Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Teaching, Preaching and Defaming
What in the heck is defaming doing in the Title? Preaching and teaching go together but how does defamation tie in? Here is the short of it; calling someone a sinner in public is to defame them. Hey, let us rstart up with a refresher on defamation. Facebook participants and writers should familiarize themselves with it.
You have two types really. Slander (slandEAR) and Libel (lEYEbel). Slander being heard and spoken. But we concern ourselves obviously libel that which we see as in writing except for the Christian portion.
Remember that to be defamation it must be false. And there are areas of privilege to libel. Like politics, court and therapy. Public figures are pretty much fair game in that capacity.
So Christians have this little thing generally referred to as the 9th commandment which definitely prohibits false witness which is defamation in the eyes of our Lord. It is also a sin of a pretty high order. So when we call one a sinner and we all sin it is truth and defensible. But when we say “you have sinned because you are an adulterer” and it ain’t true we have false witness that we call defamation. Yes indeed most of our big laws come from Hammurabi (18th century B.C.) and the Ten Commandments.
All folks should be cognizant of speaking falsely about another. And for Christians there is the extra kicker regarding judging another. That is a big no no. Remember that is not about using judgment but rather the condemnation of another.
FB is a hotbed of defamation. Fully disgusting in my view. As for me I just basically stay out of the negative stuff. I feel all dirty in the participating as I see reading that crap as participating.
Let us back off here a little. I think the term now is “snowflake”. Someone who takes offense indeed looks for offense in life. Quote Samuel Clemens using the “N” word and you are offensive and a bigot. That is overly sensitive. As you are not calling someone that. So little exaggerations are not really important. However repeating a libel is not little.
So does the preacher who publicly, from the pulpit, calls someone in the congregation a liar and it is not true, is that defamation? Can someone who writes a piece saying it does not depict an actual person but it most definitely does commit defamation? Can a teacher that defames someone’s dead parent, be sued by the heirs? Isn’t that interesting?
Teach the Children Well
Be wary teachers. Back to the Bible. I think it is around Matthew (the repentant tax collector) 18 especially in the middle there. Lays it on heavy if a teacher teaches/causes a little one to go astray. The only sure way to avoid that is to not teach children. Some preachers will tell you that that is one of those unforgivable sins and your soul will burn in hellfire for eternity which is a long time. Whatever. But it does give us pause to be accurate when teaching. Right now there seems to be an education war between liberals and conservatives in classroom settings, especially college. The teachers actually bring in their political views and teach them to children? As per above they had better be right. As for me, I really don’t believe there is actually in fact a burning place, it is metaphorical, but I would not take that chance and would only teach fact and give my opinion not teach my opinion.
Teaching children, let us say 21 and under is so special. It is such a blessing to do. It is like the cherry with no pit on top. And as we all know that blessings and privilege come attached to responsibilities and duties. Here is one that grips you. You have a young child in the twenty questions a minute part of development. And that child looking up to the dad says “But dad you know everything”. That is one hell of a responsibility and duty to that child.
And then you get into the wisdom of Crosby, Stills and Nash (or with Young) “teach your children well the father’s hell” and the reverse “children teach your parents well their children’s hell”. Well do we really have to do that as a teacher of our children? Seems to me that at the right stage and place in their lives we do. Remember “Dad you know everything”. I would suggest that requires us or creates a duty to be honest and not sin through omission. Regardless in their teens you end up knowing nothing anyway. Truthfully I never suffered that, probably because I encouraged them to teach me.
So in life we have the responsibility and duty to teach the little ones. One of the hardest parts of that is teaching by example.
A Road To Somewhere
A Gospel Ring To It
Worth a Listen to.
Don't Miss Out on the Good Stuff
Now what of this notion of preaching. Church wise we call those sermons. Parent to child we call that boring. Bible thumpers we call obnoxious. Some folks say that we all must be evangelists. I am not buying into that as we all have gifts. And that kind of preaching might not be your gift and if you do it wrong, per above, that eternity is like I say, a long time.
The second part of the definition, which people do not take the time to learn, of sermon is “or moral subject”. So preaching is deeper than the dude in front of a congregation. For instance, I have no problem listening to a Hindu sermon/lecture on the morality code based on their “religion” or faith. There are some morals in some places where the morality allows for execution of gays because they are gay. Getting a “sermon” on that helps us to discern our own morality.
So preaching has it’s place. You can say “the taught” a sermon. But church wise we say he preached a sermon. Might sound strange but for church I think it should be changed to “he gave his opinion”. That is just me. My style of preaching is more Socratic. Let us ask questions together. And let us come up with different answers and our own opinions.
May I suggest that if you cannot sing “Lean On Me” with your children you are missing out on some really good stuff. Helping and being helped are equal blessings in Eric’s book of life. This physical or emotional manifestation of Love which is God is so wonderful. My wife gave the beggar in the median a buck. So I teased saying that she only did it because it made her feel better of good. And that that is not an act of love. She answered quite confidently. “So”?
The “Cats in the Cradle” song is what I would think of as a hell on earth. If there was a way to make me have regrets that would be it. I like to say that I may not be the perfect dad but at least I take the time to be imperfect.
Grow every day and the best growth of all is the combination of teaching and learning.