"Well this will be the Sunday where they hand out a free pit viper with each bulletin"

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Jim's picture

We invited a handful young adults to join us for church. We had been inviting them for a time and that day we were able to get them to all attend together. All were (now have all graduated) students at public universities. The plan was ... meet us at church ... come to the house afterward for dinner. 

The speaker of the day was the president of a now failed (and out of business) Christian college.

Part of the message was kind of a "guilt trip" on not sending your kid to a Christian college and his in particular: The Christian school superior to the godless secular school, etc.  

Let's just say that while the young adults were gracious to us, the message did not set well with them.


Ann B.'s picture

Jim wrote:
Let's just say that while the young adults were gracious to us, the message did not set well with them.

This topic makes me feel strongly enough that I actually logged in to reply.

Again, as Jim said, not a "pit viper" moment but the same kind of thing he is talking about.  Actually, maybe this is a "pit viper" in its own way.

Why, oh why, do preachers, usually invited guests filling a pulpit, not recognize that they are not speaking to monolithic audiences of people who believe just like they do?  I've been associated with the IF movement for years, and cannot count the number of times I've heard preachers in many venues make derogatory remarks toward people of different beliefs - some major, some minor - over the years.

I remember once when a preacher speaking at a missions conference made the remark "I'm so glad I'm not a Muslim!"  He of course had no way of knowing that the husband of a church attendee was a Muslim and she had told me earlier, with great excitement, that he was probably coming with her that night.  I've heard jokes made about "New Evangelicals" and charismatics and other stripes/flavors of Christian people.  (A camp speaker started out his first message with a joke along those lines and never really did get the audience back the entire weekend.)  I've heard missionaries talk about Catholics as if they are the enemy of their particular ministry.  

This kind of talk is wrong, it causes offense, and it causes people to be cautious of bringing unsaved people into services because they're not sure of what might be said alongside the gospel message and Biblical truth.

Susan R's picture


Somewhere along the way, many pastors and preachers have forsaken the appropriate use of the pulpit and seem to think they are trying out for The X Factor

We used to attend a church where the pastor preached a Sunday AM message on gossip, and to illustrate he nailed a real cow's tongue to a large wooden cross. You could tell he was angry- he was loud and red-faced and looked like he might have a coronary. I got the impression, based on previous experiences, that he was really preaching to his wife- who was also very red-faced throughout the entire sermon. Whatever his reason, some friends of ours had brought extended family with them, and they were devastated by the whole debacle. 

Then there was the time that a preacher was brought in for a missions conference, and he preached almost word-for-word the messages that he had preached the year before.