Updated date:

Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Teaching, Preaching and Defaming

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Mt. Wilson

I like this view.

I like this view.


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?

Mt. Wilson

Quite a climb I could do when I was younger.

Quite a climb I could do when I was younger.

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

This is called "Old Indian Road". That is a translation of what the Piutes named it. Those Native Americans sure were not at all PC.

This is called "Old Indian Road". That is a translation of what the Piutes named it. Those Native Americans sure were not at all PC.

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.


Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 22, 2018:

That is really cool Lawrence. I had never broken it down so well. I do not care for word hijacking. I like to get down to what it means and not so much as to how it is used. (although you can learn some sociology through the second) Churchese and Evanegel are now in my dictionary Thank you.

And thank you for your support and lifting up, the finest ministry we can have.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on April 21, 2018:


I've always struggled with people who use 'churchese' (okay, I made that one up, but I think you get my point) to preach something the Bible, or even the word itself doesn't agree with.

Classic example, the word 'evangel', taken from the Greek word 'evangelion' and simply means 'good news' no fancy doctrine with it, just simply 'good news' and I've got some of that for you, every time you tell us that God loves us, you're doing exactly what the word says, you're giving us that good news!

Keep it up bro, keep it up.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 29, 2018:

That is a great comment Linda. Very true. In my family of origin this can lead to a grudge and those can last lifetimes. Crazy stuff.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on March 27, 2018:

Gossip, and back-biting and name-calling. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue, and it can inflict wounds that never heal. Once again you have presented your sermon in such a loving way, and given us much on which to think. Thank you.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2018:

Tim, isn't that connection cool. And we were given direction as to how to interpret the 9th by the two greatest commandments from Jesus. Talk about an awesome teacher regarding children.

I did real well with my friends during the elections. Mostly discussion was focused on issues and not people.

I would venture to say that a good soul like yours adds to the instruction of children, even if not directly.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2018:

Thank you Audrey. I am thinking of Idllewild this time of year. Such a beautiful season. Chris Mills just wrote a piece including gossip. "In the coffee break" room is a place to avoid. Maybe people embellish so much to make their story "interesting" they cross that line.

One thing I like about my family is that we are so direct that is leaves little room for interpretation ;-)

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2018:

Ms. Dora it truly is the hardest part. But I think that is part of why we call children Angels. For them we try harder to act like Christ.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2018:

Nikki, to my reckoning, that is the best we all can do. Thank you for coming by.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on March 27, 2018:

Defamation. I have not thought of it in the context of 9th commandment before. Thanks for making that connection for me. I agree in social media it is common place. Thank goodness for the unfriend feature. I used that feature a lot during the election process for persons of both sides. What a relief it brought.

A note is I have the utmost respect and admiration of parents teaching their children. I have not experienced a child saying "Dad you know everything", which I think is awakening.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 26, 2018:

I, absolutely avoid groups, people, and circumstances that involve defamation of any kind. I really appreciate this article, Eric. I've learned through studying your words, that I, myself, must be careful and aware of what I say about others.

Sometimes, my perception and interpretation of dialogue that goes on in my family are off. I seem to require words of love in place of fault-finding. I'm a sensitive kid. :)

I look forward to growth each day, as a teacher, and as a student. Thank you,

Blessings to you and yours,


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 26, 2018:

Lots of good stuff here for parents to ponder and act on. "One of the hardest parts of that is teaching by example." Thanks for reminding us. And where is your copyright notice?

Nikki Khan from London on March 26, 2018:

Thanks Eric for sharing your deep thoughts with us, another great episode of sunday sermon, we are just trying our best to behave bit better.

Many Blessings to you!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Thank you Frank. I really do feel them. There are fun parts that only require writing it down like the defamation tie in here. The rest is brutally emotional on this end.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2018:

any given Sunday Sermon... you do not disappoint.. is that a defamation in character? joking..you are thorough and you Sunday Sermons has all the Hallmarks of a person who feels his own words and shares them accordingly.. bless you bro

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Jackie in my large family of origin. Since about 18 I have had the great pleasure of just not being supported but being mocked and ridiculed constantly. After maturing and getting over the hurt I find it a fine and gentle persecution for my faith. Actually now in our sixties they are asking questions rather than doing what those signs at the Zoo tell you what not to do.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 26, 2018:

I think we have a big responsibility to our children and the bible says it in Luke 17:2 that we would better to have a millstone cast around our necks and cast into the sea than mislead our young.

I saw parents of a young boy laugh at him for being saved and baptized and I often wonder what they outcome was of that. How did he go on to live his life without encouragement in his choice, what is he like or even doing today? I hope those parents saw the light before it was too late.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2018:

I'm trying, buddy! I'm trying! Getting better, as a matter of fact, and that's something, right? :)

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Mary you hit the nail on the head about decency. Some even say it is the same as dignity. I will never forget my mom chastising for when greeting others, I would not do it with "common decency". And this is unacceptable even if one is quite shy.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Manatita, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Yes, defamation is really the teaching of falsehoods in this regard and to point out that if we speak of concepts instead of certain people we do far better.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 26, 2018:

Thank you Chris. I hope you are still in Montana. I just love this time up in those parts.I always think of the swelling babbling brooks with some snow melt. Although I am sure there will be more before spring really sets in.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 25, 2018:

Eric, you always pose questions which are difficult to answer but make me wonder often. About defamation, I think decency makes us respect others and their opinions and not defame them because they are different from us.

manatita44 from london on March 25, 2018:

Yes, the sinner thing is a 'bummer' and I guess it goes with the judging thing too. You haven't put it quite like that but I rather like the idea of teaching and then allowing the individual to make his own choice.

Yes, there is room for morality, preaching and some other things too. Defamation?

Bill Withers 'Lean on me' is the good stuff. I like to feel, like Christ , that I can of my own self do nothing... that without His Grace, my judgements are false. I need Him to lean on... know that he understands ... is compassionate ...

Have a great evening, Bro.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on March 25, 2018:

Bro Eric,


I totally agree, hands down! However, the U.S. Constitution's Preamble, when read with the INTENDED understanding of it, says there is NOT to be any separatism among citizens of these Dis-United States of America, thus, all three branches of government are in violation of their oath "to protect the constitution" from all enemies and is the "high crime" of Perjury and an Impeachable offense per Article 2, section 4. [I will send you a message of something I twitted but they will not post although they count it in my 2,646 posts.]


When we look at the "Garden Eastward in Eden" metaphor at the verse saying "Therefore shall [wo]man leave [the teachings of] (their) father and (their) mother, and shall cleave unto (their spouse): and they [being two] shall [each] be one [in their] flesh" appear to be saying all of our parental teachings are against the meaning of god's name, 'I Am That I Am', and should not be done. That whole story suggests there is no good/evil, right /wrong and other judgments especially when we look at Isaiah's "virgin birth prophecy" saying the child would partake of "good" and "evil" and then forsake the concept of god and devil before the child chooses what it considers best for itself.

You said you "really don’t believe there is actually in fact a burning place, it is metaphorical" but I am willing to give my view of what the metaphor represents. Civilized human have this burning desire for "sense gratifying stuff" that as long as civilization exists it will "burn" unquenchably within most which happened as soon as Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden.

What happens when we teach our children, beginning in the womb by hearing mother's words and feeling her emotions, then out of it they see what she does when speaking those things has taught them their own likes and dislikes is why "Therefore shall a man leave [the teachings of] (their) father and (their) mother, and shall cleave unto (their spouse): and they [being two] shall [each] be one [in their] flesh" is written. So when a child asks "why" until either they are given an answer that doesn't bring forth another answer or until told to "stop asking so many questions" they are looking for the reason to or not to. That is why Isaiah's prophecy suggests (verse 22) everyone who is left upon earth will have to follow in the child's footsteps. Thus, as parents we should encourage our children's explorations and decision making "of Crosby, Stills and Nash's" song so important.

Don't Miss Out on the Good Stuff:

I agree with "folks say that we all must be evangelists" of the kind who has gone through the "flaming sword" and re-entered the "garden in Eden" as that is where we find the "tree of life". Once we return to the garden we become Peter's "royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" whose very presence is preaching the message of salvation of "forsaking everything civilization has to offer" the Christ said will provide "everlasting life" in our generation.

I approve of your opinion.

“Cats in the Cradle” can also be said about the 9 months in the womb and the child not getting answers from parents, it perpetuates our own life. I remember chastising my Daughter and, like my mother had me, I'de hit her and say "shut up" and she spud scream louder until I thought "You didn't want to show up when your mother were hitting you, why should she" and I vowed never again and kept it.


Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on March 25, 2018:

"...if you cannot sing “Lean On Me” with your children you are missing out on some really good stuff." That is so true, Eric. And I like the two-way aspect of teaching you presented, both in preaching and in teaching children. We miss out on so much by lecturing all the time. As for SlapInTheFaceBook, if I find myself getting irritated, I know I've been there too long. I can't afford to lose friends by arguing about the nonessentials of life.

Related Articles