Dr. Michael Richardson
3 John 9-11
A. Do you remember the little childhood rhyme?
“Stick and stones may break by bones
But words will never hurt me?”
B. Of course, physical abuse is a terrible sin and is always wrong and should never occur. However,
verbal abuse like physical abuse can also lead to life-long emotional scars.
C. Odd how some people in the congregation think that unless a minister is in the pulpit “taking the hide
off” his congregation he is not preaching.
D. For those of you who may think that way, the pulpit is meant to be a “guidepost” not a “whipping post!”
E. One can see most commonly two types of preachers: builders and blasters
F. Builders encourage the congregations and give them help to face the many issues in life.
G. Blasters just make you want to dig a hole and crawl in. They never give you any solutions in life. They
H. Yes, in 36 years of ministry I have seen wonderful builder type ministers.
I. Yes, I have also observed the “blaster” windbag preacher.
J. However, the windbag blaster is not just found only behind pulpits. They can also be found in the pew!
K. Sermons are sometimes developed with love, excitement; instructional teaching but this one is
developed with sad recognition that some windbags are just not able to change.
L. The epistle to II Corinthians is the epistle where the Apostle Paul reveals the most personal revelations
about his experiences.
M. In this sermon I am going to discuss some of the experiences that I have had having to deal with
windbags in the pew. In no way do I mean to belittle any individual but to point out the untold damage
that can be done by an unthinking windbag in a pew.
N. It takes nature 400 years to develop 1 inch of topsoil. A man in a dozer can destroy in seconds what it
took nature 400 years to do. The same is true in church. A windbag in a pew can destroy in seconds
what it took the pastor a long time to develop.
O. I am willing to take a lie-detector test to the veracity of the accounts that I give.
P. So, today I want to make some observations about windbags found in the pews and encourage the
church to seek a closer walk with the Lord and the high calling to which Jesus has called us.
Part I—Some observations about windbags in the pews
I. Pew Windbags never grasp the concept of “tact”
A.Tact is defined as a keen sense of sensitivity in dealing with others with difficult issues.
B. In the letters to the 7 churches we find “tact.” Jesus tells most of the churches something good about
them first and THEN he says, “Nevertheless, I am somewhat against thee.” By doing it this way Jesus
gets them to accept the criticism more readily.
C. Pew Windbags never soften the blow.
D. Let me illustrate with a story
“A woman won a 3 leg vacation trip to Europe. She was to go to London, Paris and Rome. However,
she only won it for one person and they could not afford for her husband to goal also. She was not
even allowed to take her beloved “Fifi”. Her husband assured her that he would take care of the dog.
She called from London and asked about Fifi. Her husband said, “Oh, the stupid dog got out into the
highway and got plastered all over the place.” She hung up immediately. When she called from Paris
she was seething. She blistered her husband for 30 minutes about how tactless he was. She said, “You
could have said something like Honey, Fifi got out onto the roof and fell. She may not make.”
That way she could have been emotionally prepared for the death of her dog. Well, she called again
from Rome. She informed her husband that she was going to get a new “Fifi”. She then asked how her
mother was. Her husband replied, “Honey, your mom was on the roof…”
E. Some people never understand tact Pew windbags are like that.
II. Some windbags are just not very smart. What follows is a true experience:
“ When I was first starting into the ministry, I was invited to spent the night
at a man’s home. An older preacher was with me. I went out to my car to get
something. When I came back into the house, I heard the man tell the older
preacher, “I do not believed that the younger preachers know as much as the older
preachers.” When I came around the wall his jaw hit the floor. I pretended like I
did not hear it and was glad that another young preacher did not hear it. The next
day I was to preach. During Sunday School, the lesson was about the appearance
of Jesus to the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. That same man asked,
“Wasn’t that when God called him from the burning bush?” I thought he must be
mistaken in what he asked. Then he asked it a second time. The church people
were embarrassed. Finally, he asked the question a 3rd time. They finally told him
that it was Moses who was called by God at the burning bush!"
III. Some pew windbags view themselves as being a “little smarter” than the rest of us.
Once again, this is a true experience. I was speaking in a church in Ohio. I made the
comment that the church was not in the Old Testament. I was not out of the stand 10
seconds when an angry windbag came up to me and asked, “What about the “church
in the wilderness?” I said, “Oh, you mean Acts 7:38 where it says, “This is he, that
was in the church in the wilderness….” Now I could have informed him that the
word church in that passage is “ekklayseeah” and means a “called out body”. I could
have stated that Stephen was talking in typology and showing that as Israel was
called out of bondage we are called out of sin. However, I knew what the man
believed. He believed that the church started in Mark 3:14 where it says that Jesus
took twelve into the mountain and ordained twelve. He said resoundingly, “Yes!”
I then said, “Then you turn around and teach that the church was in the wilderness
before Jesus did that." He had no reply.
IV. Some pew windbags are busybodies.
Paul talks about those in II Th.3: 11 and I Tim. 5:13. A busybody is defined as
“a nosy, meddling person interested in what other people say on do and giving
advice where it is not sought or wanted. They always say to me when confronted,
“But preacher I am only trying to help!” I point them to I Thess. 4:11 “And that
ye study to be quiet, and to do your own and business to work with your
own hands, as we commanded you; ” The Mike Richardson interpretation of
I Thess. 4:11 is “Keep your mouth shut and mind your own business!"
V. Some pew windbags know just enough Bible to be dangerous.
At one time I was the pastor of two small churches. One in West Virginia the other in
Ohio. I went to the Ohio church once a month. The West Virginia church is a small
country church. Then a wonderful thing happened. A young married couple with two
beautiful daughter began visiting our church and they were excited about the church.
Unfortunately, the man’s uncle came also. Here’s the thing, the young man had long
hair. But he kept it clean and more importantly he was not saved. The deacon in our
church was more interested in getting the older uncle to join than the young couple.
Now the uncle did not like the boy’s long hair. On a Sunday when I was in Ohio, the
Uncle had the deacon read I Cor. 11: 14 where is states that it is a shame for a man to
have long hair. Of course the young couple stopped attending our church. The next
Sunday I asked the deacon if he had read that verse. He replied, “Yes, it’s the Bible.
I replied, “Did you read I Cor. 11:16? The deacon did not know what is said so I read
I Cor. 11:16 “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom,
neither the churches of God” I then asked the deacon what if that young couple have
had their fill of church now? What if they never go to church anymore that that whole
wonderful family never gets saved and goes to Hell because of your misused of God’s
word? The uncle, of course, never came back. He got what he wanted.
VI. Sometimes the pew windbag can be a woman as well as a man but mostly I have
found them more often to be men.
However, sometimes pew windbags get their “come up-ens.”
Chuck Swindoll tells the amusing story of Mildred the self-appointed arbiter of the
Church’s morals. Most people in the church learned to avoid her just to keep peace
in the church. But Mildred made a mistake one day. She confronted George a new
convert. She said, “George, your truck was seen in front of the bar today and
everybody in town knows what you were doing!” George never attempted to defend
or justify himself. He simply blinked and walked off. That night George quietly
parked his car in front of Mildred’s house and walked off! Yeah, Mildred, take
that! Shut Up! I could go on for days.
Part II—The higher calling
A. Php. 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ
B. In Rom. 15:1 the Apostle Paul gives up the following advice, “We then that are strong ought to bear
the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
C. Folks, it took God one night to get Israel out of Egypt with the 10th plague but it
took forty years of wandering in the desert to get Egypt out of them.
D. Sisters and Brethren, we need to stop being critical of new converts and driving them
away like Diotrephes did
E. We need to guide them and not dispute with them over matters that may not be that
important. The Apostle Paul gives us this advice in Rom. 14:1 “¶ Him that is weak in the faith receive
ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”
F. Folks, today in this sin cursed world the human family is plagued by drugs, abuse, divorce, and a host
of problems to numerous to name here.
G. When people come to the church they are looking for answers to life’s problems.
H. You are the ONLY HOPE for them to find the truth.
I. You may be the ONLY family some of them will ever have!
J. PLEASE, be a loving servant to these poor lost souls
K. Do not be a Diotrephes.