Friday, August 27, 2010

#188-Sermon Affirmation Guy

Acknowledgements:This post goes on recommendation of one Mark Stanton....May the Lord bless him in all his days on earth and that he would be fruitful and multiply. (That is if he wants to have many kids. Should He not, I do not wish such a burden on him for the cost of kids these days is estimated to be around 200,000 dollars per child (years 0-18) even without assuming the burden of paying their college tuition. With that in mind, if he wants no kids I pray him a safe journey in life and marriage, with birth control methods always working their desired purpose throughout. That is, if Mark does believe in birth control. If he does not, but does not want kids, I pray God's mercy on Him for I think he is to be living a life of disappointments).

Intro: Of all the types of people that have been discussed on this blog, the Sermon Affirmation Guy is one of the ones that I hold nearest to my heart. And I really mean that. One of the reasons I love the Pentecostal experience and Pentecostal Churches in general is it's tolerance and embrace of "the Weird."

Whereas most of us would like to put a muzzle on some people's exuberant prayers, or tie up some people's legs during the course of the service because of the peculiar manor they carry on worship in dance, I genuinely want to soak each and every occasion up within my soul and wish from the bottom of my heart that I could be like them. It is the Pentecostal Church Service that forces me to face the strange otherness of some people's unreserved behavior and say that while that may not be how I worship, God's grace is alive in that person. They ARE A CHILD OF GOD.

I don't like being uncomfortable in my flesh. And if my flesh had it's way, I would like myself in a box if I could sustain as so, just so I don't become uncomfortable. Discomfort is foreign to me, and I want to repulse as far as possible away form my being. It's "the Weird" that happens in the Pentecostal Service that smacks such a pathetic thought away from myself. God's grace is not bound by discomfort and I hope it never is (although I Corinthians 14 does need to be taken account in this rant).

But of all "the Weird" people in this world and in our church (or is it that the reserved worshipers such as myself are the weird ones because we don't act on the bubbling in our soul?), as I said, The sermon affirmation Guy is one of my favorites. He is the guy that in short, will yell "Amen" or "Preach It" whenever the preacher is on a red-faced rant, mostly though, the applauding echo from the sermon affirmation guy comes when the preacher makes a reference to God being One or that Acts 2:38 is how you get to heaven.

It's like the Sermon Affirmation Guy has  a filter in his brain during sermons, wherein all words said during the sermon go down a conveyor belt located just inside the SAG's (Sermon Affirmation Guy) ear. As the words go down the belt they are quickly on a path to their unknowing destruction by being emptied out in the ear at the opposite end of the conveyor belt. However,  when the preacher gets loud or quotes a certain "buzz" verse or mentions a certain doctrinal position, the filter catches the reference and a red light goes off in the sermon affirmation guys' brain wherein those words are derailed from their fate, and are rather sent into the rest of the brain. Once inside the brain, the filtered words assemble themselves in such a way depending on their power, to force a results from the SAG.

The results the SAG displays after hearing the buzz words or buzz verses from the preacher is a chart descending from least motivated response to the greatest response that let's you know just how "on target" the preacher is....

1) "Amen" while seated

2) "Preach it Pastor" while seated (usually said when the congregation is provoked by the preacher himself in the form of the  preacher saying something accusatory and then adds "man it got quiet in here real fast." The SAG does not want to be indited as being guilty of the accused charges brought upon the congregation and therefore if the SAG says "Preach It" he is hoping that will be enough evidence to be found "not guilty" in God's court of the accused crimes.)

3) "Amen!" while standing up and then extending arm to a finger-pointing position back at the preacher as if the SAG had just shot a super powerful dose of extra preaching power at the preacher as a favor for the Good Word that has just been said.

4) A Silent but very authoritative and demonstrative slide out of the pew into the aisle whereupon the SAG marches swiftly in the direction of the preacher. When the SAG gets to about the altar he either goes to the aforementioned finger point (which is done so as to ensure accuracy of the the preaching power dosage because sometimes the finger point from the pew is a bit more inconsistent at the preaching power reaching it's desired destination) or allows for more of a swatting with his hand in the direction of the preacher as if he was swatting in imaginary fly. This "swatting" can be down several times in one movement as if to "fan" the preacher (this fly swatting technique gives the effect of the SAG either demonstrating that the preacher is too "on fire" to be touched or the Preacher is so "on" that he doesn't need the encouragement of the SAG).

5) A swift but masterful siege towards the altar again but this time the SAG gets on his knees and either chooses to hit the floor of the altar/platform or the base of the pulpit. When this rare site occurs, it is done so in repeated strikes to the floor as if the SAG is nailing a metaphorical nail into the floor (and thus seal the casket), or more likely the SAG has deduced the devil is in the floor and he needs to beat any remaining will power out of him in his dejected state.

6) A march straight onto the platform wherein the SAG either slaps the back of the pastor or high-5's him. Admittedly I have never seen this occurrence myself, but I would love it none the less, and Mark Stanton (post recommender) has testified that he has seen this happen on more than one occasion and also (most surprisingly) by different people.

Now if I ever happen to be blessed enough to see this happening, I don't even know what I would do with myself in such excitement of the pure weirdness that I would be observing. At such marches up to the platform, the SAG in one swoop is demolishing any unspoken barrier between "man of God" in the midst of his God-given sermon on the elevated Platform, and the place of the average layman in his inferior position as being the listener. God Bless Him!


  1. I've seen crazy people with hankies shine a preacher's shoes. People with hankies have an extra anointing for affirmation. They stand up looking like they are furious at the preacher, shake that hankie, make a humph noise, and sit down. I lose a lot of what is being said because I am trying to figure out what they are looking angry about for.

  2. The two SAGisms that kill me are
    1. When he says "Welllll." Who started that, by the way, and if we discover who did can we provide some mild torture for his fingernails?
    2.When the preacher buzz-words something negative and SAG "A-MENS" it anyway.

  3. What can also happen is the Sermon Affirmation Girl. I was once at a service where this woman kept standing up to affirm the preacher and shake her hand at him (as mentioned in the post) only she had a large rear end and her dress was caught up betwixt. The congregation behind her row (and she was sitting pretty close to the front) became focused on her ample booty and the wedgie that ensued (because of the friction which resulted from the standing up and sitting down in order to affirm) and completely lost it. So there's a point at which the SAG has a negative effect on affirmation.

    Another person evidently had Turret's because she would randomly scream out "Hiyah" - without any obvious cues to signal her response. Perhaps the Pavlovian signal in her case is a little less obvious and would be better served by more analysis of her behavior. I know I would benefit from said analysis because I jumped almost every time it happened and would be better prepared if I knew when to expect the behavior.

  4. WOW... this is one of the greatest blogs ever. I wish I were one of these guys. Sometimes I pretend to be. Lately I have been hearing some very creative ones like, "TALK ABOUT IT!!" "ITS IN THE BOOK". I think that at some places of worship there is a secret competition going on between the SAG's to see who can come up with the most creative affirmation. lol. good stuff.

  5. Ryan's comment made me spit out my smoothie!

    We have a Sermon Affirmation Guy who is also an Early Approacher. Weirdness squared.

  6. I have seen this several times at youth rallies, but it is always the same guy that does it and he is one of the ministers sitting on the platform so the 'man of God'/'layperson' division point doesn't apply to him. His approach is the stand up and move close finger shake, then a slap on the back and if it's a really good point he beats the preacher's back with his Bible. I guess because there is extra affirmation power in being beaten with God's word. It was pretty funny because the first time it happened the preacher completely lost his point for about 3 seconds :D

  7. Joel,

    Thanks for pointing out your love for the pentecostal "tolerance and embrace of the weird" and reminding us that the demonstrative person is a "CHILD OF GOD."

    It reminded me to have a little more tolerance, and perhaps shift my paradigm a few more degrees left.


  8. Have you ever noticed that SAGS seem to really act out when the pastors gone. This may happen because...

    A. they want to assert and prove their SAG status regardless of whos preaching. Dont need no Pastor to get my preach on! Sincere SAGiness!

    B. they are trying to rally the saints to respond because the guy filling in is boring.

    C.they are filled with a demon who takes advantage because the guy filling in doesnt know how to shut an out of control SAG down.

    I love SAGS they are fun to watch. I could never be Catholic!

  9. My favorite is the firm point at the preacher, but it must be paired with the intense 'imma gonna kill you' look that comes from the joy hearing God's word inflicts.

  10. LOL! The intense "I'm gonna kill you" look! That is so true . . . the firm point just isn't the firm point without the look.