Sunday, June 12, 2005

Stupid Things Preachers Say

I visited a church this morning in the Charleston area. The preacher got off to a bad start when he was doing jokes about "tourist season" and how many tourists can folks bag and so forth. If they have that many tourists, would it not stand to reason that there would be a tourist in the crowd who would feel unwelcomed by his jokes? Well, that is exactly what happened today. He was actually a pretty good speaker, but his opening remarks made me lose any respect for him. On top of that, I felt the church cold and uninviting. Hardly a person spoke up. If the preacher makes cracks like that, maybe they just hope they'll drive the tourists away. I don't think I'd visit that church again. As I was sitting there, I recalled a visit I'd made to a Mennonite Church in the heart of Amish country in Ohio which also hosts a lot of tourists. I don't recall what the subject of the pastor's message was on that particular day, but I do remember that one of his applications was that if his church members were charging locals one price and tourists another that they were doing wrong. Somehow, I don't think this Charleston area preacher would ever preach a sermon like that. He'd probably tell them to charge tourists double so they wouldn't come back. I'm sure that the Charleston area depends on tourism for a good portion of its economy. To have a pastor speak ill of the "bread and butter" of his members is unethical in my opinion.

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