If you’ve been on SFL for a while you’ve no doubt grown accustomed to the spitting, screaming style of preaching that is favored by some fundamentalists, the kind that consists of of one part loudness and two parts volume with a sprinkling of audience supplied noise. That kind of preaching is generally a younger man’s game, requiring an energy and stamina that is hard to maintain with the passage of time. But as the years pass and preachers “burn out” we find rising from the ashes of those young firebrands emerges an older and slower preacher. He is: The Rambler.
Having never taken the time to actually learn how to exegete nor having gained the wisdom that should come with age, these senior senior pastors rely instead on volume of words instead of volume of voice. They open their Bible to some familiar place but since they have never really gained an understanding of the Gospel so instead They tell poor hackneyed jokes, poke fun at their wives and women in general, and repeat platitudes as if they expect the audience to have never heard them before. They still harbor anger deep within their bosom but being unable to rage against the usual foes of fundamentalism it shows up now as bitter words not boisterous acrobatics. Now lacking the energy to make the display entertaining it just becomes a little sad.
The Rambler tells old tales of days when fundamentalists still reigned supreme and constantly reminds everybody present that the end of the world is nigh in wistful tones that betrays his surprise that the world will almost certainly go on without him when he is gone. Having exhausted his store of truisms he will inevitably fall back on the handful of stories which he loves to tell. Oh, these tales are wondrous living things, planted in the rich soil of yesteryear and well-fertilized with half-remembered details that make up for in creativity what they lack in veracity.
These sermons wander in and out of reality, full of words that sound like they’re about to make some point or share some truth but never quite arriving to the spot where you can quite make it out. If there was some greater purpose there for spending this hour has, perhaps, more to do with giving the preacher some taste of the glory that has departed back when he could still climb the pews and yell to make the rafters ring instead of simply rambling on.
There is no fundy like an old fundy.