Can a preacher be sincere and intelligent and still perform his duties?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Have you ever heard a church sermon that didn't involve talking down to the congregation or that didn't sound like a kindergarten teacher telling stories to her kids?
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I have.

    That said though, during the time when I didn’t believe in God, and ended up sitting through a church service for whatever reason, I recall thinking the pastor sounded condescending.

    Maybe when one believes, it doesn’t feel that way? Idk.

    But, I have heard pastors who sound demeaning no matter what. But there are some great pastors I’ve encountered who just shared their faith and did so in an uplifting way.

    Like with anything, everyone’s mileage will vary.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Went to a church for many years with a minister who did most of his sermons sitting on the floor in front of the altar playing an acoustic guitar, surrounded by the children of the congregation.
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Of course. I expect that the majority of them are exactly that.


    From your posts, you don't strike me as the devout or church-going kind.

    If a real religious person encounters a style of preaching that they don't like, maybe they need to look for a different congregation.

    Or maybe they need to remain a while and think a bit about why they didn't like it. Simply tuning out everything we don't want to hear might not always be the best path.

    Part of why some people might perceive what they hear as "talking down" is that what they are hearing is moral exhortation and they may perceive that as implicit moral judgement regarding how they are living their lives now and the need to change.

    Ironically, many of these same people who hate preachers judging them (even if that's only happening in their own mind), judge others incessantly in their own lives. We see that happening right here on Sciforums all the time.

    We are all much better at dishing it out than taking it. We are all better at telling others that they must change than we are at changing ourselves.
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  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sure. I've heard some great sermons. After one of the more recent shootings, a local Unitarian minister gave a remarkable sermon about what we could do locally both to support the people who were grieving and to help make sure such things didn't happen in the future. And it was all about changing in attitudes of respect for others, not about gun control or new laws.

    I've also heard some that made me sick to my stomach. Two of the latter category were in a local Roman Catholic church; the first one was a sermon on indulgences, and today they would have a special deal! One plenary indulgence if you make a nice contribution, and do the seven other things he listed. The second one was a sermon on how contributing to the Church was the most important thing you could do to ensure your (and your family's) place in heaven. I looked around at the congregation - mostly young military families struggling to make ends meet - and decided to not go back.
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I see preachers not as teachers but as cheerleaders.
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The one entitled "Where is your faith?".

    I know this person. She isn't condescending. She isn't real bright either.
  12. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    In my experience it rather depends on the preacher/minister/shepherd/chaplain...
    I've known men of faith, and 1 total bozo who took the bait and threw me out of his church.
    (but that was a long time ago)
  13. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    A preacher's duties are inherently incompatible with intelligence, at least as far as recognizing their own delusions.
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    Belief in God is not a litmus test for low intelligence.

    There are - and were in history - many very intelligent people, a lot of them scientists - who believe in God (I assume that's what you mean by 'delusions').

    Darwin, Newton, Marie Curie, Freeman Dyson...

    I think what you meant is - not God - but religious fundamentalism.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  15. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    But I don't find them intelligent with respect to their belief in god. They may have been intelligent in other ways. I would also grant some amnesty depending on the age in which they lived. Present day preachers no longer have the excuse of scientific ignorance.
  16. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Im also a beleiver in God an i also have a high iq.!!!

    Not necessarily.!!!
    I am also a religious fundamentalist... an the trick to not be... or apear to be insane... is to not let you'r irrational beleifs have any effect you'r life.!!!
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Knox Presbyterian in TO. Great choir, too, and terrific acoustics.
    But then, every sermon does not contain the whole canon of a church. Any particular sermon might sound perfectly sane, reasonable and benevolent. That does not reflect the basis of the belief-system or the cumulative effect of a doctrine on a young, impressionable mind.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    OK, then I guess that doesn't seem to have a bearing on the OP question. You're answering a different question.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I've known quite a few preachers who were quite intelligent. Pretty much everyone has delusions; preachers aren't unique in that (or even exceptional in that regard.)
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    A somewhat influential figure in my youth was one Father Keith, a young priest who came to my high-school to conduct a small discussion group for interested students. We covered everything from evolution to birth control and his contributions were intelligent, interesting and sincere (also wrong). Someone else for whom I had a great deal of respect much later in life was a Baptist layman who went to Iraq after the US invasion on a team of humanitarian aid workers. They were scared and uncomfortable the whole eight months, but they believed Jesus would help those strangers and it was their calling to do his work.
    The externalization and personification of one's own best impulses is impractical, unrealistic and illogical - but not incompatible with intelligence and honesty.
  21. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    yes. the local Methodist church has a former biker turned preacher who is quite intelligent and regularly shares humourous anecdotes to tie lessons in with reality... a story about his last quote that was shared with me by someone in the church came from an adult sunday school lesson where the students wanted to know about the details of one of the disciples: "[patting the bible] this is not real - it's faith."

    so, "Can a preacher be sincere and intelligent and still perform his duties?" I think the answer is yes, but it also depends on the person and their background.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

  23. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

    Can a preacher be sincere and intelligent and still perform his duties?
    Of course,
    most preachers if not all are psychopaths only devoted on controling exploting others,
    Usualy pathological liars too.
    They dont even need to believe in god imo to be preachers.

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