Aus10man wrote:I was thinking out loud..and all I hear from you is an argument for the sake of argument. Let's not make this a debate
Well, you are wrong about my motives. I was making points that I think are important. I think the negative connotations of preaching are not particularly fair - note I am not a preacher or even a member of a religion where this takes place. I do, however, think that there is something to be said for someone coming right out and saying 'this is the truth' with the implication that they are sure. Everything is out in the open - as far as beliefs. Just because they are sure does not mean that I must accept their beliefs, and this clear open approach lets me know the motivations clearly of the other person. They want me to also believe X and Y. What gets called teaching often has agendas, but these are more subtly approached. Often the teaching mode is used with the same exact goal, but they want the person to arrive at belief X 'on their own'. And so a kind of guidance and even manipulation is going on.
I am not saying that teaching is bad and preaching is good, in fact I think they are neutral terms, but I highlighted the opposite of what you were asserting to make a point. A point that in fact matters to me, despite your assumption.
Sure, I would utterly dislike a sermon aimed at making me feel ashamed of my sexual urges, guilty for what Jesus has supposedly done for me, etc. On the other hand, there is all is, out in the open for me to reject, mull over, potentially, though not in my case, accept. One can also preach things that I like, that I can find inspiring, though it is unlikely I will experience this in some fundamentalist church.
It's the same in college. I have definitely appreciated teaching, especially where the teachers do not have beliefs they want me to have, but rather a set of experiences where I will learn something relevent to the subject of the course, but it is not clear what. I have also, however, deeply appreciate lectures, which are often a form of preaching. This is what the book is about. This is the nature of good and evil. These are the causes of WW1. A professor saying how it is, without qualification, quite sure of him or herself. This is the truth.
Again, this doesn't mean I just swallow that whole or even in part. But it is very inspiring and challenging, even or perhaps especially when I disagree. I get to see their mind in action, confident. The way they organize their thoughts, their reasons for having the beliefs they have, their being someone who has been learning, hopefully, longer than me and with much more focus on the subject...that all make it powerful or it can.
Likewise people who preach about spiritual, philosophical or religious issues.
Tentative, exploratory, non-committed communication can also be useful in these contexts, but there is nothing wrong, to me, with preaching per se. And I think often it is much more honest, since what is being presented as teaching is often really preaching is a clever indirect form.
God is a combo of what we've learned about god as children- what we see friends,family,peers,celebrities claim to believe-and our own imaginations limitless range of possibility when we turn inward toward personal truth.
Are you teaching here or preaching?
This was also not me simply being argumentative. You seemed to have a negative view of preaching, but here you simply state what you consider the truth, no qualification, sure. This is preaching, even if it is a non-theistic version. If preaching is negative it must be because of the form, not the content.