In a move entirely in keeping with their schismatic forbears who left Canterbury in 1534, the Vatican is now demanding homilies be kept to a maximum of eight minutes. That’s right, My Beloved Sinners, eight minutes!!!
As every Bible-believer knows, any sermon not at the very least of half an hour’s duration simply isn’t Christian. If congregants’ eyes haven’t glazed over, and spot checks don’t reveal at least half of those present have accurately counted every single brick in the wall behind the pulpit, then the preacher hasn’t been doing his duty. My personal minimum is 45 minutes, even if this does necessitate reading the rest of the service at a pace normally associated with race-callers and auctioneers in order to fit in all the day’s scheduled services.
That’s because long-winded sermons are crucial when it comes to intimidating one’s parishioners. Nothing - not even the most pernickety devotion to liturgical precision – can make them feel as intellectually and spiritually inadequate as the type of utterly enervating boredom which only a skilled Conservative Preacher can induce. Strength-sapping, soul-crushing: words can’t do justice to what can be accomplished by a true master of the pulpit.
This is why it’s so important to only ever preach exegetically - taking a small portion of Scripture (preferably from one of the Pauline epistles, but lesser books like the Gospels will do if one feels like a challenge) and laboriously dissecting it in such a way as to remove all contextual traces of God’s outrageous love for humanity. Then, when those few lines have been scrupulously detached from everything which inspired our forebears to consider them part of a life-giving whole, one should – equally tediously – place them in the broader picture of Conditional Forgiveness and the general Conservative obsession with other people’s sexuality.
Certainly neither Jesus nor Saints Peter & Paul preached in this way, but since when have these three been considered role models for Biblical Christianity? Remember: the goal of a sermon is to browbeat, to intimidate, and to reinforce the notion that the Preacher knows best. It’s not easy, and it certainly takes more than just eight minutes to accomplish, but if an exegetical preaching strategy is systematically applied one’s congregation will soon be incapable of recalling another secular homily concerning nakedness and an emperor’s new clothes. After which one can simply repeat the same sermon week after week. Trust me, it’s no accident that most fundamentalist Anglican churches discard the lectionary when preparing their preaching schedules.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.