Why do we have Sermon Sayings? What do Sermon Sayings accomplish? What weight should we give them? How do we even use Sermon Sayings in our lives? And what do we test Sermon Sayings with since 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to test all things and hold onto that which is good.
I’ll submit and hopefully show that Sermon Sayings are at the bottom of the list of items that should be presented to the body of Christ during the collective gathering that is designed for equipping the saints. In other words, Sermon Sayings are mostly pointless for the Body of Christ.
I submit that the popularity of Sermon Sayings is a direct influence of the corporate world into Christ’s Church. After all, if you’ve ever watched a Ted Talk, there’s a jumbotron with a saying, a quote, a humanistic set of words if you will.
Sermon Sayings are just that, a bunch of words that relate a message. Is that message founded in Holy Scripture, well it needs testing. But what if the Sermon Saying is so ambiguous the hearer can’t find a scripture for it. Or the speaker doesn’t provide scripture for the Sermon Saying. Well, what’s the point? Maybe the speaker has a point other than a Biblical one?
Maybe the speaker is trying to replace scripture.
Could Sermon Sayings be a way to lead people away from Holy Scripture? Of course it could. After all, a Sermon Saying is not scripture, and by very design, it’s a straying away from Scripture. So what is the point of Sermon Sayings? Why is Holy Scripture not enough? Good question.
Well look here: A list of 10 Star Wars quotes that might work in your sermon. And this from church leaders dot com. I guess this is a way to stay seeker relevant. Here’s an example from that page.
5. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” — Yoda
Umm, ok, sure? But Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions have similar sayings. So what’s the point? Relevance? Seeker Friendly? Leeching off the popularity of Star Wars? Good question. The Bible deals with fear, anger, and hate. Maybe scripture might be something the Holy Spirit could use as I don’t think Yoda was a Christian. #sarcasm
Let’s look as some more examples.
So why use Sermon Sayings? Is it because Sermon Sayings are more relatable than Scripture? Well, maybe your speaker needs more training. If the twelve Disciples from all walks of life could relate the Gospel message, then it is possible to relate Scripture to everyone.
What does Scripture say about itself.
And the list of these sayings goes on and on and on. But the question remains, why use Sermon Sayings? How do they improve Scripture? We know already that Scripture is sufficient.
So why use Sermon Sayings? I can’t think of a good reason to use them that Scripture is not a better prescription for.
So here is some advice for my brothers who speak to Christ’s church on stage, on social media or other wise…
TIP: Don’t use a Sermon Saying where scripture can used. Scripture points to Christ.Mark 16:15
English Standard Version
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and wit is they that bear witness about me,”
We should do the same. One solution is to put scripture references underneath the Sermon Saying. But then that places Scripture as a secondary source.
So do Sermon Sayings help, I don’t think so. I certainly see the appeal in a corporate setting, but I can’t find a Biblical reason for Sermon Sayings. So why use them?
If Sermon Sayings are no inspired, why use them? Do they distract from Holy Scripture, of course they do. So why use them? If a Sermon Saying is the basis for a sermon, that’s a problem. You will have to find out why Scripture isn’t used as the basis for the sermon. You can ask, “Why are the sermons based off a ‘quote’ or Sermon Saying?” Why? But be prepared for almost any answer.
For what it’s worth, the greatest problem I see with Sermon Sayings are that they detract from the Bible. They are sometimes plastered on the screen as if they are an epic word from God. When in fact, they are just a man made design of words, maybe they’re Biblical in nature, maybe not.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 says “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and our of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
What to do.
The next time you hear or see a Sermon Saying, open your Bible and try to support it by Scripture. Ask yourself who is the hero of this Sermon Saying. If you can’t find scriptural support and it doesn’t point us to Christ, then you have to ask yourself the question, why did that speaker use it. Good question.
Steven Davis is a burned out preachers kid, musician, media producer, bible school dropout, metal head and learning apologist.
#apologetics #sermons #quotes #faith #christianity #blogging