reduced to a sermon illustration


Ok, this is a real hoot. After yesterday's discovery of our premarital counselor's name we (Bryan and I) dug a little deeper to see where this person was up to after 20 years (hey it is a google world don't ya know).

What we bumped into blew us away.

The internet affords us so many wonderful things. Instant online travel booking, grocery delivery, dictionary definitions...

and online sermons.

Tracking down our old buddy, counselor-college prof, Bryan bumped into a bunch of this man's audio sermons online. He emailed me with a "you won't believe what I found" along with a link to the mp3 of a sermon. I then excitedly downloaded it and got on the phone with Bryan and together we listened to a voice from the past.

It is amazing how people's voices don't change. Here was our counselor's voice recently recorded but sounding very much as it did twenty years ago. He was also saying some of the same things. This particular sermon happened to be about the sanctity of marriage and as we listened to his words about thirty minutes into the talk the inflection in his preaching tone changed along with the words,

"I had a couple once that I was counseling that were engaged..." he went on to describe our situation in detail in his sermon.


What a weird feeling that is.

The thing about this particular sermon illustration is that it dealt with something that we disagreed with him about (a particular interpretation of scripture) and if one would follow his particular train of belief/thinking/conviction to its logical conclusion would end in us (bryan and I) not having a successful "christian" relationship.


First off it is REALLY WEIRD discovering that someone is using you in their sermons as a negative example of something. That sort of made me feel a little exposed. Of course he didn't name names but WE knew who he was talking about.

Second, it is a TOTAL HOOT when you can look at where you are now in your life (and in our wonderful, ministry fruitful, spiritually rich marriage) and know that you were right in your own convictions. (If that sounds spiteful, it really isn't meant to be.)

Bryan and I started dating 23 years ago. We are approaching our 20th anniversary. We have a truly blessed marriage. We have a son who is honest and compassionate and insightful beyond his years. I think this is because we have always been truthful about who we are. We have sought after truth in our lives, in scripture, and with others around us and sometimes that has put us at odds with those that might disagree, or just want us to "look right". Truth makes people uncomfortable. It is complex. And living truthful lives can be tricky especially when prevalent christian culture prefers perfect lives. I think living a truthful life is more difficult because you tend to deal with the tough questions about life in the open rather than put on some sort of pretense about who you are. Pretense is safer. Especially if you are in a subculture that, despite what jesus taught, is very quick to judge.

I believe there is such a thing as christian peer pressure. I also believe that it tempts people to live outside of god's intentions settling for something less.

Regarding the discovery of our friend and counselor (who I still think very highly of despite the disparity between us) it is really funny to think that the world can fold over on itself and create and re-create connections that one may never consider possible before. Hey wouldn't it be great if we all (the world) were kinder, more tolerant, and less judgmental because you never know who is listening.

But a word to the wise...

Be careful what you google, you may find you have been reduced to a sermon illustration.

Or find yourself on someone's blog.

I guess we're even.


so i either get the blame or the credit for this bunny trail, eh? sorry...

i'm sure the man who did our simliar counselling thought we'd never make it either! and looking back at the marriages at the christian college we went to i can now see how very 2 dimensional most of them were. i'm so glad we didn't listen to 1/2 the stuff they told us!

hurray for living the life of truth with your family. it's so freeing to be out of the shadows isn't it?

i think i'd be tempted to inform him of how very wrong he really was, but i guess that's just me... sigh.


Thanks so much for the comment and for the bunny trail. I love your blog.

I do feel a weeee bit of the old "I told you so" towards our counselor. I guess the real question for me is, What are we teaching our young people about lasting relationships?(in the church) Are we giving them a cinderella story that they can't live up to?

And you aren't the only one that would be tempted to inform....Bryan and I are considering how we should reconnect with our friend. What fun that might be!

If, and when, you connect I would love to hear the rest of the story - this is just too funny. And too sad. I love the description of a truthful life - and how you given that example to Daniel. Those are good words, Blair.


Thanks for your comment. I will definitely post the rest of the story. It is SO weird how the internet can connect people and it will be interesting to connect with our friend. We are trying to figure out an appropriate way to approach (in light of his sermon illustration). What is great is that we weren't really offended that he used us (actually I laughed my head off it was such a surreal experience) we just don't want to embarrass him. And there is a very good chance that even though the illustration seemed so specific to our situation, it could be that there were others that had a similar experience and they were all morphed together to enhance his point. Who knows. It was still really weird (and very funny). Thanks again for your comment, and your blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on April 6, 2006 9:26 AM.

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