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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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On Subscription Sermon Series -- A Follow Up














A while back I posted excerpts from a sample sermon sent to me by a company that sells sermon subscriptions to pastors (Click here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - On Subscription Sermon Series (Part 1)

This is a follow-up to my prior posts.  Apparently, I'm still on their mailing list, even after asking to be removed.  Here's their latest appeal: 


(1) First, how can I find good, sound Bible source materials to help me in my sermon preparation?

(2) Second, how can I find good humor and illustrations for my sermons?"

Funny, I've never once asked these two questions!  Like many other pastors, I try and find "Bible Source" materials through my own study of the biblical text!  That includes studying the passage I am preaching on in the original language, consulting the commentaries and reference tools and then prayerfully and painstakingly crafting my own exposition of the text.  However good or bad it is, and however God decides to use it, it is my work, my sweat, my labor.

The last thing I want in a sermon is "good humor" and/or illustrations.  My job is to preach God's word, not entertain the congregation or tell stories about my family.  The idea of using someone else's materials and then passing it off as my own is repulsive to me.  It is both dishonest and lazy.  I don't see how any minister of the gospel would be comfortable doing this.

The email continues (the blank is the company's name):

"Since Bible preachers are constantly preaching and looking for fresh materials each week these are two questions they need answers to.  __________________ has the answer to both of these questions. Literally thousands of pastors will confirm that _____________________ is providing good, sound sermon materials, good humor and illustrations to use in their sermons. __________________ has been working with thousands of pastors for over thirty years!" 

I know, I'm kicking a dead horse by posting on this again, but if it is really true that "literally thousands of pastors," use this stuff, then they need to be called on it.

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder so many sermons sound so much alike!  Thousands of pastors?  Thirty years?  Hard to believe.  No wonder evangelicalism in America has fallen on such hard times. There simply is no excuse for this and it must stop. 

Reader Comments (6)

It's good to hear that there is a remnant of Preachers who do their own work/study. We live in a pop-preaching world, were the trend is: fun, entertainment, short, culturally driven and doctrinally weak. But what we need is a Man of God in the pulpit who Studies, Prays, and then studies and pray till God reveals his treasures so he in-turn can feed God's people...
November 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjason
Growing up, I always wondered why different churches, in different denominations would preach the same series. I use to satisfy that curiosity with the thought that God must want His people to hear the same thing, even across denominational lines. Of course, this was when I was in my teens, and early 20's.

Now I hear about this subscription service, and think that maybe there was more going on than I thought. And, quite frankly, I find it repulsive.

There are a variety of speaking tools that can be used, and humor is certainly one that can be used in moderation to make a point, but I don't go to church to see my pastor do a stand up act.

Thanks for the heads up on this.

Paul C. Quillman
November 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPaul C. Quillman
Quite agree. Dreadful. Need to emend the phrase to read 'rightly downloading the word of truth'. Not unlike the situation here in England back in the 16th/17th century - people reading sermons. At least the homilies were good, but even so, anyone with half an ounce of sense recognised it was an undesirable situation. The homilies were to model preaching and fill the gap till men could be trained to preach. There appears to be no shortage of seminaries around now, so my question is - is the training really that bad or are these people just plain lazy??
November 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Snoddy
"There simply is no excuse for this and it must stop."

How do we stop it? Perhaps this story could also be suggested to 60 Minutes, 20/20, or Dateline. I would think the media would love to expose "sermon fraud" on a massive scale.

That being said, if people knew God's Word as opposed to just being familiar with a few nice stories like David & Goliath or Jesus in the manger, then they would be able to recognize such preaching for what it is: shallow, ignorant, and insulting (and likely on the road to heresy as well).

What is may take to stop this type of nonsense is for increased persecution of the church (not that I am praying for that). Were that to happen, most of our megamart churches would shut down due to lack of business. Why risk your life to hear what you can do to get that promotion?

Matt Holst
November 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermholst
For Jason, in some denominations sermons are based on the lectionary OT, NT and psalm readings. This could be why the same series or passages were preached at different churches on given Sundays. Just a thought. Sometimes this isn't bad and can keep some pastors off their favorite hobby horses.
I think the idea of studying the passage as is and proving scripture with scripture is also the right way to go for Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders, etc. Anyone who is "rightly dividing the word of truth" must be careful this way.
November 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterReformed Mama
"What is may take to stop this type of nonsense is for increased persecution of the church (not that I am praying for that). Were that to happen, most of our megamart churches would shut down due to lack of business. Why risk your life to hear what you can do to get that promotion?

Matt Holst "

Obviously, I've often wondered how I would respond to such a thing, as I don't live in a country where that's even an issue. In Pakistan, the Christians have to increasingly worry about being beheaded by Al Qa'ida or some other Islamic group every day. Same is true in Indonesia and many other countries.

Unfortunately for us, we're importing our own persecution in the form of Islamic immigrants who have lots of children.
November 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

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