Not so long ago there was posted on Facebook a video of a preacher leading his congregation in a spirited chorus of "F-you!" to all around? While it was obvious to some that that preacher had come up with a clever pretext to spew profanity in church, some were quite impressed that he was the real deal. Well, that level of homiletic exchange is neither uncommon nor far-fetched. There is no shortage of sermons delivering far worse filth, both obvious and not.
At the same time, being critical of contradictions and absurdities that come from the pulpit is made out to be such a cardinal sin. The Lord’s word is being presented, we insist: we ought to listen prayerfully for the message in it for us and not allow the Devil to distract us. Really?
To assume every sermon to be the Lord’s word is to deny that the Devil has ever spoken from a pulpit, and thus discount, among other things, the entire period known as the Dark Ages. It’s as if we haven’t been amply counseled regarding “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ” (II Corinthians 11:13). “Beware,” Christ warned, “of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). This book is a wake up call for believers to be more alert listeners.
Wow.. If my pastor was to stand at the pulpit and swear I think I would faint from the shock! (well me and several of the elder church ladies) I have to agree with you when you say, "To assume every sermon to be the Lord's word is to deny that the Devil has ever spoken from a pulpit..." I think you are right. So very right. I don't think at times people give Satan enough credit on the horrible stuff we can do. It's a shame really. But wow.. and that is all I can say is wow!
Just to be clear, he didn't actually pronounce the curse word. All he said was "F- you," declaring forgiveness to be the new F word. On that score, "F- you" was supposed to mean "I forgove you." Exactly how that works escapes me entirely. Imagine someone whom you've done wrong walking up to you or calling you on the phone to say, "F- you!" You would immediately understand it as an offer of forgiveness, wouldn't you?
Yet most of the congregation was up on their feet gleefully proclaiming the phrase left, right and center.