“Today we will see how God was able to work in Abraham’s life,” said Pastor Bob. The words had barely departed his lips when he heard a loud buzzer and saw two uniformed people spring from the back row and rush down the aisle.
“We must stop this before it goes any farther,” said the first, a young man with a thin mustache and flaming eyes. “We just won’t have it!”
“Who are you people, and what’s wrong?” asked Pastor Bob.
“We are the Pulpit PC Monitoring Team assigned to this area,” said the second of the pair, an angry young woman shaking a clipboard like a lethal weapon. “And our research demonstrates conclusively that your preaching is absolutely … inappropriate!”
“By what standards?” asked the preacher, still more befuddled than angry.
“By all contemporary social standards, as established by a distinguished panel of experts representing the major networks, the Washington Post, and the American Association of Socially Correct Speech,” said the man. “Using our 73-point rating scale, we have determined that your preaching is politically incorrect and you are in need of reeducation.”
“Absolutely correct,” the women agreed. “For example, we cannot have sermons about a wealthy male bigot like Abraham, who was guilty of spouse abuse, child abuse, militarism, and countless other crimes against the oppressed.”
“Are you serious?” Pastor Bob responded.
“Of course. And while we are at it, here is a list of other inappropriate role models for homiletical treatment.”
Pastor Bob began looking over the list.
“Let’s see — I can’t preach on Lot because he’s homophobic; I can’t preach on Moses because he was a legalist; I can’t preach on Samson because he was unkind to foreigners; I can’t preach on Hosea because he tried to impose his own narrow moral values on his wife. Well, that pretty well takes care of the Old Testament; is there anything left in the New Testament that I can preach?”
“First, you need to study this list of individuals who should not be discussed in sermons. For example, Paul is strictly taboo.”
Pastor Bob was startled. “But Paul’s letters make up a huge portion of the New Testament.”
“Not after we get done with it,” the woman said. “He is a typical male oppressor who must be eliminated from all speech and literature. We plan to find some meaningful third world literature that will provide a far more appropriate message.”
“I suppose you’ve got plans for the gospels as well?” queried Pastor Bob.
“First of all, we are going to modify the list of disciples,” the young man asserted. “Twelve white males is an entirely inappropriate group for our modern sensitivities, so we plan to make some changes. The fishermen have to go — too macho; we will substitute social workers with appropriate gender and ethnic balance. And the tax collector is out; too establishment. We are fond of the zealot, however; he definitely stays.”
“And what about Judas?” asked Pastor Bob.
“Deserving of a much more prominent role; after all, he wanted to give to the poor instead of squandering resources on silly things like cleaning feet. Of course, we may need to make a change here and there. How does ‘Judith’ sound to you?”
Pastor Bob shook his head and muttered, “May God help you.”
“Not so fast,” the man said. “We may need to make some changes on her as well.”

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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