The sermon delivered that morning to those hoping to hear some whisper of grace, some reason to believe or to keep on believing, some exploration of those big questions we all have, even the ones we are more often than not afraid to ask, was instead built around everyone knowing how “right” the speaker was in his opinions.
Like thousands of sermons I heard growing up, the speaker opened his sermon by assuring people how bad of a preacher he was, that whatever the sermon was about came from God and not from him. It’s a brilliant set up, if you think about it. It means that people know up front that if you disagree with anything they say, you are not disagreeing with them, but with GOD.
Using the phrases so familiar from my childhood, the words that provided the comfort and assurance that come from knowing you are absolutely right in everything you think, that not only is there absolute truth but that you have a complete grasp on it, the speaker that morning left no doubt that God was on his side – and you would be too, if only you weren’t so intent on rebelling against God (or him; the distinction was a little blurry by this point).
via Stephen Lamb
Why I Stopped Going to Church