Steps To Preparing A Fundamentalist Sermon For Human Consumption:
1. Find a sermon from an average fundamentalist pastor on any given Sunday. You may wish to wear gloves as an untreated sermon may be toxic to the touch. When dealing with certain sermon varieties (especially those native to the Southern regions) earplugs should also be worn to prevent internal damage.
2. Remove corny jokes at the top. Should not be difficult, jokes are so old they will easily fall to dust and blow away when touched.
3. Peel off proof texts being careful to strip off attached eisegesis as well. This should not take long since very little of the text is normally present.
4. With a sharp knife cut out any illustration that glorifies the pastor more than it glorifies Christ. Sermon should now be very small and easily handled.
5. Soak remainder in the alcohol of your choice until political opinions, guilt trips, and random comments are all dissolved. Have a drink and contemplate what a waste of good alcohol this step is.
6. No further preparation is necessary. Once all the above steps have been done nothing will remain.
Back in Israel’s desert-wandering years, there existed a big tent building that housed the various instruments of Jewish worship and sacrifice as well as the divine presence of God himself. God spends seven full chapters of Exodus describing in great detail the building plans, the materials, and the builders. Inevitably, various religious folks have spent countless hours since then missing the entire point of Hebrews 8 and 9 and instead randomly assigning each detail with mystical significance.
Go to any number of sermon series on the Tabernacle and you’ll hear widely varying guesses at how the sewing pattern for the priests’ linen underpants have great significance to the church today. (The robes, however, are completely irrelevant to anybody but high-church sissies)
Do the number of cubits divided by the tribes of Israel and added to the number of chapters in Exodus provide a clue to the length of the Tribulation? Is the table of showbread a symbol of faith promise missions or perhaps a covered dish supper? What exactly were the Urim and Thumim — and more importantly, how did the pastor get the set that he keeps in his study for use in deacon meetings?
Nothing thrills the heart of a fundamentalist pastor more than the opportunity to open the Word of God and discover there some obscure allusion that seems to validates his own opinions. Possibly. Maybe. Almost certainly.