Remember that “Watch Dem Dogs” sermon from Rev. B.W. Smith, Jr. you heard growing up—whether it was on a cassette tape in your dad’s car or on a late night commercial on BET? Something you remember fondly, right? But was he being faithful to the biblical text? Some good words from Tony Carter on that very sermon:
When I was a boy, I would often listen to the once famous sermon by Rev. B. W. Smith entitled Watch Them Dogs. The sermon, while entertaining, had little to do with the text from which it was derived (Phil. 3:1-3). Rev. Smith used the text to launch into a critique of certain practices in the church by comparing people in the church to particular breeds or types of dogs. One type of dog Smith said existed in the church is a “sooner.” This dog is a mutt or a hybrid dog. As Rev. Smith said, “It is sooner one thing as another.” I find that Smith’s description of church people is probably more accurate of the theology we often hear coming from the pulpit. Because there is no sound theological content — and many are hesitant to express theological conviction — you could say that many preachers are “sooners” – sooner one thing theologically as another.
Churches need fewer and fewer sooners in the pulpit and more faithful “watch dogs” – men who will take up the charge to not only “watch their lives” but “watch their doctrine” as well (2 Tim. 4:16).
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