Why You’re Bored in Church, Part 1: Sermons
We all know it, but not enough Christians are saying it: sermons are usually boring, and don’t really teach anything. Sermons should be inspiring, intellectually challenging and morally convicting. But they’re usually not.
Go to your favorite protestant church and watch for these sermon points.
- Icebreaker gimmick: the pastor tells a joke, pulls out some rediculous prop, gets the audience to do the wave, whatever.
- Pointless anecdote: some mildly interesting story for entertainment value.
- Ultra-serious moment: wherin the pointless anecdote is obtusely related to an actual point.
- Altar call: the moment where everyone’s lives are changed forever in a burst of emotion.
The main problem with these predictable checkpoints is they’re used in place of actual content. Alongside this 4-step outline you will probably find one or more of the following, if you pay attention:
Use of scripture out of context, resulting in mangled meaning. “Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” – Psalm 137:9
Unfounded and questionable generalizations about God. “God always wants you to follow your heart.” Where is that again? Disney 3:16?
Bizarre, unorthodox, unresearched interpretation of scripture. Adam ate eve’s apple, and became sinful. Therefore, do not listen to women or eat apples.
Non-use of the bible altogether.
- If you haven’t yet settled on a church, find a better one.
- Read your bible for yourself. Carefully. In context. With commentaries, if you’re ambitious.
- Read http://blackbirdpress.org/category/oldhat