We know we’ve harped on certain subjects here. Certain aspects of our “Charismaniac” experience bother us a LOT, and we tend to talk about them a lot. Several times, we’ve mentioned the Smiths’ practice of taking up birthday offerings for themselves. In several posts and in many of our responses to your comments, we’ve alluded to the Smiths’ nepotism and how they insisted upon promoting and cementing into power their young-adult sons.
And we’ve often discussed the Charismaniac tendency to overuse the term, “anointing.”
Those are some things that really irritate us. It’s crazy (not to mention probably not compliant with not-for-profit tax laws) for a pastor to use the church’s stage, sound system, stationery, and postage meter to solicit birthday gifts for himself and his wife. It’s nauseating to watch a couple of nice-enough young men display attitudes of ever-increasing arrogance and entitlement because their parents are determined to give them a ministry which rightfully ought to belong to the people of the church. And it’s simply bizarre that Charismaniacs practically build an entire religion around the term “anointing” without ever actually defining what “anointing” is.
So you can imagine our surprise and excitement when Pastor Smith (a pseudonym, as is “Living Word Church” and all other names used in this article) recently preached a sermon all about “The Anointing” and made it available on iTunes. We listened to it eagerly and were especially delighted to hear Smith declare, in the opening few minutes, that he was going to tell us exactly what “the anointing” is.
Perhaps, we thought, there is some hope for Living Word after all.
Well, we were wrong.
We came away from listening to the entire hour-long sermon more confused than ever. In fact, our befuddlement was so complete that we couldn’t even really remember or articulate one single concept that Smith had shared. And remember, both of us are college-educated, fully capable of making sense of difficult information, complicated textbooks, and even less-than-stellar professors.
That’s when we decided to do something we’d never done before. We decided to transcribe Pastor Smith’s entire sermon. Certainly, if he actually explained what “the anointing” is, we wanted to know and understand what he’d said.
So I managed to get my hands on a Sanyo Memo-Scriber TRC-6400. Yep, a device commonly known as a “Dictophone,” complete with foot pedal controls for the “play” and “rewind” functions, and a dial that enables you to slow the tape down. Typing is something that has always come easily to me, and I figured it’d be worth the investment of a few hours of my time. It would be a great and rewarding challenge to commit Pastor Smith’s EXACT WORDS to paper (or screen) and finally nail down what he means when he discusses “the anointing.”
My first obstacle was getting the sermon onto the little micro-cassettes that our Memo-Scriber uses. But I quickly solved this one by placing the little “remote recording” accessory right up next to the speakers on my laptop. The sound quality was definitely not the greatest, but once I’d clamped the huge, circa-1980, Judy-from-Time-Life headphones over my ears, I could hear Pastor Smith perfectly. We were good to go.
The actual transcribing took a little longer than I’d anticipated. Even with the “speed” button slid all the way down to “slow,” so that Pastor Smith’s voice was a half-octave lower than normal and he slurred a little, like he’d had too much to drink, I still had to frequently stop and rewind so that I could catch all of his rapid-fire phrases and lengthy sentences. But after perhaps four hours of effort spaced out over two afternoons, I’d completed the task. The sermon, timed at just a bit over 60 minutes, took up 22 pages of 12-point Ariel font. THAT is how fast Pastor Smith talks, how much he is able to say in an hour’s time.
We’re in the process of analyzing Smith’s teaching about “the anointing,” and soon we’ll be posting the entire sermon transcript here on this site. Since it’s such a huge document, we may put it up in segments. We would really like your feedback to this sermon, so if you wouldn’t mind, please tell us what you think, and more importantly, give us YOUR analysis of how Pastor Smith’s teaching on “the anointing” lines up with what the Bible has to say.
So check back…the sermon will be posted soon.