Trust your Gut on this sort of thing?
I’m trying to watch/listen to a sermon as I write this, but I realize there is something in the manner of the pastor’s delivery that is truly putting me off.
First of all, it’s more or less delivered in what I would call an “earnest whisper.” The pastor’s eyes appear to be emotionally bruised at all times, slightly moist as though he were about to cry. I would be the last person to scold anyone for yielding to tears at certain passages in the Word, but what I’m watching here is different. It’s a constant drip, drip, drip with each blink, blink, blink. He’s rubbing his bosom on the text. “Feel me,” he appears to be saying. “Hear me pause now dramatically. Can you feel my soul-broken connection of complete intimacy with the text? Watch me now as I raise my hands slowly.”
They say women run churches these days, and, watching this, I’m beginning to think this guy “splens” some things. He usually wears a tight shirt — no suit, no clerical robe — and he talks a lot about working out. He speaks to the congregation in roughly the same way a single dude warms up to the children of a single mom he’s trying to date. At any moment, he’s going to whip out a big teddy bear.
My question is real. Do you trust your gut, your spiritual instincts, if that’s what they are, on this sort of thing? In the middle of this message, he begins talking about “cognitive and social psychology.” This pastor’s true intellectual interest rests there. The eyes get a little less bruised, and, for the first time in the message he begins talking about something he’s genuinely interested in, as opposed to scripture itself — something he surfs over, without ever reaching for a ladle.