Sermon illustrations


America’s Habit for Litigation

We love to sue people don’t we?

And just to prove this point, I want to point out just how many lawyers live in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world.

According to census data, the US’ population is a little under 4 ½ percent of the world’s population.

Now I’d like you to guess what percentage of the world’s laywers reside in the U.S.

Remember, 4 % of the world’s population live in the u.s. so what percentage of the world’s laywers live here? It should be, all things equal, around 4 % right, now, you take into consideration that a lot of the world’s population lives in poorer countries than our own, so it should be a bit higher…

So what do you think? Can I get a guess? The answer is 70%. 70% of the world’s lawyers live in our country.

That comes out to 1,300,705 licensed lawyers in our country. And basic principles of economics tells us, that we have that many lawyers because there is demand for them. And that means…we love to sue each other!

Stuart Strachan Jr.

Be Slow to Sue

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia argues how Christians ought to resolve conflict based on 1 Corinthians 6:

I think this passage [1 Cor. 6:1–8] has something to say about the proper Christian attitude toward civil litigation. Paul is making two points: first, he says that the mediation of a mutual friend, such as the parish priest, should be sought before parties run off to the law courts. . . . I think we are too ready today to seek vindication or vengeance through adversary proceedings rather than peace through mediation. . . . Good Christians, just as they are slow to anger, should be slow to sue.

Justice Antonin Scalia, “Teaching About the Law,” Quarterly 7, no. 4 (Christian Legal Society, Fall 1987).


A Better And Wiser Judge

Horace Gray was a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. During one of his cases, a criminal was about to be released, not because he was innocent, but because of a technicality. As Gray prepared to release the man, he said this to the man:

I know that you are guilty and you know it. And I want you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and wiser judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law.

Source Unknown

The Jury Finds the Defendant…[Cough] Guilty

On April 14, 1999, 32-year-old Alan Rashid stood in a Cardiff, Wales’ courtroom. He was charged with the crime of threatening to kill. Just as the foreman of the jury read the verdict, a throat-clearing cough from a fellow juror drowned out the “not” in “not guilty.” Judge Michael Gibbon and everyone else in the courtroom only heard the word “guilty”. The judge then began to announce sentencing. “The maximum sentence for making a threat to kill is 10 years. You have not pleaded guilty to this crime and you showed no remorse. Taking all things into consideration, the least sentence I can give you is two years imprisonment,” Judge Gibbon pronounced. Amazingly, none of the jurors spoke up as Rashid was led off to a cell, apparently because they believed he had been convicted of other offences.

But one confused juror did ask a court usher why a man they had acquitted was being imprisoned. The court was quickly reconvened and Rashid was freed. “I am very relieved, as you would imagine,” said Rashid. “I am innocent, so when the verdict came back guilty, I was stunned,” he said.

Peter Kennedy

The Point of the Law

I remember the first time I drove by myself. I had the ability to drive wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted, however fast I wanted. With the steering wheel in my hands, I had freedom and power. However, to ensure that I did not abuse my newly found freedom and power, there were laws in place.

The government had established a speed limit and required drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. The laws clarify what safe driving looks like, for my benefit and everyone else’s. But the point of the laws is not to keep the laws. Rather, the point of those laws is to remind us what driving safely is all about. In the end, I think God hates law giving.

A.J. Swoboda, Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World, Baker Publishing Group, 2018, Kindle Location 521.

Salvation & Judgment

In much of contemporary society, we are only willing to focus on God’s love and grace, rarely on God’s wrath or even judgment. This story is a good reminder that God’s relationship towards us is multi-faceted. 

Back in the days of the “wild west” there was a boy whose pants had gotten stuck in a stagecoach. The stage coach took off and the poor boy was doing everything he could to hold on for dear life. As the stage coach began its departure, a man happened to see the unfolding crisis and raced off on his horse to save the boy. His fast action paid off as he was able to rescue the boy from certain death.

That man would eventually become a judge, whereas the boy would become a criminal. Eventually the two would meet in the judge’s courtroom. The boy, realizing who his judge was, asked him to rescue him, just as he had done those many years earlier. The judge would eventually bring the gavel down on the table and say, “On that day when I rescued you from the stage coach I was your savior. Today, I am your judge.”

Original Source Unknown, written by Stuart Strachan Jr.

Weird Laws (Real)

If a frog dies during a frog-jumping contest in California, it can’t be eaten.

In Florida, there’s no dwarf-tossing allowed.

In Indiana, liquor stores can’t sell chilled water or soda

In Minnesota, any game in which participants attempt to capture a greased or oiled pig is illegal.

Atheists aren’t allowed to run for office in Texas

In West Virginia, it’s illegal to use a ferret for hunting.

Source Unknown

See Also Illustrations on Judging, Judgment, Justice, LawsuitsLawyers, Legalism