Little shop of church horrors

ron-durham-sermons-web-page

From the museum of  church shame comes BlackSermons.com. Its for “busy pastors on the move”. I saw this at Pulpit Pimps and it really exemplifies why the gospel should not be merchandised in such a way. It was worth a little parody making as this has become a shame to even have to mention.

Personally, I don’t want to hear anything from a so-called preacher TOO LAZY to study, seek God and get food for the sheep under his care. Convenience is now a part of the 21st century preacher’s toolkit. The church is just a business, a money making enterprise to be franchised out to the biggest “seed donor”. And after all, we should be very sympathetic to these “busy on the move” pastors. They are CEO’s, board presidents, corporate kingpins, jet setting honchos and more. They’ve got deals to close, land to survey, people to smooze with and secret “friends” they need to entertain. So they have no time to study God’s word and prepare on their own. Its much more convenient to let Dr. L. Ronald Durham dig it out for you and you just put your spin on it. Durham, of Daytona Beach, FL claims to have the “largest African American” church in the city” so you can imagine what kind of mind this is coming from.

Sure, there’s nothing new under the sun. And sure there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but this is a monster of a different color. If one has been called to the gospel preaching ministry, it should not be something that has now become so inconvenient that they need to rush into Dr. Durham’s one stop sermon shop and pick up some fast food for tha saints. That’s not the way it should be done.

“Even the Apostles recognized this. Take a look at Acts, chapter 6 around verse 2. The Apostles, in trying to deal with an issue that had arisen, made it clear their first duty was to pay attention to the word of God, apparently in its study and preaching. Their first priority was to be preaching and teaching (as was done in the homes of the disciples).

This in no way matches the model being encouraged by Durham.”

What’s queer about Dr. Durham’s sermons is that they are prepackaged not to offend. They have just the right touch to “transcend” barriers. And let’s not forget to make everyone feel really warm and fuzzy inside no matter who they are. After all that absentee jet setting and ceo-ing, what pastor wants to offend his sheeple with talk about sin, salvation, responsibility, self disciple, commitment to Christ and all the other stuff that won’t keep money flowing into the CEO’s slush fund?

This site screams “hirelings come and get it”.

Shame, shame, shameful. Shame on any pastor for participating in this disgusting dereliction of duty.

As PP points out, you cant even review the sermons before you purchase them but you can read a sample. Prolific, huh?  And if you’ve ever wondered why all the mess and sexual immorality can slither in, take a seat on the front row and say “amen pastah” take a good guess why.

You should also read Merchandising the Gospel by Ken Matteo for a fuller exploration of  unauthorized intersections of money and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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15 thoughts on “Little shop of church horrors

  1. Now I was called to preach, so I know the importance of bringing the Word to the people of God PROPERLY, the way God wants me to bring it, and at what time he wants me to bring it. If I see this on anyone’s shelf, they are likely to watch me burn it over their stove through a shiner. No joke. If I am going to associate with other Christians, it will be ones who accept and press for the high callings God has placed over their lives. I will not accept laziness in the life of ANY mand or woman of God. This is infuriating! I am so grateful for the church I attend, where every sermon is God-breathed and what we need to hear, whether we like it or not. AMEN!

  2. This is frightening. As a student I can’t even get away with prepackaged papers. I would get suspended from my university.

    What’s strikes me as most alarming is a minister’s inability to “come up” with something. Remember Jeremiah, who couldn’t help but proclaim what God wanted him to (Jeremiah 20:9)?

    Lazy ministers/pastors = lazy congregants. Idle and lazy minds are a dangerous thing.

  3. bliss, yes I guess this does appeal to the lazy ones too. I very close to saying that lazy preachers are not called by God.
    Maybe they are but they will have a rude intro into hell when the time comes…

    “His master answered him, ‘You evil and lazy servant! So you knew that I harvested where I haven’t planted and gathered where I haven’t scattered any seed? Mt 25:26

    One thing for sure: GOD is not lazy. Gen 1,2. That’s called the divine work ethic.

  4. So, I guess I shouldn’t talk about how the pastor of 9 months not allowing a more knowledgeable pastor to officiate or eulogize the 99 year old, charter member, church mothers’ funeral last month after Christmas. And since the new hire was visiting family out of town up until the day of the wake (Sunday evening) he read a sermon from sermoncentral.com on Monday. You can all find it under Funeral service: funeral for Christian Lady.
    VERBATIM.
    Are saints allowed to say “pissed”? Its in the Bible…Well, I’ll say it was not a good look.

    Can I talk about a busy church official, with the initials DWH, re-preached a sermon the following Sunday. I thought it was Pt2 because he had not finished the 5 steps of whatever…but apparently, cause I was sitting next to my cousin again who takes detailed sermon notes, it was the same message…I’m sure if I went to youtube I could find it there as well being presented at another location. Or as someone mentioned during convocation, (paraphrasing) I thought this offering anecdote featured a little boy…

    I just went to the site to check it out and clicked on the sermon ironically titled “When You’re In A Hurry and God Isn’t.” It references Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. These must be for the ones that could not wait and just went (Jeremiah 23:21, one of my favourite verses).

    Is there a difference in white sermons and black sermons, isn’t it just articulation and emphasis? Sermoncentral is free, and since everyone knows what the trustee board pays the pastor he must be trying to save some change. And they do have a code of ethics, emphasizing ministers should still be praying, studying, and reference use of the site and not plagiarize, please – I guess since those are free. But I guess, like a sista’s weave, on blacksermon, you pay for it – its your sermon.

    I’ve always been awed by ministers who DO hear and have a word from the Lord and not need notes or a manuscript, which has been most of the preachers I was raised under. But now since you have a 30 minute time limit, you got to hit n’ quit it with a response that will garner the most offering.

    @Bliss, I got the fear of God about plagiarism in undergrad as well. I probably had too many block quotes, but they all got cited. A friend in grad school chopped a paper together
    once, not thoroughly citing from one book in particular, and got an A. How about the author came and guest lectured the next term!

  5. Yes, and I failed to mention what was actually frightened me–if you don’t know anything you’ll basically soak up any fairy tale you come across. Intentional or not. A revolving door of fabrication, a wide open window for lies. There’s a difference between using a message that’s of God and reusing it and buying a watered-down one for $19.99 because you’re too busy with other obligations–i.e. the next convention declaring this is the year of _______, or some “vision” needing to be funded. Why not keep your own file of sermons to reuse and help the community with the money? <– It's sad that that's a rhetorical question nowadays.

    @lapreghiera I'd get ripped to shreds around these parts for something like that, lol. Granted, I'm a nerd and I think they would allow me to plead my case, but they do a good job with plagiarism here. Not bad for a typical, state university.

  6. lapreghiera said:
    Is there a difference in white sermons and black sermons, isn’t it just articulation and emphasis?

    There shouldn’t be because the same Spirit of God makes it’s abode within them. Now obviously things like voice inflection, position and calling all play a factor but God is still within that man black or white.

  7. The worst part of this is that a “Pastor” who does this is not being transformed into the image of Christ, how can he be since its Gods Word that transforms us. At the end of the day, Jesus told Martha it was better to sit at his feet and learn than to run all over the place trying to impress God, or whatever the motive.

    I read a little saying, dont just read for something to preach read for something to eat. If we study God will undoubtedly put something on our hearts for the flock.

    Now there is nothing wrong with hearing something good and putting in your message by saying “I heard Pastor Whoever the case may be say this” but to do this is both a crying shame and an embarrasment to the Body of Christ

    How on earth has the gospel become a business and not about relationships, with both God and His people.

  8. Yeh, whats the deal with this “black”sermon foolishness!! what on earth does that mean?

    Anyway, I am tired of some of the “black” sermons I hear but some of the “white” sermons are just as bad, the focus is all about earthly things. It seems skin colour doesnt matter.

    Geez, this cannot be real, “BLACK” Sermons!!

  9. This is not funny because the Jurisdictional Bishop for the church I attend advocates the very thiing and I quote, “we have some gifted people amongst us and when we need something to say we should send them off to study to research for us The Leaders to then. Lawyers and Lecturers have their apprentices who wil sit up all night studying so that they can then pass onto their mentors who present and we should do the same!”

    Being a student of The Scriptures (including study of Hebrew) I questioned The Bishop but was called negative, disrespectful of The Leadership and unsupportive but as this did not deter me I was called a trouble maker.
    When I asked why were ministers being paid when they don’t provide pastoral support or care to the people, don’t do home visits to the sick and won’t study, it was said that I was trying to ruin the reputation of The Hirelings!
    When I questioned why the miniters were have 20%, 30% and up to 50% pay increases per annum? I was told, “it does not concern you”

    And I will confess I have written sermons for others until I recognized that if God was speaking to me it is me that needs to convey his message

  10. Wow. Quite sad.

    I rembember in the 90’s I was working at a Christian bookstore, and I remember seeing pastors/preachers coming in buying books that provided such prepackaged sermons. One of the most popular of these books was one called “Preach For A Year” which had 52 sermons all laid out for the “man of God” to preacwh. Even as a baby Christian back then, something seemed kinda “off” about that. I rememeber thinking I’d never want to sit under a pastor who gets his sermons from a book he picked up for $9.99 in a bookstore!

    (There was also the time a preacher at that store told me [unashamedly]that he had rented a TD Jakes preaching tape the previous Saturday and was so moved by it that he turned around and preached that same message to his church the next day at Sunday morning service.)

    I really feel sad for anyone who goes to church on a Sunday morning hearing one of these canned sermons, who’s actually thinking they’re hearing “a word from the Lord”. Then again, in a lot of churches the so-called “saints” just want to hear a sermon that’s “inspriring”, and dont particularly care whare it came from.

  11. Well, its seems to me that its a little hard to believe that God’s speaks (his actual voice) to Pastors every give and take 48 Sunday’s a year…my God thats probally more than God spoke to Moses his whole life….

    I am really concerned when I hear Pastors or Preachers say that “God spoke to them”! Now, I God speaks through his word, through people, through our life experiences, even through nature…so in this manner I don’t believe it is so totally odd or sinful for other preachers to get inspiration from other preachers; at the end of the day preacher and Pastor’s are supposed to preach under the “anointing of God” and thus its the message, the anointing that destroys the yoke..an anointed preacher and get in the pulpit and just say Jesus, 4x and the anointing will fall and bring healing, deliverance and joy and strength to the body of believers….

    Now as far as studying…every believer of God should be studying…spending 101 time with God; and again…its through God’s word that he begins to speak to us…thru the Holy Spirit that we are comforted and reminded of “what the Logos” spoke; the “Logos” being Jesus Christ…the word of God….its a duty we all have..regardless of who we are in Christ…

  12. We’re not talking inspiration, we’re talking plagiarism, and laziness, and the unanointed. Taking the same message to a new church every night, not because it is an excellent message any church can learn from and apply, but because its more convenient and you just want to be on program. I’m sure at some point this month many a black preacher will recreate MLKs “I have a dream” or “mountain top” speech, but they should give the same respect to their regular Sunday “ghost writer” that is not the Holy Ghost, that they do MLK, Jr. and acknowledge them. They are not famous- unless you’re the guy repreaching Jakes as Observer mentioned- but they deserve respect.

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