. This referenced those who totally messed up their lives. Bro Ruhl had plates for both messages and smashed them on the pulpit.

    Whenever people place limits on God’s grace (‘God can’t use, do, etc…’), I tend to disagree. But overall, the message was really good.

    Another sermon when I was in Bible college was by a recent grad who came back for Alumni Days. His sermon was called ‘Giving Up on the Brink of a Miracle’ and was based on Jonah. He basically talked about how if Jonah gave up, the entire city of Ninevah would be in Hell right now. I surrendered my will to God after that sermon, and I still have the mp3 of that message.

    One sermon I heard recently was at a Pastor’s Conference last month called “How to Get the Fire to Fall” using Elijah in 1 Kings 18. Well, he read the reference at the beginning, at that was it. He then had the alliterated points and everything. He had the lousy jokes and illustrations that everyone would laugh at. There’s no exposition, it’s all just topical preaching in my “camp” of IFB (GSBC, WCBC is my camp).

    1. One sermon I will never forget was when the preacher brought up a Television set (back in ’98ish) on to the platform but had it covered by a tarp. When it got to the platform right there next to the pulpit, he uncovered it. He then proceeded to swing and destroy the TV with an axe! Right there in front of the other preachers on the pulpit! I don’t remember what the sermon was about, that’s all I remember because I was just a child then. I remember him saying, “I’ll never have one of these things in my house!” before he start swinging the axe at it.

  8. Whew! Good things Edwards didn’t preach this nowadays–you guys would be deconstructing his fire and brimsotne sermon piece by piece and ridiculing his “legalism” and “mean spiritedness”

    Still one of the greatest sermons ever preached IMHO and worth sharing even after all these years, if for no tother reaosn than to show “how it’s done”

    Also, a topical sermon, not expository and one that would cause most of “Chrsitendom” today to demand he be run out of town for it.

    Thanks for posting Darrell!

    1. What would you be doing though? Dismantling it and talking about all his calvinism and what not.

      Personally, I don’t think it’s a good sermon myself. God is NOT angry, because His anger was poured out on Christ and He is propitiated (appeased). His entire sermon is based on the Old Covenant, and there is little grace and truth in it, just fear and condemnation.

      1. So God is appeased for all people then(universalism)? Why are those who do not obey the gospel going to be damned? Do you differentiate between God being angry and punishing those that do not obey the gospel? Is your reasoning that since God punished Jesus he just does not have any pleasure in the death of the wicked?

        1. Yes, God is appeased for all people, that is why anyone can come to Him (1 John 2:1-2 – he is the propitiation for our sins but not for our sins only but for the sins of the whole world). The fact remains that not all people come to Him, do not receive forgiveness of sins and face God with their own righteousness, not the righteousness of Christ which is by faith. Propitiation is not pardon or justification. Just because God is propitiated does not mean all are justified.

          No need to get mad bro. Or jump to conclusions. Or accuse me of universalism.

        2. I was’nt mad and I was’nt trying to accuse you of

          being a universalist(sorry if i came of that way).

          Your commet actually did possibly help me

          understand the thinking of the high calvinists. If

          God just needed to vent his anger at sin, so he

          takes it out on Jesus so his anger is satisfied so

          he can forgive sins. If what I just wrote is a true

          summmary of how Calvinist view penal

          substitutionary atonement then I understand why

          they would accuse those who do not hold to limited

          atonement as universalists. I also think I can

          understand why those who reject PSA would do so if

          they think its just about God using Jesus as

          a “whipping post” so to speak to vent his anger so

          he can forgive man. That what came to mind when i

          read your comment about God pouring his anger out

          on Jesus and I had this kindof revolting feeling

          when I did. However that may be a misrepresentation

          of PSA. The bible actually says that Jesus bore

          sins in his own body and was made sin for us. The

          object of Gods wrath was sin. Him doing this allows

          belivers to be made the righteousness of God in Him

          (Christ). So it more about providing reconciliation

          and taking care of sin for believers.

        3. Sorry my comment is so long cause I double spaced. Don’t know why I did that.

          George isn’t the only one who has

          mispelling/grammer problems. I mis-contracted my contractions (was’nt instead of wasn’t)

        4. Oh, of course. Sorry if I didn’t make it clear. God wasn’t just beating Jesus because He was mad and needed a punching bad. Jesus became sin, my sin, your sin, all sin, and God’s wrath was poured out upon the body of sin that hung upon the cross – so God’s anger was directed at the manifestation of sin on the cross, and in doing so, Jesus was forsaken, and took upon himself all my sin, therefore, God is righteous in declaring me righteous, because sin has been punished, but in the body of another. I have no idea what penal substitution atonement is, nor do I really involve myself in Calvinism/Otherism debates anymore.

    2. I don’t mind deconstructing and criticizing his literalist interpretation of hell, his emotional manipulation, not exclusion, but deemphasizing grace, etc. However if you’ve noticed he wasn’t an IFB, so can/do do so elsewhere

        1. I think it’s symbolic of God forsaking those who have rejected him. I have no idea what kind of punishment there is, but that it is seperate, and is not pleasant. I’ve never seen anywhere in scripture where the specifics of hell are central to God’s work within creation. There’s a lot of wisdom in the creeds and the fundamentals of the faith that left tangential issues like hell either out (fundamentals), or tangential (thinking of Apostle’s creed, and think is mentioned in another one or two).

        1. Most revelaing comments yet.

          Universalism? Okay or probrbably okay

          Literal hell? Bad.

          Preaching that sparked the Great Awekening? Bad.

          IFB? Bad.

          What, pray tell is the alternative?

          THIS is the crowd this blog gathers? THIS is representative?
          😯

          Stuff Fundies like is all about bashing not fundamentalism, but the fundamentals of the Faith for many here.

          It becomes more and more evident.

          I keep saying I’m not going to post naymore, but keep feelign obligated to point these things out to point out to the lurkers out there what this is really all about.

          I told my wife tonight I’m gonna take a break from this site for a few days because it just saddens me to the pointing of weeping over those so embittered that they may fall prey and into the trap of crossing over to a far worse “bbrand” of Christianity which is evidenced by the most ocmmon posters here.

          Oh, and Baptists-anabaptists..are NOT protestants and predated them. Martin Luthers wife was a baptist before he converted her to Protestentism…notice…pre-protestantism.
          Study history not written by Catholics and Protestants or Wikipedia and you’ll see. No Baptust succession baloney, but Waldensians and Paulicans etc. were pre-protestant and anabaptist.

          Now , flame away and insult me. I am going to bed.

        2. I’ll grant you that some of the concepts common to all threads of early Baptists existed before Luther. Some of that is simply “orthodoxy” – you know that word? It’s the thing that ties together Christians of all stripes who don’t go by the same name or movement. But you can’t say that baptists are pre-protestant because the seeds of what would eventually turn into the modern-day baptist movement existed all the way back before Luther. That’s nothing more than an attempt at packaging landmark theology in a misrepresentation of church history and calling it a day. And if we can’t read church history by the historians from either side of the Roman divide, whose church history do we read? I’m sure there were more than a few Islamic scholars intent on studying the fascinating intricacies of Christianity then, yes? Perhaps they have an unbiased, non-conspiratorial viewpoint. 🙄

        3. @John PS,

          The alternative to hell fire and brimstone can be found in the New Testament.

          Hint: It’s a Good God redeeming his creation through an infinite, eternal, and mind blowing grace.

        4. “THIS is the crowd this blog gathers? THIS is representative?”

          John – If you spent more time reading through past entries and all the comments from the people here, you would realize that this blog “gathers” quite a diverse cross-section of people. Most have had some exposure to fundyism. That has led us to end up in a wide array of theological positions. See the post below and sample the different places some of us have ended up.

          http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2010/08/friday-challenge-what-did-you-end-up/

          Just becasue people have expressed a view that you do not agree with, you get all indignant and….wait for it….judgmental. If you are going to venture out in the big bad world that internet blogging is, you need to prepare yourself for a vast differing of opinion. We don’t all agree on all things theological but that doesn’t mean we tear down someone’s beliefs.
          Having said that, if anyone wanders onto this blog and exhibits the characteristics of a fundy, they will be called out for it.

  9. I can’t remember who preached this sermon. The beginning of the cassette tape was pretty scratchy. We were listening to it on a trip to The Southwide Fellowship one year.

    He was preaching on the Standards of a Christian Home. His first point was about bobbed hair. Since men and women are fundamentally different, there should be a difference in the way they wear their hair. It is a sin for women to appear masculine. It is equally a sin for men to appear effeminate. He said 1 Cor. 6:9 names some of the unrighteous that “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” And right there in the middle of the adulterers and fornicators and drunkards and thieves and covetous and extortioners, God put the effeminate.

    The first sin that Adam was chided for was because he “hearkeneth unto the voice of thy wife.” (I had no idea that it could be so tricky to be a wife! One day, if the Lord wills and the courting proceeds as required, I will have to work really hard to be a good Titus 2 wife who doesn’t serve her husband astray!)

    He said that long hair was a symbol, like anointing with oil, so women could symbolize their submission to their fathers or husbands. I just remember that point because I think oily hair is gross. Bro. Greenbode still wears oil in his hair and it gets on the back wall when he leans his head back during the sermon. He sits in the back because he is Associate Head Deacon under my Father.

    The pastor then shared the story of one lost man, who scorned the attempts of many Christians to win his soul, but listened to a kind sister because she had long hair and he believed her to be chaste, modest, and pure-hearted as her hair indicated.

    We stopped listening at that point because the tape deck ate the cassette. We all had to sing hymns acapella at that point. All the way to the Fellowship. We were so hoarse when we got there we could barely sing in the giant choir.

    1. CMG – You have such a good testimony based on all the wonderful stories you share with SFL readers.
      I am sure you will have no problem finding a godly man so you can be the help-meat God meant you to be. 😆

    2. I think brother Bartholomew is looking to court someone with a blessed testimony as yours, sister CMG. I believe his plans are for a family of no less than 10 children, although I think he has some hangups about Christians so comfortable with the World as to have/listen to cassette tapes.

  10. When they played “Let the Walls Come Down” by Steve Green at the BJU chapel, then preached about how terrible it is, and how nobody better go to the Steve Green concert coming to town or you’ll be in huge trouble.

    Then the following Sunday night I heard the exact sermon at the Patch the Pirate church, this time with the threat that any church deacon who goes to the concert will loose his deacon position. The pastor there would not play the entire song, because “we all still have sin natures.”

    1. The only thing I remember about that one was “Wow, they actually have a great sound system in here! Too bad they don’t use it more…” (BTW, I attended the church that sponsored the banned concert)

  11. I remember parts. My favorites were conspiracy theories, which of course were presented as hard facts. Typically the preacher would begin every sermon with something likely pulled from the headlines of World Net Daily or Prison Planet. Some of his favorites were the North American Union, New World Order, government satellites reading/controlling our thoughts, nano robots in our blood, FEMA camps rounding up and executing Christians in America, (depending on the week) Obama is a secret Muslim/ Manchurian Candidate/Kenyan born…you get the idea. It was actually my favorite segment of the sermon because each week’s conspiracy seemed to be more outrageous than the last.

    1. Our last pastor was a gentle, godly older man who was very balanced and reasonable; it was a privilege to work with him. He did have a few quirks, though. My husband and I always tried not to roll our eyes when he would start preaching on “the great Russian bear.” It was in the late ’90s and radical Islam was a much greater threat than communist Russia, but somehow the USSR was still the great power from the north that would come try to crush Israel in the end times.

    2. I know exactly what you mean! I had to sit through an entire message on the existence of the illuminati. He said he could sum up the degradation of the culture into one term, and I was really excited and moved forward in my seat and he said “Illuminati”, and my jaw dropped and my husband threw his Bible down on the bench and said I guess we aren’t going to bother with this today. We went on in that sermon to also talk about the masons and the skull and bones society and how they were responsible for our presidents, but how he couldn’t find any evidence that Obama was linked to them. He said you guys need to go home and pop this into a google search today and you’ll see what I’m seeing. Yeah, because super secret world controlling organizations can be readily found on the internet by anyone with a computer and internet connection. 🙄

  12. The pastor of the church I grew up in was actually an excellent preacher and teacher. Imagine my dismay, then, as he crashed from his pedestal after embezzling from the building fund to pay for his daughter’s wedding, and various and sundry other “needs.

    A message preached by Jerry Sivinski (sp?) really messed me up for years, though. Between the accent and the screaming (plus he talked really fast), I heard him say that if you didn’t remember the exact day and exactly what you prayed, you weren’t saved. After that, I got “saved” pretty much every time he or Tom Farrell did “revivals” at our church.
    (turns out, I really wasn’t saved. The Spirit called me in Bible college. Thats also when I started leaving the IFB)

    1. That kind of preaching is very destructive. It encourages faith in faith, instead of faith in Christ.You start examining yourself, not to see if you are in the faith, but to see if you have faith, and the more you examine yourself, the more you reasons you find that God shouldn’t save you. What you never think of is, despite the thousand reasons you have that God shouldn’t save you, you never consider there is no reason He wouldn’t save you, since He judged another for all those “shouldn’ts”.

      1. What you never think of is, despite the thousand reasons you have that God shouldn’t save you, you never consider there is no reason He wouldn’t save you, since He judged another for all those “shouldn’ts”.

        Nice.

  13. I’m listening to Joseph Prince right now. I’m not a fan of his word faith teachings, which I haven’t come across much of, but I love his grace preaching. However, he says Grace like “Graccccccceeee” and emphasises the s sound on the end.

    I was a fundy that was into conspiracy big time. Rock is evil because it makes people do the devil horns and salute satan. So everytime Joey P says “grace” and lets the s linger, my mind drifts back to IFB sermons about people hissing like the serpent or some rubbish.

      1. Absolutely. Actually, it was reading some books by Andrew Farley that showed me real grace and helped me to understand the scriptures (since my view was all skewed by Fundyism) and since then, my sins and struggles I had been fighting, well, I stopped fighting them, started believing right, and the sins and struggles are getting less and less to almost non-existant. I started to look for other Grace preachers, and found Joseph Prince. Really enjoy his liberating messages.

        What are you doing? Looking for old posts of mine to comment on?

  14. There are 2 I remember off the bat…
    1) When I was 5 or so and had to stay in “big people” church one night and the preacher preached on not pretending (later, as an adult, I surmised it must have been about not pretending to be a Christian). The next day I told my neighborhood friends that I couldn’t play dress up with them b/c Christians shouldn’t pretend! AND that’s why we have children’s programs.

    2) The unexpected emergency chapel we had to have in our Christian school the day that Jack Hyles’ “troubles” w/his secretary came out. We had a HAC preacher-cum-principal and I just remember how serious he was as he told us that one of God’s choice servants had been accused of wrongdoing and needed prayer to be able to withstand this storm! Guess we all know how that worked out for him….

    1. On that note…there was the Sunday our pastor explained why our church would no longer host Dr. Hyles. He explained that he, having known Dr. Hyles for years, attempted to give Dr. Hyles a chance to confirm or deny the accusations against him. Dr. Hyles accused our pastor of stirring up a “witch hunt” and refused to discuss the issue with him. Our pastor informed the church that he had attempted, along with other pastors to confront Dr. Hyles about the accusations. His response was one of anger, hatred, and pride. It was then that our church formally separated from HAC and First Baptist Hammond. Our pastor conducted the session with our church with humility, love, and honesty. It was a couple years later that BJU banned the church for not practicing adequate separation from CCM and “worldly influences.”

  15. I once heard a Man-O-Gid read the verse somewhere in the books of Samuel where it says something about the men cheering as they went out to war (against the Philistines, as I recall). He then proceeded to launch into a sermon series (yes, he preached multiple sermons from this one verse) about how the congregation should cheer on and support their preecher. Pardon me while I find some Tums, my stomach isn’t feeling so good…

  16. Let’s see…

    1. Pastor Schettler preached about “not leaving in someone else’s little red wagon”. It was an illustration about an incident from his childhood and the application was that you shouldn’t get mad and leave school because someone else was hurt/offended/whatever.

    2. Somebody preached a long message when I was really little about the significance of the widow’s son sneezing seven times and how much it hurts to sneeze even once. I had never previously noticed that sneezing hurts, but I’ve noticed every since.

    3. I remember a Sunday night series on “what Baptists believe” when I was around age 10-12. That was the first time I heard the term “priesthood of the believer” and it struck me as a really cool phrase.

    4. In the same time frame, or maybe a year later, a series on the virtues in 2 Peter 1. That whole series made a significant and permanent impression on me, for the good. I have virtually no respect for the MoG who preached that series because of many other issues, but I see now that God is glorified in using sinful, flawed people. I’m grateful for that because if He changed my life through the preaching of a very human man, He can choose to use me as well, no matter how sinful I am.

  17. I remember one sermon at BJ that was preached by Ian Paisley, whom I normally did not care for at all. But that particular sermon was about the blood of Jesus, and it was so unexpectedly good that I actually listened and was provoked to think about some new ideas.

    I also remember one sermon by Dr. Wood at the beginning of my freshman year. He was preaching about how you should follow God and not man whe one of the students stood up and yelled out that he was leading us all astray, trying to get us to follow him. Of course he was expelled. I found out later that the student had just discovered that he would sometimes have to work on Sundays in his new job at the dining common, and this deeply offended him. He had his bags packed and was ready and willing to be shipped after his performance.

  18. The most wretched sermon I ever heard was in PCC chapel when member of the Bible faculty felt it imperative to the sermon to give a detailed illustration involving his son, a bathroom, and a JC Penny catalog. The embarrassment was so thick in the auditorium it was almost tangible.

  19. The sermon or message that seems to be the key to my leaving the craziness of fundamentalism was delivered by Frank Hamrick at The Wilds. I was there one week in 2004 as a sponsor along with our youth pastor. Frank talked about how his youth ministry had changed to what he called a “God-focused” ministry. He said he used to believe that if he could get kids to do right, then they would love God. But, he said then he realized that if he could get them to love God first, then they would do right.

    As I look back, I think that is the seed God planted in my experience to lead me out of the legalism that is IFB.

    I know some of you here have legalistic memories of your days in Pro-Teens. I hope it helps to know that Frank’s philosophy has changed. To me, he’s always been a gentle Christian leader that I greatly respect. He told me recently that the more he studies, the more he’s convinced that the focus in the Bible is God. Not the Bible, but the God of the Bible. Not salvation, but the God Who saves. Not the end times, but the sovereign God Who orders all of time.

    If you asked Frank today, he would probably still label himself a fundamentalist; but I think he’s one of the rare ones who thinks logically and whom you can respect. I’m thankful to God for the way He’s used Frank in my spiritual life.

  20. At a teen camp, the preacher had everyone stand up that never read their Bible through in a year. Previously, he asked those who felt called to preach to stand (I have a serious problem with the word “called” already, but that’s beyond the point). The second thing he did was ask people to stand who never won a soul to Christ. For both of these questions, he said that those who felt called to preach and haven’t done both of them really to ask themselves if they’re really “called”.

    A preacher preached on James 4:8 and deduced that God is performance-based. If we do our part, then God will do His. He must do something, however. God can’t do anything for us unless we do something for Him. Why don’t you get close to God? Because you don’t move. I believe this is very dangerous to say to young adults.

    The same preacher above preached in Malachi 1 and stated that being an ordinary Christian is a slap in God’s face.

    Another preacher preached from Numbers 13:18 and called his sermon “Do You See What I See”. The verse has the word “see” and his points were I see Him, I see the hilltops, I see Heaven, and I see Hell. All from a verse in Numbers?

    Another preacher preached on purity. He stated that the evidence of purity is in our music, what we watch on television, etc. However, he did have one really good: we lose our purity one letter at a time.

    Another preacher preached a message titled “Teenagers Guide to Identifying Wrong Music” and 6 things to look for: Anapestic beat (heavy accent on 3rd beat in 4/4 time), Jazz styling, self-glorifying performance, vain repetition, un-Scriptural lyrics (agreed), and sensual/rebellious spirit. He said that you will live to the music you listen to.

    Another preacher preached how you can’t have God’s blessings if you’re not desperate for it (Gen 32:24-32, something about Jacob). Forget about God’s grace and that we don’t even deserve His blessings and that His blessings are never as a result of our performance but strictly by His grace through the merits of Christ…

    The same preacher above preached in Gen 24:27 and titled his message “Are You In The Way?”. All his points started with S, one of them being Success. If you’re never making it, you’re not in the way. I forgot the context of this particular point, but God never promised success outside of the spiritual realm if we claim His grace.

    As you can tell, this is quite a few sermons. I just grabbed 3 booklets I still have from teen camps and a youth conference and went through a few sermons. Go figure that these 3 booklets were from the 3 most recent camps and conference I’ve been in and am 20 years old, 3 years removed from the teen group at my church.

    1. I missed one. I heard a missionary preach in chapel one day about how it is pointless to translate the Gospel to those who don’t have a translation already. Just teach them English and then preach the Gospel to them! Basically, that sermon was the man’s way of saying He was KJV-only (it was in a chapel at an IFB Bible college).

  21. I’ve been thinking about how to answer this since you posted it, Darrell. I do remember a lot of sermons. A lot, a lot. Reading/listening/digesting them is my business, so . . . I’m chock full. You all mentioned the horrible, and I remember a lot of those same horrible ones. Ugh.

    Like the times I heard more rock music in church than I heard anywhere else (I am a dork). Except in church it was all backwards.

    Like the second sermons after the first sermons.

    Like all those Wood sermons. Ugh — so many bad ones. I think I’ll have a PTSD attack if I remember them all again.

    But I have this one. I have to re-remember this one. I heard it in December 2008, and I honestly have never been the same since. It rehearse it over and over, just to cement it in my head.

    Our (PCA) pastor said:

    You sin. You go to God. You ask forgiveness. He forgives you. You leave.

    You sin again. You go to God. You ask forgiveness. He forgives you. You leave.

    You sin again. You go to God. You ask forgiveness. He forgives you. You leave.

    You sin again. . . .

    I literally held my breath and stiffened my back. I was braced. I knew what was next. Said in a loud, scolding, harsh voice: “When are you going to get your act together and stop sinning!? How can you even call yourself a Christian when you keep sinning like that??!”

    But that’s not what he said. Instead:

    The problem comes when you stop going back to God — either because of your moralism or secularism.

    Whu? Huh? Say what?

    I’ve never been the same since. And every Sunday it’s like that. I hear the Good News every week. I know I heard it in my childhood. I know I heard it from my parents. But I never, ever heard it at BJU and in its close orbit. Never.

    1. Yes! The Gospel is for believers too! And you just never, ever hear that in fundamentalism. LOVE is the greatest motivator, not fear and guilt. Good news, indeed.

  22. For some reason I can’t remember any sermons. I do remember one incident though. We had jack hyles come and preach chapel when I was in like third grade i think( it was just about a few years before he died I believe) I don’t remember the message but I do remember that the the end he had everyone who had just surrendered to preach, be a missionary, or just surrendered to any full time Christian service come and stand on the platform. I and one other boy were the only ones in our section of chapel to not go up. It was very awkward. Bug I guess i was rejecting tht kind of preaching even then. I also remember he then prayed for all the people on the platform and I felt a little jealous cuz I wasn’t up there being prayed for. Idk why I remember tht. Also I think Christopher was talking about having sermons memorized on deputation… I also had all four of my dads sermons memorized.

    Peace from the north:)

  23. There was the guy who came to BJU chapel once and read his entire sermon off yellow legal paper. At the beginning of his monotone talk, he took out his papers, and set his Bible on the outer ledge of the pulpit. As he was reading along, he would randomly and roboticly hit the pulpit. Each time he did so, the Bible would inch down just a little. No one watched or listened to him, but just watched his Bible. The following day, Dr. Bob, Jr. (who noticeable dozed off a couple times during the previous day’s sermon) got up and apologized for having the guy, saying some people just are better on paper than they are in person.

  24. I thought this would be easy. I thought since it’s only been three months since I walked away from Fundyism that I’d still be able to dredge something up. Here was my thought process:

    “Well, there was that time with the Quartet that what’s-his-name preached about…no, maybe not. Well, I do remember in Chapel one time…no, I can’t remember what that sermon was about. All I remember is ‘SEEEEIVED…TOOOO THEEEE UTTERMOOOOOST’ in a really thick accent. Surely something from my home church for the last three years before I moved to PA…um…nope, nothing’s coming up.”

    I honestly can’t remember a full sermon from the last nearly three decades in Fundyland. I remember bits and pieces. I remember some lunatic getting up and screaming that “WE’RE BAPTISTS, AMEN, NOT PROTESTANTS!” I remember countless bully pulpits (literally). I remember all sorts of twisting of grace and, yes, logic too. But I don’t remember a single sermon cover to cover. But was it time wasted? Nah. “It’s been a ride. I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one,” as the contemporary bard put it. 😉

  25. This one was technically a VBS lesson, but the way the preacher handled it, it might as well have been a 3-hour sermon and a covered dish event.

    I grew up in a missionary family. Once, my dad was invited to be the missionary speaker on the last day of a VBS in a little church somewhere in…I want to say either Indiana or Kentucky. Pretty typical stuff. One of the draws of such VBSes was to tell the kids that on a certain day they would have a REAL LIVE MISSIONARY and to be sure to bring a friend so they could hear the exciting adventures he had! Of course, our field was in Europe, and not nearly as primitive as I think some pastors would have wanted it to be. Still, Dad usually did a good job keeping the kids’ attention and would provide a good gospel message to boot. It was usually quite fun.

    However, at this particular VBS, they had invited some sort of evangelist to headline the whole week. He was an older, balding fellow with glasses who appeared to be in his sixties. He was the last speaker of the day, and all the kids from every group were herded into the auditorium to listen to him. I would guess the age range was about 5-13. He preached an entire sermon of which I can remember three main points:

    1. This sermon was easily an hour long.

    2. This sermon included a crudely drawn scene on a large sheet of drawing paper of a variation of The Drawbridge Keeper story. (http://www.snopes.com/glurge/drawbridge.asp) In this version of the story, the son wanted to go down to look at the gears that made the drawbridge work. While the son was down there, the father heard an early train blowing a whistle, and realized that if he threw the switch to let the bridge down and save the train, his son would be crushed in the gears. Naturally, since someone has to die in these stories, the father did so, and the child was crushed. This point was illustrated by the evangelist dipping a paintbrush in red paint, and blotting it on the crude picture of the stick-figure child next to the gears, letting the red paint run down in huge blobs to the bottom of the page. Classy.

    3. At some point, the evangelist started naming off all the problems kids face today. I think the second one he mentioned was sex. And just to show that he wasn’t scared of saying the word “sex” in a room full of 8-year-olds, he emphasized it by saying, “Nothing wrong with sex. Me and my wife? We. Have. Sex.” To this (then) 15-year-old MK, that visual was worse than the ground-up gearboy.

    I don’t know what the kids told their folks when they went home that day, but I’m sure it led to some interesting dinner conversations.

    1. I remember cringing when my husband and I were introduced as “real, live, missionaries” to kids. I always asked myself, “As opposed to a fake, dead missionary?”

  26. The most memorable fundy sermon I ever heard was at PCC chapel when Dr. Mullenix actual set dates for the rapture. 😯

    Based on an obscure OT prophesy berried in the genealogies that I’ve long since forgotten and the picture of creation, with each day of creation being represented by 1,000 years (because a day is to the Lord as one thousand years 🙄 ) and the seventh Day of Rest being the Millennial Kingdome = Christ coming for his church 2,000 years after his first coming (or His going back into Heaven).

    I am not joking about this! He really preached these points. It really happened. Really. I still can hardly believe I heard it though.

    1. He probably got it out of Ruckmans book “Seven Sevens” (but would never dare to mention that at PCC). I’ve got it. He dates the rapture to about September 2000. Of course, he gives himself room for error by saying “IF our calendars are right”.

  27. You know that verse that says we’re to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us? I heard a sermon preached on that verse that changed my life. My mom has always been verbally and physically abusive and I’ve struggled with bitterness and forgivenesss my whole life. All the sermons I’d ever heard just beat me up for my struggle; if I were a good Christian I would just do it. And of course when I was a kid and trusted my pastor enough to reach out for help he didn’t help me. Told me to “pray for her.” I was a scared little kid. Guess he didn’t believe me. That’s a whole other topic though. 😥
    Anyways, this sermon was at the IFB church I left a couple months ago, surprisingly. He said we must forgive as Christ, but Christ doesn’t forgive everyone, only those who seek his forgiveness. Otherwise no one would go to hell. I don’t have to forgive and forget if she doesn’t seek my forgiveness. Not that it gives me license to hold bitterness in my heart, my forgiveness should always be available to her but I don’t have to pretend nothing ever happened. It’s freed me from years of guilt, and that’s beautiful to me. 🙂

    1. I didn’t face the situation you were in, but I’ll never forget the first time I heard a preacher say that forgiveness wasn’t a feeling. I’d always tried to FEEL warm and fuzzy toward people who’d wronged me and hadn’t met with much success. When I learned that forgiving and loving were choices not feelings, I never forgot how freeing that was. (I also used to think that being humble meant believing that everyone was better than I was, which I didn’t believe which must mean that I wasn’t humble which meant that I was displeasing God. Yikes! It was very freeing to learn the true meaning of humility instead of trying to pretend that specific people were smarter or better piano players or whatever.)

    2. I use the three “levels” of forgiveness shown by Christ at His death. The Sanhedrin knew full well that they were condemning an innocent man. Some of them knew, in fact, that Christ fulfilled the prophecies, but they knowingly and deliberately wronged Him, essentially murdering Him.

      Christ didn’t hate them, didn’t rail against them, didn’t return evil for evil. He told them the truth, and He told it to them soberly: that they would see Him at the right Hand of the Father, coming in the clouds of judgment. In a sense, that was the only mercy left to them, to be told by Him that He, ultimately, would destroy them. It was still a way out of they had repented.

      But the crowd that mocked Him really beleoved He had hoodwinked them. They really thought He had fooled them, and they were furious with Him. They did not understand that this was the fulfillment of the Scripture. And so even as they reviled Him, He prayed for them because they did not udnerstand the scope of what they were doing: humiliating God.

      But the dying thief who repented and appealed to Him for mercy did receive the full pardon of Christ and the final words of comfort to carry him through to death. The thief, as jonsgrl noted, sought forgiveness, and Christ granted full pardon and acceptance to him.

      I think we forgive as much as we can in all situations, in that we do no harm for the sake of getting even. But as jonsgrl noted, you cannot reinstate a person who only wants to hurt you. And you’re not obligated to do so. John the Baptist demanded to see the “fruits of repentance” from the Pharisees before he would acknowledge that they had repented and would be forgiven of God.

  28. So many sermons are etched in my memory…. One in particular was from a southern “preacher boy” who would add (when he couldn’t add the word “Amen?”) the extraneous syllable “ah” to each sentence that ended with a one-syllable word. It went something like this:

    “I remember ole Fred -ah
    He got to preachin’ on Hell -ah
    Felt like he believed folks really went there -Amen?
    And I knew I didn’t want to go there – Amen?
    Then he got to preachin’ about the Cross – ah
    About sinners saved from Hell -ah
    I crawled under that altar
    It was like two acres of heaven
    settled in my soul -Amen?
    I got saved — SAAAAAAVVVED!”

    It was challenging to keep a straight face while tallying the -ah’s and -amens 😆

  29. While visiting my parents’ IFB church over Christmas one year the youth pastor preached from the text mentioning the star that the wise men followed. He then talked about sports stars, movie stars, etc. & how we should be stars for Christ. But the point we will never forget was while talking about soul winning (that’s a way to be a star for Christ) he asked “How many people have been saved because of you?” My husband & I tried not to react since we know everyone there knows we’re not fundy & non-KJVer’s but all we could think is yelling “No one! It’s not because of us at all!”.

  30. I sat through a 3 week series about demons and the occult around Halloween back in 96 or 97. The youth pastor made sure to tell all of us in those Sunday night services that Doom was demonic, Korn was demonic, and you had better believe Buffy the Vampire Slayer was demonic. I remember, even though I was 11 or 12 at the time, that it all just didn’t make sense in light of reality, ie, it’s fiction and stuff. Utter nonsense.

    Praise GiD I enjoy all 3 now!

  31. A guest preacher/speaker came to my church on November 22, 2009. I don’t know why I remember that day. I can’t remember the guest speaker’s name, but I remember he was in a wheel chair; both his legs were gone, but I can’t remember if he had his arms or not (if someone can tell me his name, let me know. I’d like to see what kind of info I can find on him). Even before the sermon, I knew something was off because people kept saying how excited they were to hear him because, in their words, he was “famous”. They couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of him before.

    Anyway, during the sermon, he brought up the issue of Bible versions. He said having other versions to compare verses with was confusing, and since confusion was of the devil, that meant that versions other than the KJV were satanic perversions of God’s word (unsurprisingly, this got a lot of “AMENS”). I can’t remember much else from the sermon, but I found this guy to be a genuine ignoramus. What’s amazing is that afterward, people kept saying in awed voices how amazing he was and how much they loved his sermon. I very nearly laughed at them.

    1. That might have been Tim. But in fairness, Tim is a friend and has moved much toward Grace in his years of ministry. He’s very much SBC now and has steered away from the nonsense of IBF and Fundi-ism. He’s old-school…and there’s not a lot to change that given his life story. But Tim preaches grace and he is the real deal. I think where he gets’ associated with the IBF is that given his testimony (losing both legs in Vietnam, a decorated Marine) and given the proclivity for IBF pastors to create heroes he was a natural. He’s a very good man.

  32. David Hyles (yes, that David Hyles, son of Jack), spoke at a chapel service at Tulsa Christian Academy circa 1974. His repeated line that sticks in my mind 36 years later, “You make God vomit.” He was preaching on Revelation 3:16.

  33. I’ve heard all sorts of memorable ‘sermons’ (called homilies) by my Priest-too many to count. None of them involved name calling or telling us how wicked we were for listening to certain music or going to movies or whatever. He actually took the Bible verses and expounded on them directly in an educated and thoughtful manner.. and yes he preached on sin sometimes but he somehow managed to do so without making us feel like we were the great unwashed.

  34. Darrell,
    To answer the question in your script by the Jonatahn Edwards sermon- probably a small minority, All that matters was that God used that sermon to start The Great Awakening in America, Amen?

    1. C.H. Spurgeon is a perennial favorite with the IFB here in the rusted buckle of the Bible belt as well.
      It is funny to hear them quote straight out of Morning and Evening and in the same sermon-lecture-rant blast Calvinism as the worst heresy known to Christendom.

      1. Don,

        The best example of what you speak of is Curtis Hutson’s pamphlet: “Why disagree with all 5 points of Calvinism” In the pamphlet he quotes Charles Spurgeon to prove why Calvinism is heretical.

        Pretty funny that coming from DOCTOR Curtis Hutson

    2. Studying “heroes of the faith” was also an early warning sign that I wasn’t going to be comfortable in the IFb because as I learned from great men and women of the faith (missionaries, songwriters, preachers), I realized that they weren’t all Baptists! Yet we could respect them and learn from them. So if we could realize there was unity of the faith with Christians in the past, why couldn’t we have unity of the faith with Christians NOW (for me, as long as they agree with orthodox tenets of Christianity – once called “the fundamentals”)? Of course, that’s not possible, because we all know the most important thing now is to be a separatist. It’s so sad to me – if we can learn and be blessed from Christians of long ago who were Methodist, Presby, etc., why not today? Why do we have to build the walls high and shoot at everyone else and say how ungodly they are?

  35. Tim Lee is a member of a large IFB church in Garland, Texas (Lavon Drive Baptist). I don’t know how he justifies his lack of separation from “heatherns” by speaking at SBC churches. ???

  36. In the 7 years I was at BJU as Fac I heard one particular chapel sermon twice from the same guest speaker.

    I remember it because the second time through I started recognizing the patronizing “wife jokes” and “woman jokes” he used the first time. Then he went into his main message which was about music and went on to talk about these “modern CCM” groups like Petra and Stryper. I couldn’t believe how out of date he was in 2001 when I heard it the first time but then 6 years later not one update to the sermon even.

    As a side note…the graphic of Jonathan Edwards famous “Sinners in the Hands”. Amazing how one’s reputation can be molded, in the general public mind at least, by one sermon. So much more than that one sermon…. so much about grace that you never hear about.

  37. Oh, another goodie…. we were in a church where EVERY time we had communion…once a month or so…the pastor spent the whole sermon before talking about why we had strictly closed communion. 45 minutes each time explaining why visitors who generally weren’t there were going to be asked to leave in just a few minutes….

  38. I remember ONE – Dr. Kenny McCommis – John 3:16 – Love without cause, Love without flaws, and Love without pause. Pretty clever, although I don’t remember the illustrations. It seems like one was about a battered wife who didn’t leave her husband because “she love him”.

  39. Meant to say “loves” him.

    BTW, I hope I’m not stepping on anyones toes here, but Jonathan Edward’s aforementioned sermon is pornography for fundies.

  40. This is an old one, but I saw it on the Random Post feature.

    My former fundy pastor preached the same sermon twice in about a years time. It was about discouragement.

    There wasn’t any Bible anywhere: just psychology (bad psychology at that), and egotism. He said there is something wrong with you if you are down in the dumps, you need to get right with God, etc etc. You see, HE is able to raise his own spirit, he doesn’t need anyone else.

    If he starts a day feeling bad, he makes himself feel better by going around picking on people. He NEVER keeps a bad spirit. And when you are feeling down and in the dumps, don’t go talk about it to your friends. They don’t really care about you anyway. Just put on a good face and keep going.

    I struggle with depression on an occasional basis. My dad IS depressed. You can’t just outthink it. And to keep stuffing it all inside without dealing with it is BAD. Yay, pastor, you’re an optimist extrovert who gets a high off ridiculing other people. It’s not so simple for some people. Sit down and shove your foot in your mouth a little more so we can’t hear you.

  41. Evangelist Darrell Dunn. While he preached a truckload of BS at my old church when I was a kid, (and still does apparently) his most memorable sermon was about women wearing pants. Now it wasn’t your average pantless females sermon…no sir. The denouement to the story was when he told of sister so-and-so in some church in Toadsuck Arkansas or whatever. He was there preaching a revival at her church and on the night he preached against pants she fidgeted and squirmed and finally got up and stormed out and sure enough…she was wearing pants. The following year he was invited back to preach another week-long revival (remember those?) and on the way from the airport the host pastor said “Brother Dunn…we need to stop by the hospital, there’s someone who has been asking for you.” He was practically drooling by this point of course and he described going to the hospital…the pastor not telling him anything about who they were going to see…they step off the elevator at the Oncology floor and walk down a hall past the grim faced family and they walk in the room and there she was. The rebellious sister who stormed out of the service because she wouldn’t give up her pants. She’d gotten the cayn–cer and they had to amputate both legs at the knee. With tears she reached up and grabbed Darrel Dunn’s lapels and cried “Preacher! Preach the sermon about women wearing pants! I got no legs preacher! God took my legs because I wore pants!”
    I loved God so MUCH after that sermon.

    1. Called™ …bwahahaha that’s funny

      But it’s easy to see how it ought to be done given we have had so much experience with shallow, pitiful, error-filled “preaching” from folks who WERE Called™.

    2. Disgrace,
      *I am a graduate of the preeminent Evangelical University in the world and a student at that school’s seminary.
      *I have authored four books and preached numerous times.
      *I know when to use the word “know” and when to use “no”

  42. When I was in middle school I went to a fundamentalist baptist church and my pastor did a sermon on “contemporary christian music” and how it was an evil, wicked, satan-worshipping, counterfeit devil of a genre.

    My favorite part was his proof text. He said, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. There you have it! Jesus never changes no our music shouldn’t change. Contemporary music is bad because Jesus isn’t contemporary.”

    It really sucked because I was a HUGE dcTalk fan at the time. But as a good fundamentalist I went home and contemplated destroying my Jesus Freak CD. Fortunately, I didn’t.

    I listened to that pagan music until my soul rotted.

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