Beliefnet
What's the worst sermon you've ever heard?

"My former church... taught that theirs was the only valid church, and the membership was the only people going to Heaven. A member was filling in one Sunday, and decided during his talk to mention the memorial service for the Challenger astronauts, and President Reagan's stirring recitation of the poem during his talk. Specifically, he focused on the lines about 'slipping the bonds of Earth and touching the face of God.'

"He then laughed and said 'I don't believe that for one second!' and then proceeded to say that he believed they were all likely burning in Hell. I was horrified, as you could imagine, and my mother had to talk to me after the service and remind me it was only his opinion." --byrdman "Among the worst sermons I ever heard was one in which Christians were compared to bacteria set loose in the body of the world. The LCMS minister even exhorted us all in his closing remarks to 'Go out and infect the world with Christianity!'" --LoveIsTruth



"The minister announced that the church was falling behind on its payments and there would be fundraising events that morning to help. He then proceeded to put the young women up on stage and auction them off all the time preaching on the 'freely give' topic." --smartgirl

"My childhood pastor, preaching at the funeral of a toddler who'd died in a farm accident, noting that the child hadn't been baptized and that s/he was now probably in hell because the parents (backslidden church members) were so careless about their child's eternal future -- something to the effect of, 'Hope they've learned their lesson.' Not only is this sucky theology, it was just MEAN and unacceptable." --tawonda

"One day the pastor was preaching about the Rapture, and said something to the effect of: 'Some of you sitting here will be left behind. When that happens, come here to the church/parsonage. We keep supplies in the basement, and there will be instructions for you on what to do. Eventually you'll run out of food, but that's why we keep our dogs.'" --rhcmom



"Listening to a guy go on and on about how TV was evil and that this was going to be one sad Christmas for our kids with Harry Potter toys and we were all going to hell and the clincher for me was when he actually told us that if he had a gun he would go to the Middle East and shoot people because 'after all it says an eye for and eye in the Bible'! ...and then after listening to him rant and rave he had the audacity to do an altar call!" --ab14

What's the worst sermon you've ever heard?

What's the worst sermon you've ever heard?

"Another pastor ...citing an OT text about the 'stiff-necked' Hebrews, insinuating that the Holocaust was the Jews' own fault. This incident played a not-insignificant role in my no longer belonging to that particular church body." --tawonda "My pet peeve in the sermon world is children's sermons. ...My most memorable rotten sermon was a Christmas eve sermonette. ...The minister brandished a carefully wrapped package - urging the children to guess the contents of her Christmas present. ...After an endless, coy buildup, we finally reached the payoff: 'I'll tell you what's in the box, boys & girls. It's Jesus Christ!' The horrified looks on the faces of the youngest children made it painfully clear the metaphor had missed its mark." --sadmom



"The pastor began to go on and on about the dangers of giving in to idolatry... What I didn't expect was that he would begin to scream at the women in the congregation who were wearing jewelry (including me)! He called us all idolators and proceeded to have the ushers pass around collection plates and demanded that we all take off our jewelry and put it in the collection plate." --ToyaS



"When I was in the 6th grade, I attended a large charismatic church in Indiana. One time a fellow came and gave some talks about rock 'n roll music. Of course, he was arguing that ALL forms of rock music were Satanic. He pointed to the tragic deaths some rock stars have faced (granted, some who took their own lives, but also others who just died from accidents such as plane crashes) and would say, 'See! When the devil gets through with you, he kills you!'" --lindenmeadow

"Part of this church's doctrine was a belief that December 25 was NOT to be celebrated as Jesus' birthday, because it was not specifically mentioned in the Bible. The minister used to preach pretty much the same sermon every year the Sunday before Christmas telling everybody why it was not scriptural to celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus. One year when I was still young, he decided to go one better, and told all the children in the audience that there also was no Santa Claus! You can imagine the scene...how he kept his job is beyond me." --byrdman



"I watched a young popular pastor on television... His sermon was, I'll assume, supposed to be about stewardship and blessings. The majority of it was taken up with his chastisement of lower-income members who put his church's bumper sticker on their 'ratty out-of-date heaps'! You read it right! He said that if they were good stewards G-d would be blessing them and they would be driving better cars. And as such, it reflected poorly on his church to project that image into the community." --vcell
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