How to Preach When you Don’t Believe

I was behind a pulpit last Sunday.  I’ll be behind it again this Sunday coming. I’m a preacher in fundamentalist evangelical churches. And I don’t believe.

I won’t be doing it forever.  Now that I view myself as officially gone, I’ll probably just fulfill my bookings and not accept any more.  I’ll miss it, kinda.  Public speaking is just about the funnest thing in the universe, next to sex.

Hmm, I wonder if there’s a place I can have sex while speaking in public…

So how do I open up the Bible, much of which I don’t think is true or good, and preach about it without hurting my conscience?

Stick to the good stuff, that’s how.

I preach from the gospels when I can.  Even an atheist can find wonderful things to talk about with texts like “Turn the other cheek” and “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.”  The difficulty comes when the church you’re booked at asks you to preach on something else, like end times prophecies, or the book of Hebrews or some inane bit of the Mosaic law that only twelve people on the planet care about.

As screwed up as much of the Bible is, there is still awesome stuff in there.  Some people get confused when I only preach on the awesome parts.  “What about homosexuality?” they ask me.  “What about abortion or the liberal movement or creationism or the rapture?”

And as they ask me this, all I hear is “What about farknoggles?  What about boogeymen and invisible unicorns and important things like that?”

Friends, if you are religious, I don’t think you’re stupid.  Really, I don’t.  I know some very intelligent evangelicals.  And the intelligent ones don’t give a flying fuck about the rapture or creationism.  They follow Jesus’s real fundamentals: love, compassion, peace and understanding.

And since I believe in those things, I don’t feel guilty about preaching in fundamentalist churches.