Although fundamentalists love sermons on sin of the outrageous andÂ titillatingÂ variety, they very often lack any openly practicing sinners in their midst. This results in the odd circumstance of pastors preaching entire sermons on a topics that ostensibly apply to nobody who is listening; it’s like Â a sort of Â National Geographic tour of the wastelands of iniquity so curious Christians can be suitably shocked.
Perhaps you too have enjoyed the pleasure of sitting in a youth group consisting of three pastor’s kids, one youth pastor’s son, and one child of a visiting missionary. Â Not at allÂ deterredÂ by the apparent squeaky cleanness of Â his audience, the speaker will still treat those present to a forty-five minute tirade in which the speaker insinuated that most of those present were probably 1)Â practitionersÂ of witchcraft 2)drug addicts or 3)passing notes during the sermon instead of paying attention.
Yet somehow in the throes of condemning those not present, the real sin in the camp goes unnoticed. Given the average audience in a fundy church it would seem that sermons on gays, Â ganja, and gambling would give place to more relevant sermons on things like gossip, gluttony, or greed. But it’s just so much easier to convince those who are already converted.
image found at sacredsandwich.com
If you’ve ever listened to a preacher claim that after hours of fruitless sermon preparation he was supernaturally given three alliterated points and an amusing story about a chinchilla during the final verse of the last hymn before the message…you might have been a fundamentalist.
Although fundamentalists will all claim that the the completion of the Bible ended direct revelation from God, they don’t bat an eye at a pastor who claims that God has divinely inspired his choice of text, interpretation of said text, and all associated illustrations, pontifications, magnifications, and ululations. Evidently, direct revelation isn’t as over as all that.
The job of any preacher undoubtedly to proclaim “thus saith the Lord.”Â A preacher who claims to be a cessationist while proclaiming “thus saith the Lord to me right before I got up here this morning” is worth a second glance.Â And that’s all the Lord has laid on my heart to say on the matter.
If you’ve ever heard a sermon entitled “A Plethora of Pentateuch Principles for Preventing Pre-Teen Promiscuity and Potent Punishments for the Perverted Participants” chances are it was in a fundamentalist church.
(I’m out of town traveling on business this week so updates are likely to be a little sparse.)