This past Friday, I read the following quote from the blogger Dalrock:
Father’s Day predictably brings out diverse sentiments in our post marriage world. For Christian leaders it brings out contempt for husbands and fathers, including the now traditional (if not obligatory) sermon tearing down men in front of their families.
I’ve heard men’s issues bloggers express this before, that Father’s Day is a time when churches express contempt for fathers, and I thought that was so odd because I’ve never heard a Father’s Day sermon preached in the 12 years I’ve attended and been a member of our church. So when I read this quote from Dalrock, I sort of rolled my eyes a little and thought that maybe there was a bit of exaggeration there or something.
On Saturday, Insanity Bytes disagreed with Dalrock, writing:
Complete poppycock, Dalrock. Even here in the 9th circuit of hell, in liberal utopia, our Christian leaders don’t tear down men in front of their families nor do they mock fathers. That is no more a true representation of what is really going in the world than the Westboro Baptist church is actually a church.
And I thought, “Yeah, what she said! Poppycock, Dalrock. I’ve certainly never heard a sermon about Father’s Day at all, let alone one bashing men!” I felt happy about this because I don’t want there to be such a thing as sermons that bash men on Father’s Day. I also don’t want there to be such a thing as ticks, yet I just removed one of those bloodsuckers from my ankle after walking our puppies in our meadow, so apparently what I want doesn’t dictate reality.
Anyway, who is right? Dalrock or Insanity Bytes? I wanted IB to be right, and even felt like she must be right and not Dalrock who was probably just being a sour-grapes whiner, but from whom could I find out for sure?
I know, how about a pastor! How about even my own pastor?
My husband and I went to church shortly after I read IB’s post, where I was shocked to hear my first ever Father’s Day sermon. You can watch the video of the sermon here:
Start watching at the 6:00 minute mark, where my pastor says:
“Like us, Abraham was far from perfect and yet he became a hero of the faith. Here’s actually the truth that I want to share with you on this Father’s Day weekend. This is the truth from Abraham’s story: a life of a faith, a life where you experience a relationship with God that’s so intimate, that’s so close that God Himself would call you His friend, that kind of life does not demand perfection. A life that God ultimately honors and celebrates and holds up like he did Abraham’s doesn’t demand perfection. And if that’s true – and it is – then there’s a lot of encouragement and motivation for us in that truth for those of us who are dads, for all of us.
I have to tell you, it’s our goal on this Father’s Day weekend to lift you up and encourage you. And I have to tell you from history I’ve learned that often Father’s Day is one of the worst days that dads can ever choose to go to church. Because often it’s the only time churches feel like they’re going to have the ears of dads and so what they do is they plan to beat them up royally for all they’re not doing right. Ever been to one of those Father’s Day services? Oh man, I have. In fact, here in the early days of my ministry here, you know what we’d do? Oh man, we planned. We planned for you guys. And then what we did is we’d sing “Cats in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon”. And we’d talk about how you have so royally blown it, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket, and then we’d try and help you recover. And we wondered why dads didn’t like Fathers Day at our church.
We don’t do that anymore. What we want this to be is an encouragement to you, we want this to lift you up, and I can’t think of a better story than Abraham’s because he’s like us – far from perfect. And yet he was used significantly from God.”
My Pastor straight up confesses that our church used to do exactly what Dalrock says and that he had heard it at other churches as well. Therefore, I am chastened and sad to report that IB and I are wrong and Dalrock is right, according to my pastor.
Edited to add: The quote from the video begins at the 6:00 minute mark, not the 26 minute mark as I originally wrote.