The Evil That Is Narrative Sermons

It should come as no surprise that I have a fairly low tolerance to bad sermons.  But if there’s one thing I can’t stand more than a bad sermon, it’s a narrative play based on scripture.  A good example is Dorthy Sayers’ The Man Born to be King. I had to read it for my Christology class in seminary.  It was not a fun couple of weeks while we discussed it.

Anyways, I don’t think anything can top what we’re doing for Lent at my church.  I’m not sure where it comes from, but I do not like it one bit.  It’s something on meeting the Apostles.  I hate, HATE, HATE it with the fire of a thousand suns.  Let me say again, I HATE THIS CRAP!!!

Why do I have such strong feelings against these kinds of works…because they psychologize the text.  They put words into scripture that aren’t there.  They do more damage than good.

Case in point:  Today we “met” Andrew, Bartholomew, and James the Less.  Here’s a sample from today’s narrative:

Andrew:  [Talking about the feeding of the 5000].  I brought him [the boy with the loaves and fishes] to the Lord who blessed not only the boy but the food.  I’ll tell you the truth, to this day I don’t know where all that food came from; it just seemed to appear.  I’ve thought a lot about it since, and although I have no doubt that Jesus could have multiplied those fish and loaves, I have the feeling what really happened was that, using the example of that little boy, the Lord was able to melt the selfish hearts of all those people and everyone shared what they had.  He always brought out their best.  And if you think about it, isn’t that the greatest miracle of all?  To melt the hardened hearts of people? (Emphasis mine)

This makes me want to vomit.  Where is any of this in scripture.  Oh, wait, IT ISN’T! And by the way, way to downplay the miracle that is the feeding of the 5000.

And for the record, the greatest miracle of all is not “melting the hardened hearts of people.  The greatest miracle of all is THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS!!!


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