When it comes to fundamentalist preachers, there is nothing quite like the way they choose to express themselves from the pulpit. What they say, in and of itself, can be quite amazing. Such as the recent flap with Mrs. Benny Hinn, tryng her darndest to give a ranting good sermon for the masses and making a complete fool out of herself. In the typical breathless rant of evangelical showmanship, she told the audience what they needed was “a Holy Ghost enema, right up their butts.” Honest, that was what she said and she repeated it. She then went on to tell the audience not to be “butt kissers.” Having realized that she probably had crossed a few too many lines, she tried to recover by saying that people like her just have that kind of humor but was too late and the tape spread around the world, and not in a good way. She then went into a pacing frenzy back and forth until she broke her shoe and told the audience they didn’t need shoes anyway, they needed to put on combat boots for Jesus. I guess this got her out of the shoe breakage embarrassment. The end came merciful when she fell flat on her face, on stage, and everyone started clapping as if this was of God and the perfect ending to a perfect sermon. It was pathetic and the scary part is that not one person in the audience got up and said “I’m out of here.” They loved it.
The fact is that nothing she said in the “sermon” was helpful. Nothing she said was correct and practically nothing she said was anythng but an attempt to appear inspiring and ending up being absolutely foolish. Poor Mr. Hinn was so angry that the video was playing around the world, he threatened those who showed it, from what I understand. I don’t blame him. What a time at the ‘ol breakfast table next day that must have been!
What is it about fundamentalist preachers that some seemingly have to loose their minds and common sense in an avalanche of “techniques” that leave most educated people laughing themselves sick? Do they not realize they are being laughed at?
When a preacher tells the audience that the reason Bathsheba was called Bathesheba was due to the fact that as King David oggled her from the roof top, she was taking a BATH!
I’m not kidding, I heard it with my own ears and wrote the man suggesting that had she been taking a shower, we would have known her as SHOWER-Sheba. The man was simply ignorant and I almost drove off the road laughing. On the other hand, it was pathetic and I often wonder if any in his congregation called him out on that little piece of ignorance. Sometimes I wonder at the audience more than the preacher.
What can be said from the pulpit can be amazingly silly or incredibly harmful. Pat Robertson tells us that hurricanes are from God punishing New Orleans or that Ariel Sharon’s stroke is from God for giving up part of the West Bank to people who also need a real place to live. His coments are wrong, ignorant, foolish and dangerous in these prounouncements. He suddenly saw the light (most will do that when you challenge a particular piece of ignorance and never do when never challenged) when the State of Israel cancelled his affiliation with them and one of his pet projects in Israel, but it was too late. Good for them to put a price on speaking foolishness from the pulpit. I guess the State of Israel was able to uninspire Pat’s inspired comments. God, I suppose, was forced to recind His inspiration and give into the current dilemma.
Time would fail to account for all the ignorance that comes from the pulpits of men and women not trained, not educated, not informed and not accountable for their presentations. Sanctified ignorance is still ignorance as far as we can tell.
There were dinosaurs on the ark…wrong
Earth is just 6000 years old…wrong
Our church is the only true church on earth…wrong
Evolution is a doctrine of Satan…wrong
Dancin is a doctrine of Satan…wrong
Whatever you ask in Jesus name, you will have…wrong
“I am God’s true representative on earth and I am compelled to say these things…” wrong
If you tithe, God will bless you and pour out the windows of heaven to you…wrong
God is doing this…wrong
God is doing that…wrong
Jesus thinks this of that…wrong
Jesus thinks that of this…wrong
“I know I am going very long on this sermon..but you need to hear this…” wrong
“You need to put the Church and bible study and being here first in your life…” wrong
…and on and on and on such that it would behove most preachers of this way of being to join On and On Anonymous!
Perhaps most irritating and pathetic of all is the WAY that many Evangelical, TV and Fundamentalist preachers present themselves. What’s with the cadance from hell in the presentation? What’s with the “eh” “eh” “eh” at the end of every sentence. I realize physiologically it helps them breath or they would pass out, and while it may be “tradition” it is past useful for educated parishioners. Maybe that’s the problem too.
What’s with the yelling? Always yelling and always giving the appearance that they are angry. Preachers are angry a lot as they think they can’t be a Preacher without their righteous indignation showing for every last thing on the planet they decide is evil and needs the iron rod of Jesus to smack down.
I listened to a preacher this morning coming in to work just to see if he would pass out and go absolutely speechless trying to yell, speak and breathe at the same time. I don’t think he missed one human foible in his presentation that he was not bashing his congregation over the head with. Sometimes I sense “me thinks thou protesteth too much.” I have learned that far more often than one thinks, just monitor what topics the preacher rails upon repeatedly and you might have a good hint at what troubles his own ignorant soul. Every minister in my personal experience who was known to rail against this or that “sex problem” was wrestling with it himself. Projection is something that most congregants of fundamentalist preachers don’t understand.
No one can slaughter the English language like a preacher gone berserk behind the pulpit. Imagine a meeting at IBM or the Oval Office (well there I can ;), conducted in that tone and style and you will find someone being escorted off the premisis looking for a new job.
Sermons are full of nonsensical phrases and pronounciations. If you were to write down what was said and read it back, it would sound ridiculous. From “Jaaa..eeeeeezus says,” to “days (there is) a time a commin…” an intelligent and meaningful presentation is lost in a flurry of emotion and slobber. HOW you say something for many preachers far outweighs whether what one says is even true. Remember, in fact, science by nature of being science has to be accurate and admit mistakes. At this moment, we have some very embarrassed and angry South Korean scientists who have found out and admitted that their recent cloaning projects were bogus. Sorry about that, but good for them.
Preachers not only rarely admit to mistakes, but seem to have a need to perpetuate the error. Since God is never wrong, they never are not wrong either, since they think they both speak and are inspired by this outside force called “God.” Simply ask yourself how many times you have ever heard a preacher or church say it was wrong when it said this or that and you will understand what I mean. Because of this, many fundamentalist sermons are delivered in angry, emotional, threatening and self righteous tones. I can only imagine what some of the kids are thinking as they watch the show. Often they will tell you years later how nuts the church the grew up in was.
Every scientific fact that the church has ever made fun of as being contradicted by the Bible, they have eventually had to admit to being correct. Of course, many do not, and never will, Praise Jesus for my ignorance because “the wisdom of man is foolishness with God,” and “my ways are not YOUR ways..saith the Lord.” Preachers hid a lot of ignorance behind those two quotes.
It just took the Pope 350 years to apologize for almost burning Galileo at the stake for thinking earth was not the center of the solar system and the sun circled it. He didn’t apologize for actually doing it to nameless others. Science has yet to acknowledge one Biblical allegory as being literally true in their actual findings. Eventually, the “facts” the church promotes in areas where they don’t know what they are talking about, falls to the real facts. More so now in these days of easy access to the internet for information not formerly available to the average person.
And so sometimes we have to ask ourselves, “what is our chillins learning in Church from such preachers?”
For starters, they are learning:
Yelling trumps teaching.
Good grammar doesn’t count in church.
God is a consuming fire if you question the preacher.
Emotions trump good information.
One can be ill-programmed for life and not realize it.
Brains and YOUR intelligence and common sense indeed can be checked at the door when you go to your church.
Preachers are never wrong.
YOU are seldom right.
“Jaaaaaaheeeezus” loves the sinner but hates the sin, but it sure sounds like he hates the sinner too.
Mom or Dad never seem to think what I think the preacher says and does is stupid..something must be wrong with me.
God and Jesus must be raving lunatics if this man or woman is his personal representative on earth to me.
Narcissism must be a spiritual gift.
Take some time and just listen to the words of those that fit these ways of speaking for God. Watch the antics they feel they have to use to convince. If your head says “it must be so” while your tummy says “no no no”, go with the tummy. It will tell you the truth of what you are feeling more accurately and you won’t feel like something is wrong with you for observing that, while sincere, this man is really not qualified to teach me who and what God is and what he is or isn’t doing on good ‘ol planet earth. You’ll also be able to more genuinely answer the question your kids are asking themselves, whether you know it or not. “Dad, why is the preacher yelling, and why does he talk so funny?”