Steven Anderson has been a guilty pleasure of mine since 2008, and seven years later he’s still throwing flame. Since “seven” is a holy and precious number for him, I’m honoring him with this list. I’ve gathered what I consider his seven most memorable moments from the past seven years. Brace yourself if you’ve never heard him before. He doesn’t give an inch by the gospel, and revels in offense. But he’s a train wreck you have to follow. If he has the IQ of a rock, he more than makes up for it in heart, and indeed what passion.
1. Calling Upon the Name of the Lord to Be Saved. This one has to crown the list. What makes it special is that Anderson is screaming not at the world, for a change, but at his own congregation. Some of his church members had started a mutiny by claiming that praying the sinner’s prayer is adding works to salvation — and that Pastor Anderson was actually preaching false doctrine. Watch as he proceeds to tear them a new orifice right from the pulpit. He kicks the pulpit, smashes things to the floor, and calls his flock a bunch of lazy know-nothings who should keep their mouths shut until they read the bible cover to cover. This was one pissed preacher.
2. Piss Against the Wall. The sermon that went viral and gave Anderson his notoriety. He explains why men should pee standing up, based on the passage of I Kings 14:10 and five other Deuteronomic texts. “Him that piss against the wall” was a contemptuous phrase in Hebrew, comparing males to dogs who “piss against the wall”. The Deuteronomist uses the phrase six times in referring to Israelite men destined to be slaughtered on account of evil done in the sight of the Lord. Anderson, astonishingly, takes the negative phrase as a positive image for masculinity — and proceeds to railroad effeminate men who pee sitting down, and who allow women to micromanage their bathroom habits. A pure classic.
3. Obergefell vs. Hodges. Anderson’s latest fury. In a double-length sermon (two full hours), he tore into his fellow pastors across America who refuse to preach hard against gays. He blames moderate evangelicals and so-called fundamentalists for the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage, for enabling gays to come out of the closet, and for the spiritual decline of America in general. True Christian pastors, he says, must pass his twofold test. They must (1) be willing to call out gays as “filthy” (per Jude 1:8), and (2) acknowledge that people become gay only because God makes them that way (per Rom 1:18-31; vv 24,26,28), though certainly not when they’re born. They become gay when they hate and reject God too many times, and God gets fed up and decides to write them off by “giving them over to vile affections” and putting them completely outside the scope of salvation.
4. The Sorcery of Television. The nastiest screed of preaching I’ve ever heard. It’s a non-stop tirade against the “filth” promoted on TV and the movies. At one point Anderson calls Barack Obama the devil, and someone sitting in the pews protests. Anderson tells him “get the hell out of my church” and proceeds to bellow even louder. Apparently the church’s videocam wasn’t working that day and so it’s just the audio, but that’s all you need — Anderson’s rant is so severe it requires no video supplement. Mind your volume control on this one.
5. The Wickedness of Christian Farming. If peeing in the wrong posture is sinful, then I suppose anything might be. But who would ever dream that farming is a grievous offense? Anderson says that true Christians shouldn’t dwell in remote countryside areas, or raise livestock, or grow organic produce, when they could be in cities preaching the gospel and getting people saved. Farming should be carried out only by the wicked and the unsaved, not by Christians themselves. “I’d rather be a SPIRITUAL farmer!” he thunders. “I’d rather work in GOD’S vineyard! I’d rather sow SEED in the HEARTS of people who are dying and going to hell!”
6. The Threat of Hell. From one of Anderson’s famous sermons, called “The Horrors of Hell”, in which he relates how as a kid he locked himself in a dark closet to make himself ponder and fear hell. I clipped a later part where he describes trying to pass on that fear to an old man he was trying to convert. The man (an atheist) got increasingly hostile to Anderson’s evangelism, and watch how Anderson boasts of the way he taunted and threatened the poor guy: “Take a good look at my face. You’re going to remember this face for all eternity — for billions of years while you burn in hell.” Anderson puts the Jehovah’s Witnesses to shame.
7. “The Media is Brainwashing You!” This was preached about two months before Obergefell vs. Hodges, during the gay wedding cake and pizza delivery controversies. Anderson is livid — indeed, in a towering fury — over business owners who compromise the word of God, on the one hand by refusing to cater gay weddings, but on the other by offering at least some services to gays so as not to offend. He hit and kicked the podium more times than in any other sermon I’ve seen, and he looks like he’s about to give himself a brain aneurysm.