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Don’t Photoshop Your Sermons

3. Moving.

The moving feature in Photoshop allows the user to relocate a selected piece of an image to anywhere else on the canvas.

This is a common feature in Photoshop preaching. Many preachers move portions of scripture around and take them out of context. As the popular saying goes, “A text without context is pretext.” Pretext is something put forward to conceal its true meaning or purpose.

When we move the scripture around without regard for context, we are effectively concealing the true meaning of the text. This is Photoshop preaching.

4. Erasing.

One of the more dangerous tools in Photoshop preaching is the eraser. The eraser tool does exactly what the name implies—it erases content. While cropping eliminates entire portions of scripture, the eraser tool systematically erases problematic or difficult words or phrases WITHIN a portion of scripture.

Photoshop preachers use this instrument like a surgeon’s scalpel to remove any unwanted words or phrases that don’t fit their ideology. They use it to produce an edited sermon that bears little to no resemblance to the actual text from which it is ostensibly derived.

5. Typing.

The ultimate deadly tool in the hand of a Photoshop preacher is the typing function. The typing tool creates an area where text can be entered. Perhaps the only thing more dangerous than deleting what God said is adding to what He said. Photoshop preachers present their opinion as the gospel and add their own text to God’s text. This is a dangerous practice and has led to the creation of many cults supposedly based on scripture.

The Book of Revelation ends with a stern warning to all Photoshop preachers: “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).

Photoshop preaching is plaguing the Church. We need more men and women of God who will stand and preach the unadulterated, unfiltered word of God. It may not be popular, but it is still powerful! Let’s leave Photoshop to the magazines and out of our ministries.

Take the “Photoshop Preaching Pledge.” If you are a preacher, or you’re a layperson who only wants to hear the truth of God’s word, post this on your social media pages and send it to as many people as possible.

“Photoshop Preaching Pledge”

I pledge to preach and/or apply God’s word as He intended. I will not edit God’s word to fit my opinion. I will not crop, slice, move or erase any portion of scripture to appease my lifestyle or the lifestyle of others. I will not type or add anything to God’s word. I pledge to follow His word and His plan for my life, and I commit to sharing His word with those I come in contact with.  

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Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH_PhD) is a 21st century “leadership liaison” whose passion is to help connect people and organizations to their purpose. He is a coach, consultant, and counselor and is a leading strategist on leadership and succession planning for churches, non-profit organizations and corporations. Dr. Hanchell has over 15 years of leadership experience and brings a wealth of wisdom to help enhance lives and increase productivity. He currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem, NC (“The Church Committed to do MORE”) – the “Mother Church” of the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Inc., where Dr. Hanchell also serves as General Secretary and International Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry under the leadership of Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.