Friday, August 27, 2010
#188-Sermon Affirmation Guy
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 vary...here 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!