Monday, April 13, 2015

Church Mystery

As you know, faithful reader, I ask lots of rhetorical questions.  This question is NOT rhetorical.  No beating around the bush, here it is, in all its simplicity:

How did the sermon become the ESSENTIAL aspect of Christian worship?

I know that in some locales, the congregation may well have been illiterate and travel may have been difficult, so a focus on teaching Scripture to illiterates makes some sense.  If the pastor were the only educated person (Keep in mind that over 90 of the first 10 universities founded in the USA were originated chiefly to train pastors), then preaching sermons is one of the ONLY options.

Our USA literacy rate is supposedly around 99% (per Wikipedia), so illiteracy is hardly a good justification for sermonizing.

As I have blogged before, Sunday School seems a much better teaching venue than congregational sermons.  As I have also mentioned, yet the sermon is the most common basis for hiring a pastor, regardless of the pastor's shepherding skills.  Sermon style and "quality" often is a key reason that Christians "choose" a congregation (a mystery of which I have also blogged).

I have no answer to this question.

Can you enlighten me?

1 comment:

  1. Beats me.

    I recently was assigned the task of preaching a sermon on how listening to sermons is an act of worship. It was harder than expected.

    Since the word "sermon" isn't in Scripture, I had to focus on "preaching" and "preach". Most of the time it appears to be aimed at unbelievers.

    I suspect preaching was one of the first spiritual gifts to publicly manifest itself, and therefore became prominent by precedent.

    Don't get me wrong, I love preaching. I just worry that we worship the act (and the actors).