We had a guest speaker today. He was a missionary--a very young, newly-married missionary. He was given a "window," which means a 10-minute presentation, instead of preaching a whole sermon. He did a fine job. But he did the "preacher-thang" that I despise:
"Who died for you?" (cupping his hand to his ear)After the service, the comment was made that this preacher was really "anointed". What exactly does that mean? Is "anointed" another word for LOUD?
JESUS! (the audience dutifully responds)
"Who forgives all your sins?" (raising his voice slightly)
JESUS! "Who is your Savior?" (working up a frenzy)
JESUS! "Who loves you?" (shouting)
JESUS! (by now, the audience is exhausted)
In contrast, my DH began his sermon with an unusual introduction. He gave a bit of an explanation about why he was going to preach on something completely different than the bulletin notes. That in itself was not unusual, because he occasionally is prompted by God to change his sermon at the last minute. What made it so unusual was how he began to talk to the audience in such a low-key manner, it was like he was just sitting across the table from you.
"This morning, I woke up at 3:30am. I've been having trouble sleeping for the past six months or so, I don't really know why. Sometimes it's because I'm stressed or worried about things, and sometimes it's just because I'm hungry. Well, this morning, I woke up because I was hungry, and I just had to get something to eat. I had a craving for yogurt. So, I was standing in my kitchen, in front of the open refrigerator, looking for the yogurt, and I began to think about today's sermon."
He went on to give a powerful treatise on Psalm 139:14, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"--in honor of "Sanctity-Of-Life" Sunday. His sermon was riveting, convicting, and deeply moving. A man sitting up in the balcony bowed and cried with his head in his hands; two women raised their hands to answer the altar call for salvation; five people responded for prayer for forgiveness of sins, several came to the altar and poured out their hearts to God. And he didn't have to SHOUT!
At the restaurant, sitting across the table from me, DH commented on the young missionary's shouting match. He reminisced about a pastor-friend from a little country church in Iowa who was known to preach an entire sermon to his wife and children and one man in the back pew, shouting every word with a loud voice. One day, the pastor's nine-year-old son told my DH that his dad preached, but DH just "talked".
Perhaps it's just a matter of personal taste, a difference of "style". Maybe it's just what you grew up with, hearing someone shouting at you from behind a pulpit every Sunday morning. There certainly seems to be a wide variance of opinion as to what "anointed preaching" looks and sounds like.
If preaching equals shouting, I'd prefer talking over preaching any day, especially on Sundays!
PS: this post only applies to preaching; not cell-phone usage. Every time my DH answers the cell phone in a public place I have to scold him for shouting instead of talking!