Why am I making these videos? And what does it have to do with someone cheating on their wedding day?  

Sound and music from Storyblocks

If you prefer reading, the script I used is below. 

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                      Hi I'm Nathaniel and this- Whatever-

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                      The day of their wedding the soon to

                      be bride goes out to finish writing

                      her wedding vows, and when she returns

                      to the church she finds her fiancé

                      banging with a bridesmaid. Now we've

                      all heard this story, or some

                      variation, whether it was a clickbatey

                      article or daytime tv or whatever. But

                      where ever you heard the story,

                      there's always some bride or groom

                      caught or confessing to cheating on

                      their wedding day. And the question is


                      Another why question. Why sermonize?

                      It's 2021. Why dredge up this dying

                      art form. Don't think it's dying?

                      When's the last time you used the word

                      "preachy" as a compliment? Look, I'm

                      going to change the name. The word

                      "sermon" makes me uncomfortable. Why

                      should I expect anyone else would want

                      to watch this? So why do it?

                      Ok, back to the other story, but the

                      Biblical version this time. The people

                      of Israel are being lead by Moses

                      through the desert, and they go to

                      this mountain to take vows with (or in

                      a sense marry) their god. Moses goes

                      up the mountain to finish the vow

                      writing with the bride-god. (That's

                      the whole Ten Commandments/law thing.

                      Those are the vows.) But when he comes

                      back down he finds the people are

                      worshipping an idol. Now, there's a

                      lot going on with idol worship and all

                      that that we won't get into, but the

                      basic idea is, they were banging with

                      a bridesmaid. The bride finished the

                      vows, looked in on the groom, and

                      found him cheating on their wedding


                      And the question in both stories is,

                      why? What is going on in their


                      There could be many things, many

                      different stories that for them made

                      this make sense;

                      But the one thing we can say is,

                      whatever the story was in their heads,

                      it didn't line up with the reality of

                      the story they'd been trying to

                      participate in. 

                      I remember jumping from church to

                      church after college, full of

                      questions. I tried churches from the

                      megachurch to the house church, from

                      places with a volunteer pianist to

                      lights out rock concerts. But the

                      aesthetic wasn't the problem. 

                      Sometimes someone would make a big

                      deal about some disagreement with a

                      theological point, but usually it was

                      just dancing around the fringes. And

                      that wasn't the issue.

                      I didn't know how far off the rails

                      things were going for so many, but the

                      stories being told didn't seem to line

                      up with the reality of the story we

                      were trying to participate in. 

                      I tried some churches outside the

                      evangelical tradition, and they were

                      nice enough. But I'd grown up

                      evangelical and I struggled to connect

                      with their story.

                      So why sermonize in 2021? Well, being

                      the evangelical nerd that I was, I did

                      what I was told. I read my Bible,

                      prayed, and tried to integrate my work

                      with my faith. I'm trained as a

                      theater artist, a story teller. And

                      the story that I found, was very


                      It's a story where economic justice,

                      feminism & civil rights, and taking

                      care of our planet are central themes.

                      Not some liberal agenda or misdirected

                      "social gospel" but are core to the

                      gospel and even salvation. And this is

                      straight from the text.

                      It's a story for all humanity with

                      love for all humanity, not in the "if

                      you convert" way, but in truth, in the

                      human condition and in our connection

                      with the divine. 

                      And yes, we'll talk about sin and the

                      cross and all of it, but this isn't an

                      on the fringes change. This is an

                      atonement theory rewrite, a reframing

                      of the entire gospel story.

                      So for the next I-don't-know-how-many

                      videos I'm going to be laying out what

                      I'll call for now a post-evangelical

                      gospel narrative.

                      Why this "sermonizing"? Like for the

                      cheating fiancé, I think there's an

                      old story, that may have had good

                      parts to it, but right now it's

                      causing destruction. And I think maybe

                      sometimes the best antidote to a story

                      like that is to tell a better one.


                      In the next video I'll try to give a

                      very broad overview. Then we'll get

                      into specifics from there. 

                      If you're interested in following

                      along, there should be something like

                      a subscribe button somewhere around

                      this video. Or you can always go to my

                      website nathanielnorton.com to sign up

                      for email notifications, etc. 

                      Thanks for watching. See you next

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