Sermon Controversy?

I didn’t think my sermon last Sunday was really that controversial (for once). So imagine my surprise when David, one of the elders of our church pulls me aside in the middle of the week to ask me, “Just what were your intentions with that Sermon?” It sounded like an innocent enough question, so I answered.

In the course of our conversation, he pointed out to me that two people had been so offended by my sermon that they got up and walked out. I knew (and saw) one of them — but he’s done that before, so I wasn’t too surprised. And then David went on to tell me that if it had been the first sermon he’d ever heard at our church, he wouldn’t have come back. Gee, thanks.

Actually, I really have a lot of respect for David — because he did something that to date, no one else at my church has done when they have a problem with something I’ve said: He confronted me face to face about it. I’d take that any day over the rumor mill.

One irony is that the sermon probably wasn’t nearly as controversial as it would have been if I’d gone with my original impulse — talking about the lack of clean water in developing countries in contrast to our own western rejection of tap water as “inferior” to pricey bottled water. Oh well. If I follow the Revised Common Lectionary, this passage will come up again in another three years.

If you want, you can read the full text of my sermon over on the wiki, and judge for yourself. But if you get up and walk out halfway through, at least drop me a comment, OK?

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5 Responses to Sermon Controversy?

  1. Willer says:

    I can see how that would be considered controversial, to be spoken from the pulpit. Not offensive, but considering the environment I can see the controversy.

    This comment almost got a bit controversial, but I try to avoid posting whole sermons of my own in people’s comment box.

  2. Joe Locke says:

    Is it just that you mentioned that you were not a biblical literalist that was controversial?

  3. Neal Locke says:

    Yeah, pretty much. One person didn’t like it when I hit my stool with my microphone and waited for water to come out of it.

  4. Ryan Pappan says:

    I liked it. I think it is always difficult to hear money and faith spoken of from the pulpit.
    I would love to see the faces if I ever preached there. Neal what ordo is used in worship?

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