“Hello, Pastor. Your sermons are a danger to the church!”

Hello, Pastor. Your sermons are a danger to the church!

*ring, ring*

“First City Church. This is Pastor Preacher.”

“Hello, Pastor. Your sermons are a danger to the church! I am very concerned about them. They’re terrible. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“I’m sorry. Who is this?”

“My name is Chris.”

“Have we met Chris?”

“No, we haven’t met. But your sermons are absolutely awful. You are a danger to so many. I don’t know why anyone listens to you.”

“You’ll have to forgive me. I’m a bit confused, Chris. Do you attend First City Church?”

“No, I don’t attend FCC. I’ve never been there, not even once.”

“Are you from City, Chris. Do you have friends who attend here?”

“No! I’ve never even been to your state. I live 2,000 miles away. I don’t know anyone who attends your church.”

“So, do you listen to my sermons on our website? Or did someone give you a sermon CD?”

“No! Why on earth would you assume that!? I’ve never heard your voice before this phone call.”

“Oh, are you reading my sermon manuscripts?”

“Heavens, no! Your sermons are terrible, dangerous. People should be warned about the dangers of them.”

“I’m not trying to be difficult, Chris, but I am confused. Let me see if I hear you correctly. You’ve visited our church and don’t know anyone who attends it. You’ve never listened to or read even one of my sermons—but you know for certain that they are terrible and awful, a danger to the church, and people should be warned about them. Is that correct?”

“That is absolutely correct. I’m calling to let you know that you are a danger to the church in hopes that you’ll stop preaching. I’ve already told all my friends and will be posting on Facebook about it and sending warnings to everyone I know.”

“Pardon me, Chris, but I have to ask how you know my sermons are this bad if you haven’t bothered to read or listen to them.”

“My sister told me.”

“Do I know your sister?”

“Not that I know of. She said she hasn’t listened to even one of your sermons. But she said they are terribly dangerous and that people need to be warned. She’s got a whole group in our church on it. They’re spreading the word!”

“May I ask how she knows my sermons are so dangerous?”

“Her husband told her.”

“And how does he know this?”

“Well, he hasn’t listened to them either. But his brother Ralph told him.”

“And how does Ralph know this?”

“Ralph is smart, like really smart. His pastor is famous, writes books and stuff. And his pastor said Ralph is a genius, the smartest man he knows. Ralph is an engineer. He designs fighter jets. He reads a lot of books—like four or five a week. He downloaded one of your sermons and listened to it. (He likes to listen to random sermons from around the country.) And Ralph said it was the worst sermon he ever heard. Said it was dangerous what you were teaching, and people need to be warned.”

“What exactly did Ralph say was so dangerous about the sermons?”

“He explained it to us a few weeks ago. I can’t remember everything he said. But he had labels for what you were and explained that you believed what you were preaching because you were influenced by certain people more than the Bible.”

“Hmmm…I see. Chris, would you be willing to listen to a few of my sermons and see for yourself if what I teach is from the Bible?”

“Heavens, no! You’re dangerous! Why would I expose myself to error!? I only need to study a real dollar bill to recognize a counterfeit!”

“I understand, Chris. But you haven’t actually stared at the ‘dollar bill’ in question to see if it is counterfeit, have you?”

“Huh?”

“Let me see if I can explain. The Bible is the ‘real dollar bill’ in your illustration, right?”

“Yes.”

“And your brother-in-law’s brother is stating that my sermons are the dangerous counterfeit, correct.”

“Yes. That’s right.”

“But the only way for you to know if a dollar bill is a counterfeit is to look at it and see, right?”

“I suppose so.”

“So, you haven’t looked at my sermons. You haven’t seen for yourself whether they are dangerous—even though you’re telling lots of other people that they are. Don’t you think you should read the primary source before spreading second-hand claims?”

“It’s not a second-hand claim. Ralph listened to one, and he’s really smart.”

“Ralph read the primary source, but you haven’t. All you have is a second-hand claim. Would you be willing to stop spreading the claim that my sermons are dangerous until you’ve had a chance to listen to my sermons and decide for yourself.”

“This is exactly what Ralph said you’d do. You’d try to get me all confused by debating me and mixing up my words and using big phrases like these ‘primary-hand’ and ‘secondary sources’ you’re talking about. But I’m not falling for it. This just proves that you’re deceived and have bought into lies. I’ll be telling everyone how dangerous you are. You better repent, Pastor.”

*click*


…you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.

…whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 

— Jesus, Matthew 7 (CSB)