Rabbit Trail Preaching

Although there are exceptions, the majority fundamentalist preachers do not speak in a linear fashion. Some may very well have a three point alliterated outline and give the impression that they have some specific big idea to communicate but in reality, the average fundy sermon runs a very tortuous route indeed taking frequent jaunts into amen lines and pit stops on the pastor’s pet peeves. It’s a wild ride.

This style of speaking is not merely the ramblings of the untrained mind, it serves a specific purpose. For it is much easier to disguise that that your points are neither well developed or particularly well supported if you separate them by minutes of filler material and lots of one-liners designed to elicit positive responses from the audience. Best of all, the preacher can simply claim that all the extras were just laid on his heart by the Spirit in the process of preaching and who can really argue with that?

Consider the following outline which I’ve just made up on the spot. (It’s really kind of scary how easy this is to do.)

I. Sampson’s Call (A Nazirite From His Mother’s Womb)
– spend 15 minutes telling how the pastor was called to the ministry
and resisted until that one night in Tampa back in ’63
– throw in a few digs at some other church in town
II. Sampson’s Gall (The riddles and burning of the fields with foxes)
– Somehow connect this to rock music. Yell a lot.
– Pause to congratulate some visiting fundy on his long ministry and unswerving stand on the KJV
III. Sampson’s Fall (Loss of His Hair and slavery)
– spend 20 minutes talking about how courtship is more biblical than dating.
– tell a heart wrenching story about a puppy.

By the end of all that, the hearers will have been sent down so many different paths of thought that there will be no way of trying to connect back the bulk what they’ve just heard to any actual point, structure, or support material. All they will know is that there were verses used so whatever the speaker just said must certainly be biblical.

128 thoughts on “Rabbit Trail Preaching”

    1. There are 15 minutes on the first point, at least 20 minutes on the last point, and an unspecified number of minutes on the second point (but probably at least 10). I think 45 minutes would be the best case scenario. It could be much, much worse.

        1. more like 32 minutes for the altar call. . .then again, “the invitation never ends. . ” πŸ˜‰

        2. And after the final verse of “Just As I am” dies the preacher talks to his wife at the piano and praises her playing ability before asking her to play it again…and while the song is already playing…. πŸ™„

        3. And the preacher often throws in some variation on this gem at the end of the invitation. “I’m not going to end the invitation. I’m going to let you end by your disobedience and refusal to heed God’s call to the altar.”
          And I really wish I was making that up.

    2. 45 minutes which starts after the 15 minute introduction. Anyone else ever been in a service and heard, “Now on to my first point, which is …” and groaned inside because the introduction was 10, 15, or 20 minutes long?

        1. And if you groan inwardly, the next thing out of his mouth is, “how is it that people can sit for three hours in a movie, but can’t sit through an hour church service?”

        2. @Susan, true! Of course, the answer is that most of us WON’T sit through a poorly planned, poorly executed movie. We check out the reviews; we want originality, creativity, a believable plot, good special effects, characters we can root for (or boo!), sincerity not shallowness, a meaningful theme, etc. (unless of course we’re just looking for simple escapism!) But still their claiming that our enjoyment of a well-planned, multi-million dollar movie proves we’re not spiritual if we don’t also enjoy their rambling rants (no meat, no true exegesis, but lots of personal opinion) is annoying!

        3. My reply about that is….there is a HUGE difference between sitting in church and watching a movie. You can wear what you want to the movies. You can eat popcorn, nachos, etc. and drink soda at the movies. You can make multiple trips to the bathroom at the movies. You can wiggle in your seats at the movies. You can talk (albeit quietly) during the movies. You can make out 😳 during the movies (as appropriate, no making out during Schindler’s List πŸ˜‰ ). And if the movie doesn’t suit you, you can get up and leave without anyone sending you emails or “praying” for you! :mrgreen:

        4. And if you tell him the truth, which is, “I CAN’T sit through a three-hour movie”, then you’re being snarky.
          So just sit there and nod and wonder if anyone really does sit that long. πŸ™„

        5. Susan – They also make similar comments if the congregation is dead and the MOG isn’t getting enough Amens. “Why, if you were at the Redskins game you would come home hoarse from yelling” Ok, so exactly what does that have to do with us setting in the church and listening to your lame sermon?

          I would hate to think that I was so shallow that I had to beg for Amens.

    3. And the message/invitation must take even longer on Superbowl Sunday! But of course a true fundy would never admit to watching the Superbowl, because that wouldn’t be ‘redeeming the time,’ amen?

      I seriously love being heathen! 😈

        1. The puppy is playing the white piano but your hair is too long so you can’t hear him.

    1. an illustration right at the end to illicit sadness, sympathy, or get an emotional response

  1. Darrell I know there are a lot of comments that say “this post is your best ever”. I am now adding to that list of comments. Best ever.

    Bravo sir.

    1. HAY!-men! preach it, brother! That’ll preach! Oh, me, preacher!

      Is it too early to start compiling a “best of 2011” list?

      1. so that begs the question, what the the MOG do with the rest of his time during the week?

        1. Oh, the preacher spent all week preparing another sermon (at least that’s what he says), but God told him during the special music to ditch that and preach this new sermon.

        2. there are tons of books or websites that will give the m-o-g his alliterated or rhyming outline (bonus points with gid for an aliiterated, rhyming outline) πŸ™„

  2. Ah. Yes. πŸ™‚
    My friends in college, and my girlfriend (now wife) would play a little game during the AM service at BJU. When a preacher would wander down a rabbit trail (as a certain toupee-wearing vice president would at times, or even III), we would make little rabbits with your hands and hop around on our Bibles. It’s really sad to think that so little preaching of the Bible actually occurred.

  3. It’s like the sermon I heard on I Chronicles 12:32 on the men of Issachar:

    I. They Were Men (not women or sissies)
    II. They Understood the Times (times like ours with evil video games, cable TV, internet and Hollywood movies)
    III. They Knew What to Do (separate, and go soul-winning)

    Reminds me of the sermon on “Old Mother Hubbard”.

    I. Who Went to the Cupboard?
    II. Why Did She Go to the Cupboard?
    III. What Did She Find When She Got to the Cupboard?

    1. The homiletics teacher at the Bible college I went to preached a sermon on “A Visit from St. Nicholas” each hear at Christmas time. It was hilarious.

      1. i still use it as a skit. “Laying a finger aside to his nose!” We did it in a grad class meeting and some of the men (?) were offended that we were making fun of preachers. πŸ™„

  4. As a preacher, this outline disturbs me in so many various ways, and if I had to sit through this style of preaching every week, I’d go out of my head! When I was in school, I was always taught “Stick to the text.” Rabit trails are not always terrible, but they better be relevant, or don’t take them. My pastor is notorious for rabit trails, but he does stay on point with them, and they’re relevant to the text at hand. I do feel, however, that most preachers’ rabits are because they doon’t spend time preparing for their messages. I had a preacher tell me one time that for every hour you preach, 24 hours of prep should accompany. I’ve found this to be true. Most of my messages are about 25 to 30 minutes in length.

    1. Anytime a preacher goes on and on and on (and most of it sounds completely unplanned), I think of the quote about the writer wishing he had MORE time to have written a SHORTER letter. When I googled the quote, I found:

      “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” (Marcus T. Cicero)

      Ò€œIf you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.Ò€ (Mark Twain)

      1. That’s a favorite of mine. Another version is, “I apologize for the length of this letter. There simply wasn’t time to write something shorter.”

        And it’s true. Every writer knows that it takes more time and work to be succint than to be verbose.

        1. It’s a disciplin to keep it short, that’s for sure. If anyone has ever heard Lester Rolloff preach, you know how he rambled on and on and on, and all his messages were about the same things, tv, clean life, and diet. It didn’t matter what text he took, for the message would be the same. I learned, while I was in Bible school, that Rolloff would never take an outline into the pulpit. He would read a verse, and “pray” that God would give him the words. Many herald him as a great preacher, but I find his messages an exercise in patience and utter tedium to listen to.

        2. Not many here will herald him as a great preacher. What you described is (IMO) and insult to the Scriptures.

      2. Hmmm… I’ve always said the art of preaching is taking a two minute point and expanding it into a one hour sermon.

  5. The pastors of my boyhood church were never guilty of this that I can recall, but I sure have heard plenty of examples elsewhere. Another thing I find irritating is the preacher who will give a half-hour or 45-minute sermon, wrap it all up and you’re just SURE it’s going to end, and then he’ll spend an additional fifteen minutes unnecessarily summarizing what he has just said, followed by an equally unnecessary long altar call.

  6. “Just open up your bibles, it doesn’t matter where I’ll get there before we are done”.
    Rambling speakers frustrate me to no end. Everyones time is valuable and I hate to see it wasted. Almost all sermons could be wrapped up in 30 min or less. Most of the time that is about all folks will listen and glean unless you are extremely interesting or entertaining. πŸ˜•

    1. After our church ran off the really good pastor — the thoughtful, educated, well-spoken one — we got a retired interim pastor who could not string two coherent thoughts together. It was torture to sit through his ramblings; even the amen-ers would just kind of sit confused.

    2. My parents had a very old guy as pastor who could make announcements last over 15 minutes (this in a church of about 25 people). His rambling sermons would go on and on and around 12:15 or so he’d notice he was out of time and abruptly end the sermon, saying he’d finish it in the evening service. This drove my organized and logical father crazy!

      When I came home from college for summer, I actually purposefully planned to work on Sundays because I couldn’t BEAR to sit through his messages both AM and PM.

  7. When I was a fundy, I LOVED rabbit trails. I loved the “Hard preaching” as it were.

    Now it just sick to me. My pastor sticks to the text. Much more meaty.

  8. Now think about this sermon. Double the time, with each word being translated into Zulu, from English, or vice versa. Add two or more voices at the back of the church, one translating into Sesoth, another into German, and maybe French/Afrikaans/Venda/Shangaan/Portugese or something else at the back…

    Follow this by that extra sermon, which adds another rabbir trail, possibly with an additional language from the front – now it is thrice repeated – and maybe this time round you understand at least 2 of the three languages, and can note the bad translation as well.

    Then followed by that chorus, thrice repeated, in 2 or more languages (not forgetting the same, for about 20 minutes at the begining of the service)….

    Welcome to my childhood. The antidepressants are in that cupboard behind the door, and the punch bag is in the basement. The barfbags are over there….. πŸ™ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ˜₯

  9. Our pastor loved to talk about his childhood. (When he was not talking about his Bible college experiences.) We heard every “cute” story complete with details and names of his childhood friends and relatives. After being a church member for over 5 years, I had heard the same stories 3 times or more. I would think, who/what is this church service suppose to be about? Certainly “the time you and your sister went to visit great grandma in Columbus” is not relevant or edifying to us. About this time, I would discretely begin work on my grocery list.

    1. It could be worse if your pastor spent any length of time in the military….that’s an unending supply of stories there.

    2. The pastor I had used to go on at length about how he would practice preaching by screaming at washing machines or else his love of fishing. Nearly every sermon had a fishing story in it.

    3. sounds like the church i was youth pastor at. i heard the pastor’s same stories from his childhood and other stories and illustrations over and over. ugh!

  10. Wow. The outline is parallel and it RHYMES. That’s amazing. I cannot begin to tell you how many times, as I was teaching English at Fundy Christian Academy, the pastor’s secretary would call my classroom in the middle of class on Friday and say something like, “Pastor is looking for a verb that means ‘to hide,’ and it needs to end in ‘ing’ and start with an ‘s’ and it would be great if it were three syllables so everything would match perfectly. Do you happen to know of a word like that?”

    Um, yeah, so I did the same thing anyone else would have done: I googled it. Or I made my students brainstorm a list of words. That was especially fun when my junior highers were in the room.

    1. 😯

      I taught English at small Christian schools. This would have driven me CRAZY!!!

  11. Here’s my current favorite example of rabbit trail preaching:
    Tony Hutson goes on at considerable length about how you’d better make mashed potatoes exactly the way he likes them, or he’ll throw them on the floor. Except for telling us he’s a spoiled brat with no manners, I have no idea what his point is. From there, the sermon gets a good deal less focused and less relevant.

    1. Umm… is anyone else completely skeeved out by how loudly people “amen-ed” when he started talking about shooting the woman and running her over with a car? *shudder*

  12. Darrell, Thanks for the outline. It’s only two days until Sunday and I’ve been praying the Spirit would give me something good to preach to the people. Then the Spirit led me to your website and WOW…the perfect message for Super Bowl Sunday. Thanks Again!

  13. Over the holidays I attended one of those “liberal” community churches with a worship team and a coffee house. I was expecting a watered down, rabbit trail filled, liberal sermon. I remember hearing fundy preaching how bad those non-denoms were…except I about fell out of my chair when the pastor gave the most meaty, line by line, verse by verse, truth filled, powerful sermons I have ever heard. My husband the IFB who was LOOKING for a way to criticize the guy actually loved it.
    I recently went online to torture myself and listen to a fundy sermon and was shocked again to see how full of rabbit trails it really was. There was one verse that was read at the beginning of the sermon and the rest was just opinion and really bad connect the dots theology…I used to love this kind of preaching because it was actually entertaining to try to figure out what the “moral of the story was” and how the verse fit the sermon.. πŸ˜€
    Where I came out of the pastor was brilliant at this kind of preaching even though he claimed to have “deep thoughts”..his deep thoughts were more like Jack Handy’s except not as funny… 😎

    1. I can relate. I play gospel bluegrass music in different churches in and around our area and a couple summers ago we were playing for a methodist homecoming. When I found out that the featured speaker was a female preacher, I was wondering just what we were going to hear. Let me say it was one of fine, put-together sermon, the preaching related to the scripture, it was simply a love-filled wonderful message. It really was great!

      I’m still not sure what I think about female preachers (don’t get mad at me Natalie) but I can say that lady preached one great sermon.

      1. Actually, Greg, I won’t be a member of a church that has a woman preacher, just based on my personal preference and beliefs.

        NOW, I don’t go around folding my arms at women preachers that I come across, and condemn them and their calling. It’s not my place to question their calling or position, nor judge it.

        I just prefer a church led by a man. Please don’t make me expound. πŸ˜‰

        1. I do not believe a woman should be a pastor. I do not believe a man should be a pastor either. At least, the kind of pastor I see in modern day Christianity, who is at the top of the pyramidal hierarchy.I see servant watchmen in the Bible called elders. They are usually very servant like and they do not exercise the lord to serf relationship that most pastors serve. That’s another topic though. In short, CEO pastor is an invention of our minds, and its not reserved for men or women.

        2. Dave – I’m inclined to agree with you. The “pastors or elders” that I see in the scriptures look nothing like the “puffed up men” that I see in pulpits all across America. Man has taken a handful of scriptures and have run wild with them.

          I personally don’t know what the answers are, but I am not happy with the present system.

        3. @Greg,

          Amen. Puffed up is right. And we think it comical that the Pharisees blew a trumpet when giving offerings in public. These men even exist today.
          Blessings to you.

        4. In the two churches on the planet that I would actually go to, both pastors hold earned doctorate degrees and are very humble men. I truly learned something from them. They taught more than “preached”, and they held the title of Senior Pastor. I don’t see a problem with that, as long as there are checks and balances and only if the Senior Pastor allows the checks and balances, which they do in both of these churches.

          Unfortunately, both churches are nowhere close to where I live now. πŸ˜‰

        5. Yes! CEO Pastors need to humble themselves and become accountable to elders. Great points.

  14. I can remember when people used to ask me during lunch, “So how did you enjoy that sermon? What was your favorite part?”

    I would reply with, “Well, I’m not sure. They’re were a lot of different points. I mean, he covered sooo much, you know?”

    Translation: “I got lost because there wasn’t always a logical pattern. Just a stringing together of anecdotes, surprise yelling sprees, and dubiously-originated quotations. Please don’t ask me what the point was exactly.”

  15. I missed the point about Samson. Did he have short hair? And wear pants? Therefore no woman should ever have short hair and wear pants?

  16. I don’t know why others go to church. When I go, I go to catch a glimpse of someone who loves me, God.
    When the sermon is disconnected from the Bible as Darrell presents here, God disappears from sight and I’m left looking at the distastful ManOGawd image. Our last years in the fundy church were so bad, we encouraged our children to take coloring books and other distractions so they would not listen to the ManOGawd. It’s been 5 years now, God is good.

  17. Lowest point in the sermon posted by big gary? “shoot her Man! Don’t let a 90 lb woman whoop up on you!” forget that she’s probably lost and shooting her would probably send her into hell for eternity. Glad to know your manhood is more important than someone’s soul. Way to be a man of God there. Even more sad to me is that everyone amen’d at that point. Anyone know where he was preaching @ in this vid?

  18. @big gary’s video, “just shoot her man! Don’t let a 90 lb woman whoop up on you like that!” glad her soul means less to you that your manhood does. Way to be a MOG there! Worst part? Everyone amen’d the loudest @ that part. Anyone know where this was recorded at?

  19. Add in an additional 20 minutes for a slowed-down version of a hymn, which was already sung before the sermon, being lead by the off-key and tempo preacher, and you have a summary of an entire fundy service πŸ™„

  20. Hey Darrell. You forgot the hate speeches. Usually come about point 2 or 3: “Spend at least ten minutes screaming about how homosexuals and/or Democrats and/or Catholics are ruining America.” And the self-congratulations about point 3: “I’ve always stood on the KJV and being in church and I’m never gonna change no matter what laws the liberal heathens pass, AMEN?”

  21. My pastor is also my best friend. For a time a small group of us ribbed him incessantly about his rabbit trails. Haven’t heard many lately but his were always entertaining. That outline though… it’l preach… πŸ˜‰

  22. I never heard a rabbit trail speaker like Bob Jones Jr.

    I don’t know if he even had any idea what he was going to say when he walked up to the podium. Turn in your Bibles to… and then somehow he’d end up talking about an endless list of what annoys him. It annoys him that the Korean students all walk around in packs and aren’t very friendly. He hates the song Noel because it sounds like No Hell. And you there! I see you in the third row sleeping! Wake up! Somebody wake him up!

    1. I call it Jr’s “free association time,” cause it was never really a sermon. Nothing was ever very well connected, just rambling.

    2. I remember that sermon…and the nervous laughter. It was almost like when your drunk uncle tells a dirty joke at the church picnic.

    3. Maybe, but he was the most entertaining fundy EVER. I honestly enjoyed when he was the chapel speaker.

    4. I have to say I enjoyed when he spoke in chapel too. Of course, I didn’t walk away with any new understanding, but man could he ramble. It was especially good the more senile he got with time. I never considered him to be a preacher, just a speaker who got a ton of face time in front of the students. I always wanted to just talk to him as an old man with some great stories. What he did was wrong, yes, but sooooo entertaining!

  23. This was the method my money-obsessed fundy pastor used to constantly preach about tithing/giving/building while being able to claim “I rarely preach on the subject of giving.”

    So don’t make it the subject – just a convenient and frequent rabbit trail.

    1. Ò€œI rarely preach on the subject of giving.Ò€

      Heard that a lot too. Of course what followed would be a lot of red-in-the-face, vein popping and downright mean-spirited screaming and yelling how if you don’t tithe, you are probably not even saved.

  24. The bible is a finite book. There is nothing new that can be said about it. Going to church is like going to a book club where the book being read and discussed never changes. Even the best preachers have no choice but to recycle sermons, go off subject or try to relate a bible verse to current events. I have read through the bible twice (KJV and NIV) and I see no point of reading through it again.
    I had one preacher, his sermons consisted of reading a few verses and then going on a rant about whatever pissed him off last week.

    1. I find deeper personal meaning in the Bible when I read it because it reveals an infinite God.

    2. Mark – And here everyone was being so nice, I was ready to hold hands and sing a song or two. Let me be the first to tell you that the Bible is the Word of God and is not a finite book. This book is alive, this book points us to the Saviour, this book tells us about the afterlife, this book has “accurately” predicted the future and predicts more of the future. This book is like nothing that has ever come to planet Earth. The bible is actually Jesus, hard to explain, but the bible says that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”

      Let me encourage you to search this blessed “book” again. I’ll just say that I found “eternal life” within its pages.

      1. OOOOoohhh, I think Mark touched a nerve. Thanks Greg I couldn’t have said it that well. Those who view the Bible as a finite book must not have contact with the author which, afterall, is what the book is about. Contact with, that is…not the author…well that too… I’m going home now… πŸ˜•

      2. @ Greg

        I agree with you. I think the big key for me was when I started reading the Bible for myself instead of having other people tell me what was in it.

        1. @Kevin – Exactly! It’s wonderful for the Lord to speak to us through the Holy Spirit, instead of being “filtered” through a fundy preacher.

    3. I agree, Mark. The Bible is a finite book. Every book is finite, so for me the phrase is actually a little redundant. The question is whether or not the Bible conveys a sense of the infinite, as per pastor’s wife’s comment. For me, the Word of God transcends the collection of books we call “the Bible”. But that is about belief and experience, not proof and evidence. BTW, I share your frustrations with respect to blowhard, jackass preachers.

    4. I agree, Mark. But also, studying the Bible for yourself, thinking of it as literature or imagining its original audience, etc. is way more interesting than reading it devotionally.

      Plus you can read the really beautiful parts (not) like Ezekiel 16 and 23. Two chapters I’ve never heard a preacher tackle. I’d love to see an outline for those.

    5. The Bible is not an end in itself. The point of reading the Bible is not just to read the Bible. It is a gateway to know God; not simply on a factual basis, but a personal, relational one. In this sense the Bible, while limited in content, is inexhaustible.

      1. Very nicely said, JohnRF. I heard someone once make the point that the Bible doesn’t call itself the Word of God, it calls Jesus the Word. The Bible is the “words” of God, and it’s purpose it to introduce us to Him.

    6. I disagree with your conclusion on Scripture, however, I would like to give you props for actually having read it through 2x’s.

  25. I get so much MORE out of a short sermon. Long sermons by nature cause you to tune out and go to your happy place

  26. Wow… that sermon, in just its outline form, made me give up pants for skirts, throw away my Michael Buble CD’s, and quit my job.

    Okay, I can’t even write all that with a straight face. πŸ˜‰

  27. I had a habit at my old church. I would listen up to, and through the first rabbit trail, if it wasn’t too long, then when he got to the second rabbit trail, I considered myselt to have tried hard enough, and I would then just start reading my bible. I had a Thompson Chain at the time and it really had some fantastic notes, I got real familiar with all of them.

  28. A classic. My most recent encounter was this was attending a fundy church in Colorado. The text was on Isaac blessing Jacob, and within 5 minutes the MOG was pontificating on why women should never drive the family car.

    After the message a former teacher of mine who attended this particular church expressed his concern over my departure from Fundamentalism. I would have expressed my objections in plainer terms, but children were present.

    1. Shoot, why don’t you just put us women in the trunk? πŸ˜‰ ……

      One WORD from ANY of you men about women backseat drivers, and I’ll tell your ladies, and you shall all be horse-whipped.

      (Get your mind out of the gutter, Don and Scorpio.)

  29. At least God heard Samson’s final prayer and let him kill himself and a bunch of other people with him. Could be point #4. “Samson’s Ball(s)”.

  30. The very last Baptist service I ever attended,about 10 years ago, the pastor gave a sermon based on the idea that the spiritual life is akin to sweat socks full of holes. It was the recurring theme that tied all of his rambling points together. My lapsed Catholic roommate, who had accompanied me that morning just for something to do, was unable to hide her chortles at something so ridiculous. I was all, “What?”, as at that time such illustrations were so common to me that it didn’t even seem all that odd.

    1. His theme, in other words, was: “I didn’t prepare a sermon for today, but getting dressed this morning, I noticed I have holes in my socks.”

  31. “That brings us to our final point” means another twenty minutes of sermonizing, minimum. “Let me summarize” means at least fifteen more minutes added.

    1. My husband and I recently visited a church at the (questionable) recommendation of an acquaintance. After twenty minutes, the old guy said, “And now with that introduction, I’ll begin my 10 points.” And he was serious. What actually happened was the 10 points got honorable mention, and his rabbit trails (the usual alcohol, porn, rock, internet) were the main topics.

  32. I don’t remember exactly how many times I heard this growing up, but I know the routine by heart. I actually thought rabbit trails were a good thing when I was a teenager! I thought it was how we were supposed to preach! Oh, I was so misguided.

  33. Mark Lowry talks about touring IFB churches before he met Bill Gaither. He says the pastor usually preachers an hour and he couldve done it in 20 minutes if he wouldve studied.
    I love that Mark Lowry!

  34. Then there are phrases like Γ’β‚¬Λœremove not the ancient landmarksÒ€ℒ, or pretty much anything with the key words Γ’β‚¬ΛœfaithfulnessÒ€ℒ or Γ’β‚¬ΛœpurityÒ€ℒ. Which, disconnected from all context, the fundy preacher has taken to mean Γ’β‚¬Λœbe just like me.Ò€ℒ
    Here the sermon itself is a rabbit trail. Convenience itself. Therefore the preacher can go on and on about how everyone needs to dress like him, talk like him, listen to the same music as him, get up at the same time as him, eat the same breakfast as him, and get rid of all the technology he never took the time to understand. However even this can give way to rabbit trails of war stories and examples of his best moments being just like himself, and his greatest accomplishments in the process.

  35. Ahhh nice.

    Our co-pastor, the pastor’s son, usually has good sermons. He gets a whole passage and preaches through it. Some occasional rabbit trails, nothing too bad. I like Sunday mornings.
    Though he’s done better ones lately, the preacher is guilty of the “read one verse, elaborate on what isn’t there” type sermons. I used to copy Bebo Norman/Casting Crowns/etc songs in my notebook because I’ve heard why our church is the best and we aren’t changing quite a few times now. And Bebo Norman has some really awesome songs. Though lately I’ve started taking actual notes again.

    We had the SotL editor at our church yesterday. He had a really good Sunday AM message, from I Thessalonians 1, talking about our blessed hope and inheritance through God. Thumbs up.
    Started really well Sunday PM, John 4. Was telling how we can’t ignore people because of their race, Jesus came for everyone, etc etc. Then midway does a 360, and starts preaching from “Jacob’s well was there.” I knew exactly what was coming and settled down to fill up my bingo sheet. A good 20 minute spiel on “we have to keep the well clean!!” How drinking and movies are bad, those bad churches with wrong Bibles, etc etc etc. I filled in 10 of the 25 slots, but none in a row. Hoping for better things for tonight πŸ˜›

    And I feel really bad about not taking him seriously. He had a good 1 1/2 message. But really? Not to mention we are about as fundy as can be (not weird fundy, but very fundy), so his spiel was rather needless.

    Just thought I’d share.

  36. The problem you state here is rampant throughout the Church. It crosses all spectrum of preaching from independent to denominational. The answer lies in ministers taking time to obtain proper education. I am not speaking of a mail order degree, nor am I speaking about degree’s which requires little or no support in thesis writing. Without having to present one’s exegesis for peer review, a degree is worthless. To make matters worse, a great number of pastor’s have no education at all. That is why instead of presenting teaching based upon good biblical foundations, we hear so many preachers talking about dogs, cats, parakeets and personal peeves. A great shame!

  37. At my church there is a gentleman like this, who will fill in during Pastor’s absence. God bless this fellow’s soul, he has no concept of time, despite attempts to convey evidence to the contrary by periodically glancing at his watch. At the 45-minute mark, he’s ready for point 2, lacking any discernible pattern en route. He seems to really just like talking for its own sake, tossing in a few ‘Amens’, some introductory Scriptural reference such as John 3:16, and the odd joke.
    I respect him tremendously as a Deacon, a brother in Christ and a friend, but I nearly pass out trying to remain upright in my seat when he’s at the pulpit.
    It may be that’s the only time he ever really gets to let loose and gab as long as he wants.

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