Monday, July 20, 2015

Anyone fact check your sermons, pastor?

Chances are, someone will, perhaps in real time. You likely have bored listeners sitting in the pew who can quickly google "pastor jailed in Vermont for refusing to perform gay wedding".

Didn't happen. Snopes it, bro. As a fallback position, you can say that you meant to say that a preacher was arrested and locked up for saying that homosexuality is a sin. Just say that it happened in the United Kingdom, not the States, and that it was five years ago. Hey, first the UK, then Nashville or somewhere, First Amendment be doggoned.

If you want to make a point about America going to Gehenna in a hand basket you can use current, relevant facts. There's no need to grab something from Sweden, something several years old. People could say as they leave church and you greet them at the door, "Pastor, intriguing point about the country declining in morals. Could you expand on that by noting that we once had slaves in this fair land; that we once denied women the right to vote? Stuff like that."

You have a right to offer a subjective opinion. You have a right to noisily declaim from the pulpit, facts or no facts. You might like the instant feedback from heads nodding in approval, a few hearty "Amens!", and perhaps a burst of applause.

The guy who fact checks you is probably just a troublemaker anyway, right?

"Let him preach 100 or so times a year and see if he can come up with stuff to make it interesting," you sniff.

You might be tempted by what is sweeping social media that seems to fit your sermonic hobby horse. How about this breathless recent comment:

Did you hear that Walmart refused to make a cake that had the Confederate flag and the words "Heritage not Hate but did make a cake with the ISIS flag"?

You have truth here. Walmart did make an ISIS cake after denying a customer a Confederate Flag cake. Not many cake makers read Arabic and would recognize the ISIS flag but almost all of us recognize the old stars and bars Confederate battle flag.

No need to confuse your congregation with context that works against your righteous indignant pulpit posture. Walmart apologized for the cake. Pity the poor hourly worker that has to sort out all this stuff.

Sooner or later, truth will come out and pulpiteers who are uninformed buffoons will be exposed. Why not just presume that someone intelligent will hear your stuff and might even google it?

"Facts are our friends," sayeth Ed Stetzer and fake news had a pretty good week recently.

Scripture has an abundance of great narrative passages. The Bible has stories you couldn't make up. Preach on some of those and shock your congregation with genuine Truth.

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