Saturday, October 29, 2005

298 All Men are Liars

This is exerpted from one of Pastor Petersen's Nuggets to pastors, All Men are Liars, and this particular section is about the "children's sermon." Our church has one at the traditional service, and yours does too, probably. He provides an angle that I've never thought of--that it takes us out of the uncomfortable presence of God. I'll have to think about that.

"None of us is rational in what we want or like. We often don't even know what the real issues are. For example, consider the so-called "children's sermon." Children's sermons serve an important liturgical role in the congregations that have them: they take people out of the uncomfortable presence of God. The ceremony of the children's sermon is key thing, that is: the parade. It is about watching all the children march up to the front. It is a chance to relax and laugh and enjoy a little show. But they'll never tell you that. They'll tell you that it is about teaching the faith or involving the children. It is a waste of time to argue about whether or not children's sermons teach the faith or involve the children. Those are not the real points. The people that advocate these things don't care about Doctrine and Practice. They'll say they know what they like but they won't admit that what they really like is the parade. And if you don't like the ceremony, then they will take that to mean that you are against children. Emotionalism rules at every corner. One woman crying at the microphone is all it takes to turn a synodical vote. Wading through all of this and guiding them to the higher ground takes wisdom only God can provide. That wisdom always looks like utter foolishness to men. And through it all is the fundamental reality that you are really no different than them. You just have different issues."

Pastor David Petersen is at Redeemer Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Fort Wayne, IN.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Interesting! I just posted something on "Children's Sermons" on my own blog, including the observation that a lot of the real purpose of the Children's Sermon is for entertainment, and some suggestions on how the children could be better taught....

This sounds a little bitter, though. Am I reading this right?