Wild Preaching

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TK
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Wild Preaching

Post by TK » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:04 pm

Last night we went to our church's midweek service and our pastor had invited another pastor to speak.

Well, it was quite an experience. If you know anything about Rod Parsley in his earlier days, this guy made him seem calm and collected.

He was running up and down the aisles, preaching at the top of his lungs-- red -faced (i thought he was on the verge of a stroke) and every word at the end of each sentence was punctuated with an "uh" at the end.. "Lord-uh" "mercy-uh" "grace-uh." If he could have reached the light fixtures I am sure he would have hung from them. My wife was holding onto me for dear life.

He didn't really say anything objectionable, but his manner was so distracting (and funny, to me at least) that I am not sure how a person could really get anything out of it. I have seen almost everything so it wasnt really offensive to me-- but thank goodness I didn't invite any of my family or friends to the service. My mom would have sat there and cringed in embarrassment and my dad would have either got up and left or got up to tell him he was an idiot.

Does anyone know the history or this sort of preachin'? I did some checking today and this pastor is part of the Church of God- Cleveland TN denom which is pentecostal which might explain a big part of it.

But why this type of preaching? My wife and I were discussing on the drive home how it was very doubtful that Jesus or the Apostles preached this way (although perhaps John the B came close- at least the way he is depicted in movies).

I am just curious how this style came to be-- and why they think it is effective. I really cant imagine sitting in a church service week after week listening to it. But maybe i am just an old fuddy duddy.

TK

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Perry
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by Perry » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:16 pm

TK wrote: But maybe i am just an old fuddy duddy.
TK
If that's the case, then please include me in with the ranks of the fuddy duddies. Recently, while mowing the grass, I was listening to a series of podcasts by Greg Boyd. In one of the lectures he had some lady come up to give the opening prayer at the beginning of the message. Her prayer started normally enough, but, then she began to warm up a bit, and started throwing in "In the name of Jesus-uh". Gradually she picked up more and more steam, and every sentenced ended "In the name of Jesus-uh". She got herself into a real rhythm, and in the background I could hear Boyd tossing in his "Amen!" between each "In the name of Jesus-uh". Soon she was going full on, Katie-Bar-the-Door, "In the name of Jesus-uh". For me, it got to the point, that I literally felt like she was using Jesus' name in vain. I really can't relate to this type of preaching, (I always think of Ernest Angley in conjunction with this.) It just seems so affected.

To be fair, I feel the same way, though to a lesser degree, when I hear folks pray in ye-olde-English, and they feel obliged to throw in the thees and thous and thines. To me it just comes across as putting on airs.

SamIam
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by SamIam » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:39 pm

For better or worse, preaching is a performance art, and many people (for better of worse) expect the preacher to be entertaining. If the preacher's goal is to produce a particular response in the congregation, that response is often a result of the preacher's style more than the substance of what he says. If you are trying to generate excitement, you need to be exciting.

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Paidion
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by Paidion » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:45 pm

This style of preaching is typical of early pentecostal preachers—uhh. Actually —uhh, my aunt Verna used to do it—uhh. She was an itinerant preacher with the P.A.O.C. ("Assemblies of God", if you live in the U.S.A.). As for running up and down and shouting, red-faced, I've seen this quite a bit in a U.P.C. church which we attend about once a month. It doesn't bother me. I like the enthusiasm both of the pastor and the people. The pastor is actually a very humble man, and he travels far north to reach aboriginals who seldom, if ever, hear the gospel.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Perry
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by Perry » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:19 am

SamIam wrote:For better or worse, preaching is a performance art, and may people (for better of worse) expect the preacher to be entertaining. If the preacher's goal is to produce a particular response in the congregation, that response is often a result of the preacher's style more than the substance of what he says. If you are trying to generate excitement, you need to be exciting.
Preaching as performance is precisely what turns me off. "Performancy" was the word I used to describe Rob Bell when I first heard him. I remember telling my wife, "That guy needs some bongo's and he's all set."

It's interesting that you seem to be defending style over substance, and this for the sake of generating excitement. Frankly, I'm not exactly sure why one would wish to generate "excitement" of the sort these types of performances seem to be trying to provoke. For me, this type of preaching actually "drowns out" what actually might otherwise be substance that I would find edifying.

And for the record, I realize that we may, to a large degree, be talking about something that is merely a matter of individual sensibilities, and that which I find a turn-off, others may well find edifying. To the degree that's the case, all is well and good, and I'm certainly willing to live and let live, and to each his own, and so forth. Moreover, different speakers have different levels of talent when it comes to delivering their messages. A good speaker doesn't necessarily make for a good message. The converse is also true. Some of the best messages I've ever heard were not delivered very well. And I've heard some fine deliveries that stirred me emotionally, but did little else. I've seen cheese commercials on television that did the same thing. (I don't care for cheese.)

Having said all of that, I will now undercut my whole thesis with this little nugget. :)
It was said that when Cicero spoke, people exclaimed, "Great speech. Wonderful message. I couldn't agree with you more." And they showered him with accolades, adoration and standing ovations.

It was said that when Demosthenes spoke, people shouted, "Let Us March!"

Did you notice the difference?

Two great orators. People admired and loved the one. People were gripped and compelled to act by the other.

Cicero appealed more to logic. And reason. He carefully crafted his message to speak to the analytical and rational side of people.

Demosthenes appealed more to emotion. His message touched, tangled and transformed people's feelings. Feelings so strong they were willing to drop what they were doing to go into battle.

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TK
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by TK » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:40 am

I certainly don't mind fiery preachers. While obviously I never heard him, I am sure Finney was fiery, as well as Spurgeon. John Wesley was probably fiery at times. Billy Graham was a tad fiery especially in his early days. Leonard Ravenhill could get fiery. I never heard Tozer get really fiery, but he didn't need to. He could convict you in a dull monotone.

To me, if the the focus is on the SPEAKER and not the Lord, something is amiss, The speaker should be pointing to the Lord. I dont mind if he runs laps, I suppose, if he is pointing to the Lord.

The reason I had red flags going up the other night was that there was no pointing to the Lord. It all seemed to be -- "look how ridiculuous I can be for whatever reason." There was something sickening about it.

I was shocked because our pastor is nothing like this guy. Our pastor is a powerful speaker, but he is very humble and there is no "put-on." Why he invited him, I have no idea.

TK

SamIam
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by SamIam » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:22 am

It's interesting that you seem to be defending style over substance, and this for the sake of generating excitement.
I do not intend to defend this, I was attempting to describe what I have observed. The sad fact is that the average church goer prefers style over substance. About 99 parts style to 1 part substance seems to be about the right ratio.

The real problem is manipulative preachers.

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Perry
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by Perry » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:09 am

SamIam wrote: I do not intend to defend this, I was attempting to describe what I have observed.
Thanks for the clarification Sam.
SamIam wrote:The real problem is manipulative preachers.
I could not agree more! Later, when I have more time, I hope to post my comments on that topic in this thread.

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brody196
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by brody196 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:04 am

I got used to that kinda preaching when I used to help out at the local AOG(Assembly of God)church. It was entertaining to say the least, but I usually didn't get very much from the message. I prefer substance over flash, as anybody can put on a show. But on the other hand, I can barely get through a message presented by the "Gideon's bible" preachers that travel around asking for donations. I have sat through several of those meetings in my life and each time I had to refrain myself from leaving in the middle of service..It was THAT boring.

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Perry
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Re: Wild Preaching

Post by Perry » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:19 pm

brody196 wrote:I got used to that kinda preaching...
I'm sure that's my biggest hang up with this kind of preaching. I'm just not used to it. I've never heard a Gideon Bible preacher, but I have heard some pretty boring messages in my day.

To use the food analogy: I try to think... "well it can't all be palatable, like creamed corn" (I like creamed corn), "sometimes you gotta each your spinach." Some foods I always avoid, even though they're supposed to be good for you. I will be pretty hard up before I ever eat another piece of liver.

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