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Sermons and Religion and Spirituality

Updated on September 1, 2020

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I just love the little ones crawling all over him and the smile.
I just love the little ones crawling all over him and the smile. | Source


There are a whole bunch of people that do not like sermons and religion. Sermons and religion conjure of concepts of being told what to think and how to act. But there is more to religion and sermons than most think. Let’s not get down on them too quickly. And likewise let us not start to believe that spirituality comes from the words of sermons and religion.

Just a thought on at least an interesting notion. Over 5 billion people in this world of around 7 billion identify with a religion. Probably about 2.5 billion “practice” their religion in some formal form. Others practice theirs in their own way. China still basically makes believers 3rd class citizens. Are that many people crazy? And only the other 2 billion are sane? (Numbers are just close as the numbers change by millions per day)

In the USA it can be calculated that there are only about 10% of the population that do not have some kind of faith. Notice the change from religion to faith. About 85% identify with an established religion.

In the USA it is obvious that no president has ever been elected by any group other than those who identify with a religion. Now that is something to think about.

We hope it is clear here that we are simply talking about quantitative and not qualitative. Contrary to that wonderful quote “numbers do not lie”. When speaking of counting people into a particular group numbers lie like heck. So throw out a percentage and you are still clearly within a plus or minus of acceptable numbers to make the concept correct.

I wonder how many people click the religion button and how many click the non-religion button who basically could not care less but it is just some kind of social instinct from how they were raised or their work environment, for examples. That early adulthood group has the least percentage of religious people. Duh! But it is interesting that even though that has been a truth for more than half a century the ones who went through that, by a huge percentage return as they age. ???? One of the main reasons given for such change back is having children. Hmm. That is an interesting notion.

Sermons and religion are two words that one would think conjures up negative but by the numbers that would be very wrong. Now if that does not get you thinking go watch re-runs of the conventions.

What is Love

Long Lasting



Sermons are a trip. When I preached live I would not go over 15 minutes. I sometimes attend a huge 300 year old mission basilica. They have services every hour for about 6 hours. Now that makes these preachers go no more than 15 minutes, way cool. If a preacher preaches for 30 minutes straight I have no compunction about getting up and leaving. In my mind long sermons are about the preacher and the fact they have a captive audience. If you ever attended a lecture that lasted an hour and you remained you are an exception or were just daydreaming or planning out your week. Maybe flirting ;-) Timing in arguing a closing argument to a jury is real tough as you may just have to cover too much. But if you lose them it could cost a defendant a lifetime. For a preacher the stakes may be losing or gaining a soul for eternity, the pressure is enormous in both cases, believe me.

A sermon is not just a religious schooling. A normal second definition is a discussion of moral issues, sometimes referred to as a lecture. Now it would be morally wrong to make that lecture over an hour long with no break.

Our minds just do not work that way in general. A movie is a different matter as is a concert. The stimuli changes and story lines get broken up. Chase scenes and romance are different. Books are the same way. So if you could captivate (not hold captive) an audience for an hour you would be doing a fantastic job. You would have to go off message a bit with a joke and an anecdote or two. You would have to throw in some stuff that got them thinking their own thoughts. You would have to realize you really only get them for twenty out of that sixty minutes but when they came back in the message of the sermon they could pick it right up.

Have you ever seen a stand-up comedy routine that lasted a straight hour? My Sunday Sermons here are always real close to 1,250 words, normal reading speed is 300 words per minute. So let us say a sermon can be read in 5 minutes. Sometimes that seems to long, I break it up with pictures and music. I can hold someone’s attention for 5 minutes. Any longer may be rudely breaking into their busy schedule.

Some Where In France

Nature is Spiritual
Nature is Spiritual | Source

Old Time

Greatest Lesson

Sermons are good but too long and not so good. Religion is good but fanatical not so good. Both have been the motivation and driving force for good. And both for bad. The worst part is that both are led by man and man is fallible.

From my studies I found one thing that is immutable and that is that power corrupts both. They say that absolute power absolutely corrupts. If a preacher or a higher up is considered to be the word of God then we have a problem, a big problem. When folks think that the leader of a group in a religion are actually speaking for God people can be misled into all sorts of calamity.

The Christians have a deal where there is the “word”. Generally considered the books of the bible. One problem is that there are over 100 versions out there. So within one religion there could be 100 preachers preaching something slightly different. Notice these versions are copywrited. In order to do that they must be significantly different than another work.

I attend several churches. Each litany is different. The songs are different. And certainly all leaders are different. I attend one of some size where the preacher receives no compensation and one where the leader makes well of 100 grand ones a year. I have attended two Joel Osteen parties and they were fun with a great concert. A Pope once declared a possibility of no physical hell. July 1999 Pope Paul II. That Biblical references to same were largely symbolic and metaphoric. Go figure on that.

Sermons and religion are awesome to get you “ramped up”. Any community, not necessarily conformity, is a good thing.

Spirituality is not the same.

Spirituality is not a physical place or space. It is not found in the liturgies or sermons. Now do not go down the path that I am saying that they don’t have a place. They are essential in my mind. I need the bump and I like hearing different views, they strengthen my own.

I am a Christian that follows direct commandments of Jesus Christ. All bibles are basically the same on this. God is love and love is God. “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Now that is my sermons, my belief, my religion and my spirituality. The rest is awesome but only a spring board into getting us ready to love each other and our God which is spirituality.

Please enjoy sermons and religion, they are good for you.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I know where you are coming from Flourish and thanks for adding that here. It is important for others. Really good folks who do not attend church should share that.

      Oh I give a short critique in the check out line and usually get asked to talk later. (But did you like the message?) Sorry buddy but it sounded like a repeat from about 5 years ago. hihihi

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      10 months ago from USA

      I have not attended church in many years. My experience has been sermons that were hellfire and damnation, boring or were delivered by preachers who couldn’t or wouldn’t read the room — it was hot, late, and he was repeating himself. Maybe they needed your advice.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel your effusive generosity of encouragement is not unnoticed and deeply appreciated.

      We will play checkers like old men down at your Chula Vista bay/wharf/Marina park this weekend At least a little cooler than the 110 we will enjoy this weekend up here in Sprung Valley Hot Springs, CA 6666. Fishing at our reservoir is out due to the intense steam.

      Now I do think that every Friday is a good Friday is a fine day to read my lectures with much ego thrown in. My life is so dull that I have alarms set up to tell me what day of the week it is, not that it matters.

      How come heat with humidity is called oppressive and a dry heat is just called Santa Anna?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      10 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      Can't quite get past the hangover to get myself up on Sunday to go hear fine preachers like yourself, so I'll tune in on Friday.

      I think you make a fine point about brevity. Edward Everett opened up for Lincoln at Gettysburg, and basically wasted his breath for 2 hours and 13,000 words. Nobody cared. Then Lincoln came on for 271 words that will live forever. His speech was over before most people knew it had started, but its reprinted form has been memorized by millions of school children, including myself.

      Maybe someday schoolkids will be required to memorize your Sunday Sermons. I can see it happening. Me, I can never keep it to under 2,000 words in those verbose yawn fests I call hub pages articles. That's why I will forever be in your shadow, but that's okay, it's nice and cool there.

      Have a happy Friday over there in the Sprung Valley.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika, I promise that it is interesting :-)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Eric an insightful speech here and sounds an interesting way of life to me

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John a buddy told me that my brain runs off the track more than on it. I can bored about what someone says before they say it, just by the look on their face.

      I just got a chuckle about Preachers that just look to the back of the room instead of right into people's faces.

      See I can't even stay on track here :-)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela I am lucky as we have a large church community through my wife. One Wednesday service is held in our home each year. (I just do not like their religious practices in general) But they are like family.

      So I have the best of both worlds.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      11 months ago from Gondwana Land

      A very relevant sermon, Eric. One thing I have to admit to is getting bored easily. I have been known to go to sleep during a long sermon, watching a movie, during a work meeting, or reading a book with a plodding story..anything that involves sitting and innaction for an overly long time.

      I need constant stimulus to hold my attention. A good preacher or animated speaker can achieve that. I don't doze off reading your sermons by the way.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora I have three books of common prayer, Lutheran, Episcopal and Catholic. No matter what I follow the scripture and lesson scripture for once a week. Your description is the best sermons.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lorna thank you. I am with you all the way. Although I did zone out during my 2 hr hike today. The climbing areas do require full attention though as you know.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Too funny Denise, I always wondered why any new pews had padded benches. :-)

      You must have won a record for sitting so long. I don't know a man over 70 who could muster that much time. You made me think of a filibuster.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      11 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This ia an interesting article about religion and sermons. I enjoy sermons and look forward to them on Sunday. I can't attend church but my church has the sermon on the internet so I can watch. He speaks for about 30 minutes as you suggest.

      I use to go to different churchs many years ago, but I am sticking to just one right now. The virus makes going out a little risky for me. I hope you are having a good day, Eric. God bless you

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda I agree completely with your book notion. I like shorter chapters with good paragraphing. Personally I like books where I read a chapter and think on it rather than just jump to the next chapter. Maybe that is why the new Testament is my favorite reading.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I thank you Bill for your comment. You are brave to write memoirs. I still have a few more years for legal reasons.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      11 months ago

      An insightful article Eric and if I'm honest unless the sermon is interesting and does not last for two hours, then I zone out. I'm in the church choir which I enjoy and yet when our priest starts, I feel this is my penance. Perhaps it's because it doesn't make me feel closer to God. I feel closer to God when I am out in nature, and in particular climbing. However, your points are very valid and this was an enjoyable read.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, you have some interesting insights on sermons. My favorite kind is where the preacher expounds on a Scripture passage and demonstrates how it applies to my life. True, I have learned from other types. I've gotten some lessons from yours as well.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      11 months ago from Fresno CA

      I don't know if I can agree with the 30-minute rule. I can remember some long-winded preachers I sat through who sermonized for 3 hours straight. I don't know how he or I could stand it. The saying goes that the people can only take in what their butts in the pews can stand. People get fidgety after a while and it's time to stop.



    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, it's been said that figures don't lie, but liars figure. Teachers, preachers, attorneys, and even movie directors know that the human brain goes into the "computer hibernate" feature after about 15 minutes. That's why Sesame Street works--they change the topic and format often (like every 5 minutes or less) and keep kids engaged.

      I think the same applies to books too. What do you think? The pace of the story, the dialogue, the action need to switch every few pages to keep the reader wanting to read more.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I enjoy listening to sermons. I enjoy hearing about the beliefs of others. Me? I am a spiritual being having a human experience. Anything more than that can be found in my memoir. :) Have a brilliant Tuesday, my friend.


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