Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Preacher's 8-second Delay

I am not normally a huge fan of Gordon McDonald's journal on Leadership Journal, but I found his insights here very interesting. You can click the link to read the whole piece.

"From my journal: After the 'wardrobe malfunction' at the Super Bowl almost two years ago, TV networks began to build an 8-second delay into most live sports and entertainment shows in order to preclude language or behavior that was deemed offensive.

There have been a few occasions in my years of preaching when I would have benefited from such a system. Like the first time I tried to preach on a Biblical view of sexuality (I was 26, sure of myself and patently unwise). The sermon was so bad that I asked someone else to give the benediction while I left the building, ran home, and spent the afternoon in the fetal position trying to forget I'd preached that morning. A two-day delay would have saved me from making a fool of myself.

While preaching on one or two occasions I've had a mental lapse and said a word that was the opposite of what I really intended to say. There have been times when I've bungled facts, distorted stories, and mangled Greek words. Here again, the delay apparatus would be so helpful.

Moses might have made the Promised Land if he'd had a few seconds to recoup his error of hitting the rock rather than speaking to it. A delay could have turned things around for Sampson. So also Jonah, Simon Peter, and Ananias and Sapphira who were impetuous to a fault.

And the delay thing might also benefit some of our much better known Christian radio and TV personalities who some times confuse Biblical conviction and political opinion, say things that embarrass us all, and make it all the harder to talk about the saving love of Jesus to those in the larger world who are curious.

I'm not smart enough to know where one draws the line between Biblical proclamation and political ideology, but I sure worry about where the line is being drawn sometimes these days. Give me the days when Billy Graham was regularly visiting with presidents and prime ministers but keeping his political opinions to himself. He knew where his voice came from and what it was to be used for. Almost never did he wander outside the guidelines of wisdom for a person called to publicly represent the gospel of Christ."


A said...

Amen and amen.

My biggest faux pas was when I was attempting to come up with an illustration for what an "idiom" was on the fly in a Sunday morning sermon. "Going to the bathroom" was the only thing that came to mind, and it actually came out of my mouth. Wish I'd had the delay workin that morning.

Robb said...

Taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.

klasieprof said...