Should We Edit Sermons?


I have had a surge in readership of my post on Joel Osteen’s interview with 60 Minutes from back in October (seriously. 130 hits in the past 4 days). I chalked this up to the thought that there was a new 60 Minutes interview. After checking around, I did not find whether or not there was a new interview, but I was able to track through Yahoo!’s homepage several clips from said interview, and a couple I have not seen before. Now, I have said my piece about Osteen’s ministry. You can read it here and here. It is not my intention to criticize Joel, merely critique and raise questions about a ministry that is incomplete at best, and heretical at worst. If you are going to start leaving comments accusing me of being a hater, or of being jealous, please read this post first. Because this post really is not about Osteen.

What I really want to delve into today is a question I have asked before, and one that I still wrestle with on a daily basis. One of the clips shows Osteen and a couple of tech guys in the editing room, sharing with 60 Minutes how they edit the two sermons together to make one seamless, flawless production.

My question to start some discussion is this: Should we edit out mistakes or flaws to make a perfect, seamless product of sermons/highlights/etc.?

We film a lot in our ministry, and I will often edit out dead space, and portions that are not relevant to the main message for time reasons (a lot of our teens are restricted to dial-up Internet service, so I try to keep videos as short as possible). I never edit out mistakes for the sake of having a seamless project.

But should we? What are the theological implications of editing down a sermon, or a message? Are we lying to the people that are being reached with the video by giving them a “false” product?

What are your thoughts? Do you edit in your ministry? How do you determine what to cut and where?

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