On Headset Microphones. . .

Yes, headset microphones – those oh-so-liberal looking devices of the devil! They have done almost as much damage as screens being employed in the services. No self-respecting fundamentalist would ever be caught preaching with one of those!

Or so we’re told to believe. But all sarcasm aside, the headset microphone has taught me a few valuable lessons.

Modern Fundamentalism has only provided confusion when it comes to style

This post is based on a sermon I heard recently. A Bible college president was in a church giving one of those “from the heart” talks. I usually don’t go for those too much but this was pretty good. He remarked about the exodus of many young fundamentalists, a point of particular interest to me, and a point that is rooted on more than observation. I wasn’t too surprised with some of the “symptoms” he described, but I was disappointed because it was a relatively engaging talk and his comments would soon ruin it for me. He spoke of those leaving the camp and going “liberal.” What constituted this liberalism? Was it a denial of any doctrine? Was it an undermining of God’s truth? No: taking Baptist off the sign, getting entertainment in the services, and wearing a headset microphone. Boy, what a damper he put on my otherwise enjoyable time listening.

What in the world is wrong with a headset microphone? (What is wrong with most of what fundamentalists rant about?) The answer seems to be that it conveys a style that is associated with liberalism.

I wonder what happened when the lapel mic first came out.

In fact, I wonder what happened when the microphone first came out.

We aren’t to mimic the world’s style, yet we have to have a certain kind of tapered haircut with a certain kind of part in it? We are exhorted to keep our shoes shined, wear a nice tie, and, if you’re super spiritual, get you some cuff links? Whose style is that? And what in the world is wrong with facial hair?

No, the current fundamentalism has not given definite, biblical guidelines by which to determine the use of style. The early church fathers would faint if they knew the amount of time the average fundamentalist, including myself, spends in front of the mirror:

“The hair of the chin showed him to be a man.” (Clement of Alexandria)

“How womanly it is for one who is a man comb himself and shave himself with a razor. . .and to arrange his hair at the mirror. ” (Clement of Alexandria)

“The beard must not be plucked” (Cyprian)

Modern fundamentalism is also confusing concerning technology

As with preaching with screens, fundamentalists are very timid when it comes to trying something new. They are typically the last ones to jump aboard. 10-20 years from now, everyone will see the practicality of a wireless, headset microphone and go for one. For now, however, they represent the modern age which sounds a lot like modernism to me!

Headset microphones have taught me humility

My, what a personification that is! But it’s true. When the preacher made the comment about the headset microphones being a sign of liberalism, my entire day was ruined. I couldn’t stop fuming in my mind about it. I ceased to enjoy his speech. I called several friends to complain. I posted about it on my blog (see above). What this all reminded me of is my need to stay humble!

There is a tendency for young fundamentalists as myself to grow very critical. Fundamentalism is critical about petty things, and we get so fed up with it that we become equally critical about those same petty things! It was a contradiction for me to make such a big deal about a headset microphone because some guy made a big deal out of a headset microphone!

The point here is that we all need a reminder that no one is perfect. Every sermon will probably contain things with which you don’t agree. Use discernment. But don’t use uneven discernment by compacting all of your criticism to one group. Don’t excuse guys on the evangelical side just because you are happy you can listen to them now, while picking on every bit of the fundamentalists’ sermon. Be an equal opportunity critic, always criticizing yourself first, or don’t be a critic at all.

If I understood that earlier, I would have let that statement go and finished enjoying the rest of his talk. Then this blog post would not have to be written. But I learned my lesson, and I hope sharing that with you was a blessing. Don’t thank me, however. Thank the headset microphone!

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4 comments so far

  1. Alejandro Mejia on

    Hello there, great post I need to say. When it comes to technology, face it, at least we who are Sound Technicians and who need to have the best coming out of the speakers and the best in the recordings to send out to people everywhere, we need the newer stuff. We just recently bought a Countryman E6i headset, and it’s the best investement ever done. Sure, people like your Pastor might think it’s liberalism and it’s worldly simply because it mimics the world in it’s ways. But, people like that are not thinking in the advantages. Don’t think about the lavalier, or the first microphone. How about Light? a Temple without light? Air Conditioning? We live in Miami. It’s always 90 degrees. How about Seats? Is it liberalism to have seats? Well, in that way we are mimicking the world, for it was the world who brought it. Besides, don’t we always go for the most comfortable chair and not the one that feels like a plank of wood? Sure, we’re to be different, but some things cannot be thought of as liberal or worldly simply because of who made it. A necessity, probably not, but it’s nice to listen to that preaching without the throat-voiced sound that comes from the typical lavalier. Besides, it makes our jobs easier. God Bless.

  2. DT on

    Hey, thanks for the comment! I agree with you, and I”m glad you got my points. The main point of the post, howvwer, wasn’t so much the poor fundamentalist reaction to technology, but the criticism that both sides produce when it comes to minutia. By the way, it wasn’t my Pastor I was referring to, but a guest speaker. Even so, the guest speaker shouldn’t be generalized for that one statement. He is a good Christian leader. God bless!

  3. Ward Fenley on

    Excellent comments. I am a preacher and believe that any and all technology which removes distractions, makes preaching the word more accessible, and allows the Scriptures to be made clearer should be implemented if a church or ministry is able. We have a nice condenser mic, but I am looking for a high quality headset so that I don’t have to *always* stand behind a pulpit.

  4. Jason Quinlan on

    Agreed! I am somewhat new to fundamentalism. I have to say, I am an independent baptist, but I am not a fundamentalist. However, I am a member of an independent fundamental baptist church. I enjoy the preaching, I agree with the doctrine, and it’s a joy to serve. However, I agree with you when you say that fundamentalist preachers tend to really major on the minors. I have quite often been frustrated hearing teaching and preaching on things that seem like trivial matters, that are not clear black and white issues in scripture. Many of these issues are matters of conviction, or as Paul referred to it, matters of meat. I have struggled with these things to the point that I’ve almost left to find another church. I feel that at times, the emphasis is too strong on the external things. When I got saved, I grew and became convicted of things by small group bible study, reading my bible, praying, fellowship, hearing preaching, etc. It was never because anyone handed me a list of rules and standards to follow. Now that I am at a church that does this, I feel that it has hindered my growth by my focusing on these rules and standards instead of my personal relationship with Christ. Every believer is at a different level in their walk. I have honestly tried to be open minded about these things, and prayed for God to show me and convince me of these things, but even after two years, I have yet to be convinced or convicted of some of these things, and yet to see clear scripture supporting these teachings. I am very analytical, and I have trouble just blindly following someone’s teachings without the clear scripture to back it up. These external changes have to be a result of either clear biblical evidence of it, or clear conviction of these things. Some of my convictions have changed since joining this church, some have not. Sorry, I just needed to get that off of my chest.


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