I just returned from a funeral service for a friend of some members. It was at the Presbyterian church in town and before the service I thought that they, like, believed in Jesus and stuff. After, I have no idea. I have no idea if the man who died believed either, but I do know that the man loved cars and taught Auto Mechanics for several years at the university.
Leaving the service I was crying for my members internally. I was crying for the man’s family. I was upset. It took all of my strength to not leave, or walk up and take over the service so I could preach about Christ and His death and resurrection that gives life.
So, if you’re interested, here’s how you can preach just like the preacher I heard today did:
1. Don’t mention Jesus in the sermon or service. You don’t want to offend anyone. A vague reference to Him in a piece of Contemporary Christian Music at the end of the service is alright, so long as it’s very vague and the music cuts out soon after.
2. Don’t mention Baptism because you might offend those who don’t believe in the power of Baptism to bring life in Christ. Feel free to ignore Romans 6:3-5.
3. Don’t mention the Cross or Jesus as the only way to salvation. That’s exclusive of the former Zoroastrian turned Buddhist sitting in one of the pews. In short ignore John 14:6.
4. Have a 15 minute story time where you tell humorous stories from the family and include e-mails that the family got about the man’s life as long as they’re emotional and tell what a great guy he was. Ignore how St. Paul preached in 1 Corinthians.
5. Make the sermon vague enough that it would work for anyone – a person who follows Scientology, Christianity, Earth-worship, etc., and all you’d have to do is change the stories and the name.
6. Throw in some psycho-babble about how we should keep that person in our memories and how that will help the pain pass.
Simple right? Just forget everything that’s in the Bible and tell stories, just make sure that some are humorous, you don’t want people crying because, you know, someone they love has died.