December 08, 2015

Interactive Sermons

More and more I see speakers, both secular and religious, trying to be interactive with their audience. They say, “Can I hear an Amen to that?” “Thank you Jesus…right?” “Jenny, you had similar experience do you want to share anything with us?” I’m not sure if this type of inclusion is intended to build a rapport, to let people have a feeling of participation, or if it’s a prop. During the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus drew the audience into the message without making them active participants. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matt 7:28-29 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----“Can I hear an Amen to that?” and “Thank you Jesus…right?” are definitely rhetorical ploys. They base on the general concept of more consensus equating to authority while less consensus tends toward rejection. But it isn’t a hard rule of logic. In fact, popularity of idea is no rule of logic. If consensus or popularity had anything to do with a correct estimation of an idea, in this day and age more consensus or popularity indicates greater error and perversion of ideas. I inwardly laugh at the preacher who begs for “amens” and “…that’s right, preacher…” His need to beg shows the possibility of his uninspiring delivery, while if he gets the proclamations he desires, there’s just as great a possibility his listeners are as washed up as he might be.
-----Why did Jesus speak with such authority? Jesus was righteous. The first part of righteousness is putting all your ducks in order. This might sound a bit too philosophical for some, but it is true: sin is chaos, righteousness is good order. There is no helter-skelter nor happenstance with God. No luck. No per chance. Only loving, beneficial order by His direction. The second part is learning rightly. He learned His stuff right and knew what He learned. It wasn’t just that He could quote scripture. It wasn’t just that He could make the actions and do the things and say the ideas scripture elevates before us. He knew why the scriptures prescribed some things and proscribed others. He knew why the scriptures said what they said such that He knew how what they said worked the benefits of love. Of the third part, He completely lived the scriptures. He thought them. He felt them. He expressed them in all His decisions. He was obedient to what He knew was right. It was something none of us will ever completely do until our bodies are as finally redeemed as our spirits now are. So, He was not merely intimate with the scriptures to the nth degree, He was committed to them even unto death. Now finally, it didn’t hurt, either, that He was the fourth part of righteousness only He could be, for He was the scripture; He was the Word. Maybe the fourth reason He was righteous is the most important reason. For in being the Word He was the authority. And that authority depended upon no mere man’s “amen.” It just depended upon His being right, which He was.

Love you all,
Steve Corey