Just about every preacher has accidentally said something he did not intend to say. It’s one of the hazards of speaking frequently — it raises the odds that at some point we will say something really peculiar, strange and yes — embarrassing.
One Sunday morning, I was extending an invitation for people to respond to God, and I told the congregation, “bow your eyes and close your heads.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I realized what I had done. I kept on talking like nothing weird had just come out of my mouth, hoping nobody noticed. However, that night before the evening service, one of the men asked me with a gleam in his eye, “Hey, preacher, how do you do that?” I asked, “Do what?” He answered, “How do you bow your eye and close your head?”
A fellow pastor was visiting prospects door to door with his wife. Then he switched partners and started knocking on doors with his son. He had been saying the same words of introduction with his wife by his side for so long that when he and his son knocked on the first door, the words came out,
“Hi, my name is ____ and this is my wife Ron.” The man standing at the door looked at him for a long time, slowly said, “We don’t do that kind of thing around here,” and closed the door.
My favorite gaffe came from a preacher at Christmas. He was talking about how Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus, and he reminded the congregation that although she married Joseph, they did not consummate the marriage until after Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:24-25). At the end of his sermon, the preacher repeated, “Now remember, they did not constipate the marriage until after Jesus was born.” As soon as the word “constipate” came out of his mouth, a chuckle started at one end of the sanctuary, and it spread to the other side, until the whole congregation was laughing uproariously.
While we preachers may speak the wrong word from time to time, the Bible always gives the right word — all the time. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.” John 1:14 reminds us that Jesus Christ was “the word” who came in flesh to dwell among us. His word is always true (John 14:6).
(Copyright 2010 by Bob Rogers. Email: email@example.com. Read this column each Friday for a mixture of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)