I read a rather interesting article on the blog, Stuff Christians Like. It was kind of tongue in cheek, but also serious at the the same time.
How often are we just listening to a sermon so that we can find ways to critique it? So that we can find “Spiritual” things to say about the sermon to our friends later?
The article listed a bunch of common phrases people use to criticize a sermon, along with a rather sarcastic definition of what the phrase means.
- I’m just not being fed.
What a fantastic way to look as if you’re more spiritual than the pastor himself.
- That message was not meant for me.
You are so generous to have sat there patiently while someone else that needed that sermon was able to receive it. What kindness.
- That didn’t feel like church.
What a perfect smokescreen of vagueness. How can anyone argue with your feeling? What does that even mean? More organ? Less organ? Better lasers? No lasers?
- There wasn’t enough Bible in that for me. That felt like a business leadership book.
What’s enough? No one knows, which is why this is such a gem.
- I’m not sure that sermon works in a postmodern world.
I’m not even sure I know what the word “postmodern” means, but it’s fun to say. Few things make you look smarter than repeating this word. Repeatedly.
From the article: Critiquing the sermon at lunch.
by Prodigal John
The truth is that I’ve heard almost all of these phrases before, and sadly I think I may have even used one or two. Which made me think about how often I’ve criticized a sermon for no real reason other than that it made me sound more knowledgeable or more spiritual.
There is always a need for examining what is said and studying it for yourself. And you should never just assume that because the pastor said it, it has to be true. But if you are just critiquing and criticizing so that you can avoid having to deal with your own issues, or so that you can appear more spiritual than others, you need to get a handle on why you are in church in the first place.
We don’t go to church to look good, or to make ourselves feel good. We go to church to worship God and to learn about Him what He would have us do.